It happened on a cold, snowy February morning with the temperature registering only 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Barn Manager Brenda Izzo was on her way to The Lily Pond when she spotted something furry stumbling along the edge of the road. She braked to a halt and hopped out to investigate. What she discovered was a small dog, clearly advanced in age, blind to some degree and shivering with cold. Brenda placed her coat around him, scooped him up and plopped him onto the seat of her truck. She looked around for evidence of an owner and listened for anyone calling their dog back inside. Nothing. So she brought him to the sanctuary and fed him a nice breakfast. Calls were placed to neighbors and the local dog control officer. No one recognized him and no one had reported a missing dog. A neighbor put up a post on FaceBook. No one recognized him. No one claimed him. So we named him Wilbur… and that’s how he found his new home at The Lily Pond.
Our first priority was a vet appointment. Wilbur’s claws had been allowed to become embedded into his paw pads and he had an eye infection. The vet estimated him to be 12-13 years old and also confirmed Lyme disease. This kiddo was a hot mess. Wilbur received a pedicure and we kept him on antibiotics. He improved with each passing day and even began to show a pep in his step.
When he first arrived, Wilbur resisted going outside to do his business. Founder Susan Bandy discovered that if she left the door open, he would reluctantly comply, keeping his eye on the door and wasting no time getting back into the house. We suspect that on the morning Wilbur was found wandering the streets, his owner had put him out, shut the door and never opened it again. The days rolled by and as a routine was established, Wilbur became less frightened of being locked out. Going out with our Shih Tzu pup Happy also helps, as Happy boisterously bounces around the yard, demonstrating to Wilbur the proper zeal with which a pup should go out to take care of business.
Speaking of Happy, the little tyke was delighted with the arrival of Wilbur. Happy’s view of the world is that everyone is a friend. Wilbur is a quiet old soul not much interested in toys or treats and certainly not in bouncing around the room, which is Happy’s favorite activity. He prefers to nap most of the day in a comfy bed. Undaunted, Happy marched into Wilbur’s crate and plunked down beside him on the bed. Wilbur was rather baffled, wondering if his throne had just been usurped. But no, Happy just wanted to snuggle. After a couple days of this routine, Wilbur began to enjoy the company of a good friend. Don’t we all?
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