January 2016. Payden Trujillo was driving down a frosty highway in Utah in the dead of night. What was a regulation drive nearly turned to disaster when a black object bolted out in front of her. Payden slammed the brakes on and managed to avoid hitting the mysterious figure. When she got out of her car to investigate what she found was a doggo, named Lily. er skin and bones and freezing in the cold.
Lily gave the poor thing something to eat and managed to coax Lily into her car. She then drove herself and her dog to her dad’s house, hoping a more thorough investigation might lead to clues as to the identity of this mysterious mutt.
What she found on Lily’s dog tags, however, was a heartbreaking message:
When asked about it seeing this message, Payden’s sister Mercedes explained
“As soon as we saw it, we knew nobody was out there looking for her. There are quite a few no-kill shelters around that the owners could have dropped her off to, but instead they just left her. We couldn’t believe someone would throw out a dog like that.”
After seeing this Mercedes took up the challenge to be a better person than Lily’s original owner:
“She was really skinny and had frostbite on her paws, so she had to have been out there for some while, I wasn’t sure if she was even potty-trained because whenever she would eat or drink it went right through her.”
It only took a few weeks of care for Lily to start to get back to healthier place physically. Mentally, however, she still bore the scars of her ill-treatment and wanted to destroy things around the house when left alone.
“I was staying with family friends who finally said they couldn’t have her stay there anymore. Her separation anxiety was really bad at first, so we just kind of kept friend-hopping for a place to stay because nobody really wanted her in their house.”
Mercedes and Lily moved around for over a year after they were first brought together. Thankfully the kind people at Lily’s university made an exception, and Lily and Mercedes were allowed to live together on campus.
There was one problem left however, Lily had trouble being around men. So her professors allowed Mercedes to bring Lily to class to help her socialize.
“I’m thinking her former owner may have been a man, because, before, we couldn’t even pass by a guy without her lunging at him. Since I’m a mechanical engineer, I was surrounded by guys in my classes, so she sat with them and got to know them on her own terms.”
Fast forward two years later and Lily is a dog on the go. Her and Mercedes do everything together, and Lily makes the best companion ever for Mercedes outdoor adventures.
Lily loves a good hike. Here she is at the top of a mountain rocking an incredibly fetching blue do-rag.
From the tips of mountains to sea level, Lily has fun in any kind of outdoor environment. Her and Mercedes recently moved to California which gives them a fantastic world to explore together.
Now Lily has a friend of her own species. 1-year-old Ayla a recused greyhound that Lily cannot get enough of.
What a great story. It’s never okay to just abandon a pet like that, but at least the owner had the forethought to place those tags on Lily, and thanks to that action, she was adopted by a great new mom.