Skye high on senior adoptions

Lilly the Skye terrier mix with MaureenLilly is so cute, she could be a Disney character. The petite white Skye terrier mix with huge brown eyes is as loving as she is adorable. It’s hard to imagine a dog like her having a difficult time getting adopted, but she was overlooked at Animal Care & Control of New York City. Maybe it was her skin condition, or perhaps it was because she’s more than nine years old. With healthy, young dogs vying for attention, Lilly could easily fade into the background at a busy shelter.

When Best Friends–New York staff learned that Lilly needed safe haven, they took her in and placed her in foster care, where she’d have as much time as it took to find a home. The plan was to bring Lilly to one of the many adoption events that Best Friends hosts or participates in around the city. However, it wouldn’t be a local event that produced a home for Lilly, but, rather, one woman’s visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, thousands of miles away.

The vacation that started it all

In the spring, Maureen Rosenberg vacationed with her young niece at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. She marveled at how much love the dogs received, and it tugged at her heartstrings. With a pack at home that includes a miniature poodle in hospice, Maureen knows how to care for dogs with medical conditions. Her trip to Best Friends made her think about her household, and she decided she had more love to give to an animal who needed her. That meant adopting a dog with medical needs that might be too much for some people, but needs that she could handle. “Folks often don’t adopt special-needs pets because they mistakenly think it will be too hard or expensive,” says Maureen.

When she returned from the Sanctuary to her home in Maine, she called Best Friends–New York to ask if there might be a senior dog or a dog with medical needs who she could help. Shannon Kirkman, mobile adoption coordinator, had the perfect dog in mind.

Lilly has been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and takes daily medication. “But other than that, she’s a friendly, outgoing dog,” says Shannon. And because Maureen felt comfortable caring for a dog with Cushing’s disease, it began to look like Lilly might have found her home.

A positive influence on the pack

Lilly the Skye terrier mix is now part of the packMaureen drove to New York with her three dogs to meet Lilly. During the introduction, Maureen’s big dog, Charlie, was the first to meet the little terrier. To make the adoption official, he would have to accept her. “Lilly’s a real New Yorker,” says Maureen. “Charlie approached her and she just turned her head (as if to say) ‘I’ll meet you when I’m ready.’” She adopted Lilly on the spot.

“Lilly has just melted into our pack and changed the whole dynamic in a positive way,” says Maureen. The big dogs didn’t really let her miniature poodle, Peter, play with them. But Lilly follows the big dogs around, and Peter follows Lilly around. “Lilly’s got no anxiety about anything. She’s such a calming force on everybody,” says Maureen. “It’s wonderful to see how Lilly brings all the dogs together.”

When Lilly’s not snuggling with Maureen or hanging out with her pack of pals, she likes to be on Maureen’s mother’s lap to have her belly rubbed. They call her the “Buddha dog” because she’s so mellow (and because of her big belly).

Lilly’s age and medical needs haven’t overshadowed the fact that she’s a great pet, and Maureen remains a fan of senior animals who need a bit of extra care. “All the love they give in return is tenfold,” she says. “I can’t get over how much happier our family is now that Lilly’s in it.”

Get involved

To help more animals like Lilly go from homeless to home, support Best Friends.

Learn more about Best Friends–New York.

Photos by by Maureen Rosenberg