Owner surrender drop-offs are always trying for us. It sometimes seems that part of our role is to "counsel" these owners through a separation process that is emotional and difficult for them. Truly, I often find myself at a loss for words. People who know me will wonder how in the world it is possible for a big mouth like mine to be shut for more than a moment, but it is the owner surrender situation that can bring about complete deaf muteness in me. And perhaps, sometimes, this is a very good thing.

Particularly, when there are kids involved. And, this was the case with our Miss Lilly. Her entire family...Mom and all the siblings (there were at least six children in my apartment) were sobbing and carrying on. And they had tried everything.... At one year of age, Lilly was impossible to train and could not be trusted around children. I felt fake as can be as I doled out words of if I were channeling Tammy Faye Bakker...because I just didn't get it. How could anyone give up his beautiful Eskie girl. Boy, that Toot sure has me trained.

Well, at least I had been duly warned. I was prepared for the Devil's Spawn.

After a decade of good-byes, these folks left Miss Lilly in my hands, but only after I had convinced them of my good reputation and general competence in handling pains in the Miss Lilly. And then I was utterly shocked. What an angel doll baby this dog is!!! At a year old, her issues were typical Eskie pup issues, correctable with ... guess what??? Obedience training! Unfortunately, some folks think that 8 weeks at Petco is all that's required to produce an obedient dog...when, obviously, that is just the beginning! After all, if a dog is trained to execute a well practiced sit-stay-with-distractions command, she is not likely to overrule her owner's command in order to put the chomp on the world at large.

Irma greets Lilly

And, of course, credit is due to the Angels from God, who gave Miss Lilly an attitude adjustment, after which she became my best friend. I was tempted to keep her myself, but, as always, popular opinion disagreed. And so, it became necessary to move Miss Lilly to one of our Maine foster homes, with Bev and Steve Kimball, before I could overrule popular I have been known to do...most recently in the case of Miss Irma La Deuce.

After a brief stint in foster care with our Foley, Lilly had so ingratiated herself with the Kimballs that Bev was about to hijack her. Fortunately for Baby Face Nelson, Suzy Q and Snowball III, Bev and Steve's quirky pack of Eskie malcontents, the perfect adopter popped up.... in Maryland. Leave it to me to move a dog from Massachusetts to Maine, just in time to take her to Maryland. But, honestly, Tammy's application was too good to pass on. Her last Eskie was way worse than Miss Lilly, and Tammy knew just the right strategies to reign in this spirited beauty.

Lilly's adoption was a wonderful thing to watch. Here is our first report from Tammy.

Hi Denise,

It is good to hear from you. First, let me tell you that I changed Lilly's name to Molly. She just didn't seem to fit that name to me. She is my wonderful little Molly. She is full of life, energy and love. I enjoy every minute of trying to keep up with her and to try to figure out what that she is thinking. She has become a very important member of my family. They all love her. In fact, my mother just sent her a birthday card in the mail ( that should give you an idea of how much she is loved). I have never found any of the behaviors in her that her previous family talked about. She is a wonderful dog. She loves squeaky toys and walks and just sitting beside me wherever I may be. I see why you are so devoted to the breed. I have become an eskie person. Molly is full of independence and love and loyalty and most of all the little eskie querkiness that is so funny. Thank you so much for introducing me to her.