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My name is Lily, and this is my story........
My story starts as a young brindle pup living in the Town of Goshen, NY back in late 2009. I was under a year old at the time. Apparently Goshen wasn't a place that people would ever think Pit Bull fighting would be going on. My neighbor knew what was going on and tried effortlessly to help get me out of this awful mess. I later found out she would see me looking out the window, and she knew she had to do something but I think she was also scared for her safety. When I wasn't at the window, apparently she could hear me in pain as other dogs had their way with me. I found out later that this nice lady called the Town Police often and she received no help. She tried everything. She was desperate and called the animal shelter in Goshen. She was moving and her plan was to come and get me on moving day, bring me to the shelter if they agreed and then I would be safe, as would she. She called GHS and they agreed immediately. Much of it is a blur to me.... I may have not mentioned it but up until she rescued me I was used as a bait dog. She broke in through a window to get me and I was weak, covered in open wounds and under 25 pounds. My Good Samaritan has always been anonymous.
I was safe now, but whether I survived was still up in the air. The physical wounds were going to take a long time to heal, but the mental and emotional wounds could take a lifetime. I knew nothing else except being used as a bait dog. My abusers were all males and oddly enough all my saviors were female, so it was safe to say that I felt very comfortable around female figures from the beginning.
Before being rushed to the Vet I jumped up on the President of the shelter and pushed my battered head into her chest and sighed.....I was happy and I knew immediately that I was being given a 2nd chance at life. I knew that no one could hurt me anymore.
The 1st couple years at the shelter was tough. Employees and volunteers change and I wanted nothing to do with males at all. It took close to 18 months to allow the first male to make contact with me. The President brought her husband to walk dogs one night and we had a breakthrough. Even though it was pouring rain, he took the time and I made my first male friend. He even laid down on the floor and cried as I slowly allowed him to rub my belly. From there on it was a slow road, BUT I slowly started to trust the human race one person at a time. The people at the shelter never gave up on me, and Susan the President especially never gave up on me. She always said "Lily, one day you will have a truly special family. Maybe not for awhile, but it will happen. I promise!"
The years have gone by and I've learned a lot about about people and how dogs are supposed to live. I have gone to dozens of adoption events, had lots of car rides, hundreds of long walks, dips in our doggy pool, and just spent tons and tons of quality time with the humans I love. I think this is what being a dog is all about.
I've watched friends of mine get adopted in the shelter and I've truly been happy for them. I remember when Angel left and was very happy especially she was 13. Then there was Xavier. He was my buddy too! Remi, another one so deserving. Then Max left and he was one of my best friends. We were there together a long time and very close. When Max left I think I started to wonder if it would really happen. Here is where life starts to change, so stay tuned......
My friend Theo had been adopted in 2012 and he was also one of my buddies. I was very happy for him, but I also knew I wasn't nearly ready to leave the shelter or to be with a family in 2012. My shelter family was so important to me and I really needed them. Theo is also a Pit Bull and he's a cool dog too! He was found running through Goshen as a pup close to a year of age and no one claimed him. He was one of the lucky ones as he wasn't in the shelter long. Theo's owner is Corinne and she became friends with the President Susan and she would often come to the shelter and buy us toys and treats. I have to admit I wasn't allowed toys as I made a couple of trips to the ER because I thought you were supposed to eat the entire toy. That's a story for another day, but I did enjoy her treats and visits. She would often tell Susan that when she was more settled one day that she wanted to adopt another dog from our shelter one day. At the time, she want to adopt Xavier, not me, but that's ok.
Fast forward to 2015.....Corinne meets Russell who's a really cool guy and they get engaged in August of 2015. Corinne told Russ that dogs are part of the package - lucky for Theo and I. She introduces him to Goshen Human Society and Theo's old stomping grounds, and lucky for me, Xavier had already been adopted. Shortly after Corinne went to Susan (this is what Susan told me one night when she was walking me:) that Corinne wanted to adopt me, but it would be a little while before I would be leaving. WOW!! I couldn't believe I was hearing this with my own ears. Corinne and Russell were building a house and after they moved in and Theo got used to his new surroundings, they wanted to bring me there. Little ole me!!! I was so happy. They both started coming to visit me in early 2016 almost everyday, and many days twice a day. They would often bring a big comforter on nice days and set it up so it would feel like we were having a picnic. They would put coconut oil on me and I felt like I was at a spa. We would go for walks, car rides, you name it, we did it. They bought me coats, treats, toys, beds, blankets, everything a dog could want. Most important they loved ME and wanted ME!!! They even hired Steve Del Savio of Pack Leader Dogs (works with Cesar Millan) to come to Goshen Humane Society. So here I am, this permanently retired bait dog and all this fuss is being made over little ole me. You can probably tell by the picture with Steve that I'm star struck. Believe me, I don't fall over for just anyone, because that would be letting my guard down. This man was here to help me.
A tear filled day, but a truly happy day.....June 20th, 2016. I left Goshen Humane Society forever to live with Corinne, Russ and Theo. The party was so special and all about me......If a dog could remember that far back to when they were rescued by a Good Samaritan and that no one cared except for a tiny shelter and 6 years later there are balloons, food, dog biscuits and letters spelling out my name, and a promise come true that I would one day have that special family.
That day was now here! Thank you Goshen Humane!
At Home with my Family!
If you are inspired by Lily's story and interested in Adopting, Please go to Petfinder or our "Pets Highlights" and Cats and Dogs page to see our other shelter animals.