Lily's adoption story is an absolutely glorious one to write because it really conveys the essence of what it means to "rescue" a dog.

I was contacted initially by Lily's owner, who was overwhelmed with life's trials and tribulations, and had to leave her residence and could not take her dogs. She called us about Lily, and we agreed to take her on a particular Friday. Instead, on that Friday, I was called by my rescue contact at a local shelter, where Lily had been dumped. To be sure, I was steamed at this owner for putting Lily through the "shelter experience" when she could have gone directly to me...but, then, Lily was lucky that I have a good rapport with the MSPCA, so she did not have to spend much time there.

I drove down to Brockton, Massachusetts to pick up Lily, and when I saw her, I practically became nauseous. Quite simply...I have never, ever seen a dog in such condition coming from an owner. Lily was a year old pup who should have weighed around 20 pounds, but weighed only 10. At half her normal body weight, Lily was emaciated and her hair was falling out in handfuls from malnutrition.

I took Lily to our vet, and we devised a long term plan for her rehabilitation. Lily needed to gain at least 5-7 pounds. before the vet thought that she could be safely spayed. And so, we posted Lily's story on our Available Dogs page, along with some pretty horrid photos showing her emaciated state. We were overwhelmed with mail from concerned parties who were moved by Lily's plight. Also, I was personally overwhelmed by irate emails and phone calls from Lily's former owner who was "outraged" at the lies that we had written about Lily. According to her, she LOVED Lily, had just taken her to see the vet before dumping her and knew she was in perfect health. Lily's owner accused us of trumping up Lily's story to get sympathetic adopters. As if the pictures did not speak for themselves.

I suppose I should have followed through on my notion to file criminal animal neglect and cruelty charges against this woman...but I didn't think that I could stomach any more contact with her. Instead, I started to feed Miss Lily. She made the rounds of our best foster homes, first stopping with Laurel Chiten and Shadow, where she began to put on some weight and muscle mass.

After a while, our friend, Cindy Halliday, from Maine, volunteered to foster Lily and fatten her up. After about two months, Lily had gained strength enough to assume her natural role as spirited...okay...rowdy, Eskie pup. Lily blew through Cindy's den like a chomping tornado, laying waste to whatever was in her way. And, then, Lily chewed off the custom-designed homemade coat that Cindy made for her to keep her hairless body warm. Now, we're talkin' Eskie spirit and ingenuity!

Lily with Duncan, showing off her wardrobe.

Lily is examined by Fergus before she says goodbye to Maine.

Under Cindy's dedicated care, Lily really blossomed to the point where she was healthy enough to be spayed and adopted. During this time, we had been talking with Ron and Carol of Massachusetts about Lily and had settled on them as adopters. Ron and Carol have a gorgeous, playful German Shepherd, and since Miss Lily loves to play, it seemed like this match was a good one. And so, Miss Lily had her surgery, just in time to go home for the holidays.

My friend Laurel and I had the chance to see Lily not too long ago and were so pleased with her progress. She is just gorgeous and has absolutely bewitched Ron, Carol and their kids. We look forward to an update with photos soon.