Diary of a Dog Rescuer – Lily, Life and Death

Lily & Hux

Lily & Hux

There is nothing like arriving home to find one of your rescues laying on the floor, seemingly dead.  Particularly when it’s a 7lb, senior Chihuahua. That’s what happened recently, when I walked in to find Lily laying on her side, not moving.

I immediately scooped her up in my arms. She was limp. There was no blood or visible wounds. Still all I could do was repeat, ‘I’m so sorry’ as I rushed her to the vet. She lay in my lap shaking, so I knew she was still alive. For how long though, I did not know.

At the vet, Lily was still shaking as he examined her. She was in severe shock but he was confident she would survive. “Chihuahuas are tough,” he said. She went for x-rays and would remain overnight for fluids.  I did not sleep well.

What had caused her getting injured was my over confidence.  I’d had Lily for months.  She hung out with Fletcher and the other bulldog rescues, and everyone just ignored her. She basically just slept. I was always so focused on keeping certain bulldogs separate from each other, that I forgot to think about Lily. And so I left her one afternoon, hanging out with Fletcher, and a relatively new rescue. One that was so timid she didn’t feature on my radar.  Still, when the cat’s away the mice will play – and she obviously thought Lily was something to toy with. It wasn’t an attack, as Lily would have been killed with one chomp. Instead, the result was teethmarks on her neck, and catatonic shock.

Lily healing

Lily healing

Thankfully, not only did Lily survive, she had no broken bones or internal injuries. This little Chihuahua was tough. And lucky. My lapse of judgement could easily have been the death of her. Now, she is the first one to be crated when I leave. When dogs display no aggressive behaviour, it can be easy to forget that they are dogs. And sometimes they will just be dogs. Which can include packing up and attacking another dog (can happen if there’s three dogs – two may pick on one) or simply deciding that a smaller animal is prey or a toy, after all.  It sucks that I’m in rescue but can still make mistakes like this.  It was a hard lesson in not to take things for granted. None of us should.

Lily enjoying the sun

Lily enjoying the sun