In January of 2015 we made the decision that it was time for us to open our home to a second dog. We had the time and resources to do so and our dog, Annie, needed a canine companion. We believe strongly in adopting rescues so we began our search on dog rescue websites in Cedar Rapids.
We came across Lily at Last Hope Animal Rescue. She was an American Eskimo mix who had been rescued in Florida where she was found wondering as a stray. She was transported from Florida to Cedar Rapids into the loving and caring arms of the incredible people at Last Hope. She was fostered for a year by Donna Williams who taught Lily that humans can be caring and loving.
We met Lily at a home visit and immediately fell in love with her. She was a sweet, gentle soul and we knew she was meant to be part of our family. Lily moved into our home in late January of 2015.
Lily had some physical challenges. When she was rescued she had a flea infestation that had caused her to lose much of her fur. In addition, she had lost most of her hearing. We took her to our veterinarian, Dr. Nathan Hein at Heartland Animal Clinic, for a complete checkup. Dr. Hein discovered that she had cataracts in her left eye and thus had very little sight in that eye. He also found that she had broken both of her rear legs at some point and neither healed properly so they did not bend normally. Finally, she had nerve damage in her shoulders that caused her to have balance issues on slippery surfaces such as hardwood floors and ceramic tile. It was estimated that Lily was about 10 years old when she moved into our home.
It would have been easy for Lily to give up on life because of her physical challenges and her prior life in Florida. Instead Lily had an indomitable, unbeatable spirit and a strong will to live. She woke every morning with a smile on her face and pushed herself up out of bed to start her day. She was an inspiration to us.
Lily couldn’t play fetch or run in the yard but she never passed up an opportunity to go for a walk with us and enjoy time sniffing the deer trails in our neighborhood. She loved to snuggle with us on the sofa, a good ear scratch and rides in the car. She was a delight to have in our daily lives.
Unfortunately time and her physical issues caught up with Lily in December. She began to have trouble standing and walking. We were able to help her through the use of a Help them Up Harness but after the Holidays she took a major turn for the worse and she passed away on January 5th, 2016.
We lost a friend, a companion we loved dearly. Our only regret with Lily is that we did not get to have her in our family for a longer period of time. We will miss and love Lily for the rest of our lives.
We would like to thank the rescuers in Florida who found Lily and took her in, Last Hope Animal Rescue for fostering Lily and finding a home for her. Thank you to the wonderful people at Heartland Animal Clinic who treated Lily with such compassion and helped us extend her life. A big thank you to the staff at Apple Creek Kennels who cared for Lily when we traveled; they loved and spoiled her on each of her visits.
We wanted to tell Lily’s story for several reasons. First to honor her life, she is an amazing soul that the world will miss. Second, to encourage everyone to consider adopting rescue animals, there are many wonderful animals like Lily that need loving homes. Third, if you can’t adopt an animal consider supporting groups like Last Hope Animal Rescue with a financial donation. They selflessly do incredible work for animals in need.