Lila, from feral dog to loving, playful pet! This is longer than most stories we post but it is Lila's journey and well worth reading! Lila was a starving feral dog with pups barely surviving on the reservation. From the natural resource buildings we would see her in the distance scavenging for food and it was clear she was nursing, so a few people decided to try and rescue her and her puppies. It was, although, not a short process because of her profound fear of humans. We started leaving food out for her and after a few weeks we could whistle and she would emerge from a salvage yard and sit patiently at a distance until we left and then she would cautiously approach the food. Although with a four day work schedule, we were only able to feed her four days out of the week, so she was left to scavenge for rodents and garbage for three consecutive days of every week. It was becoming clear that this approach was not sustainable and she was so thin and emaciated it was hard to believe that she was able to nurse puppies. We couldn’t find the puppies until they were weened, but we knew we had to catch them quickly because their chances of survival were poor; so at her feeding station we installed a wildlife trap – a cage with a trip door. We fed her and her newly weened pups for a month inside the cage until they became accustomed to it and would walk through freely. The pups were now beginning to look very thin as well and we couldn’t get within grabbing distance of them as they were as skittish of humans as Lila. We set the trap one morning, put food in it and waited at a distance for the three to show up. The trap worked perfectly and all three were captured. We brought them to Brightside where Steve had a tough job transferring them to a pen. The dogs we’re terrified, and let’s just say, pretty darn uncooperative. Few shelters would put the effort into rehabilitating a terrified, feral dog, but Brightside and the staff are not your typical shelter. The kennel staff and trainers are amazing and within the course of a few months, through kindness and patience, they were able to transform Lila into an adoptable(ish) potential pet. How many shelters would put so much effort and time into a feral dog?? Not many, what a great organization!! And even though Lila still has some fear and distrust of unknown humans, the most marvelous couple came in and decided to give her a loving home so she could experience the “lightness of being” as a member of a caring family for the first time in her life. Because Lila’s previous life was all business, with those beautiful big brown eyes that always looked so terribly sad, we never saw her play. That’s why this video is so stunning! The transformation of Lila from a sad, starving, feral animal on the brink of survival into happy playful dog in her new home , is so incredible! All thanks to Brightside and her new family!Just wanted to give a quick Lila update. She is doing great! As you can see from the video, she just loves the backyard of our new house and is starting to enjoy playtime. She likes to dig, which will make landscaping a bit of a challenge, but we will get through it.Lila is always ready for a walk, and is just great on a leash. She is eating well and is fully housebroke now. Her fear of kitties passed quickly, and she now enjoys hanging out and sometimes playing with our cats Mandy and Harry. Lila is still warming up to human contact, but she wants to be in the same room as us and enjoys getting her ears and back rubbed. Overall this little girl is doing awesome. Thank you to everyone that helped save her life and made her transition to loving pet possible.

Originally posted at Brightside Animal Center’s Facebook Wall: Lila, from feral dog to loving, playful pet!

This is longer than most stories w…