Fundraising began so the foster homes could reunite with the dogs they thought they may never see again. The anticipation grew as they awaited the arrival of the auction date. Saturday arrived, and the auction would begin. Rinthea and the others were in Iowa, while other volunteers would attend the auction.
Through texting and phone calls, the information was relayed from one rescuer to another in a "chain mail" fashion. Finally, the auctioneer brought out Boston Terriers with familiar faces. Texting continued, "Are you sure it's Lily? Does she have the head tilt?" The microchip number matched, and so did that face with the characteristic head tilt. Lily's future stood before them.
The bidding for Lily, estimated to end at around $40, climbed.
The rescuers continued their efforts, knowing what their financial cap was and scared it might be broken. The bidding finally ended at $175. The person holding the winning bid was not a breeder. It was a rescuer, Tina, who texted Rinthea the good news.
The bidding continued on other dogs, and two more of the "returned puppy mill raid" dogs were "won" at auction.
Some breeders will respect rescuers enough to set up connections with them. When they need to get rid of dogs, they contact the groups. One naive member of a rescue group decided to introduce herself to Lily's breeder in the hopes of making future connections with him. Once he realized that rescuers were bidding on his dogs, he set a minimum of $200 on each of his dogs. But Lily and others where already out of his hands.
The news spread quickly through facebook and texting. And then this post-purchase photo arrived.
She had again, lost the spark in her eyes. She was filthy, and foul smelling. She looked alone. But she was heading home.
The waiting was over. Lily was closer than she had been in four months, but she was still four hours away.
She would arrive after midnight for a tired but tearful reunion.
A few days later, Miss Lily came to my office. I was fortunate enough to meet her despite the two hour drive to my clinic. I was thrilled to meet the little dog that I fell in love with online.
She still suffered from severe hair loss. She was covered in abrasions, cuts, and scabs on her head, body, and legs. Her head tilt persisted, and she appeared to have had a litter of puppies since the return. This litter would be her last.
Lily is not for adoption. She is home with Rinthea. She is now a dog, and has retired from her role as breeding stock. She is spayed. She is sleeping on the couch, cuddling on laps, and making memories that will hopefully erase the memories from her past.
Coming Soon: Gia's Story...
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