The story of a very inspirational rescue....

'Lizzie' on couch
'Lizzie' ~ written by Judy Brown, NH (her new Mom)
In October, 2011 local residents in Wakefield, NH started noticing a white dog running wild around the Lake looking for food and friends. The dog was very skittish around people, but would play look for and play with other dogs.  She would not let anyone close enough or touch her, but it was clear she was not wearing a collar.  With the weather bringing cold fall winds, local residents tried to lure her in by putting food out on porches and decks.  She was very skinny and it was obvious she was either lost or a stray.  She waited until people went in before she would eat, while constantly looking around in fear.  She stayed one step ahead of everyone when they tried to trap or catch her.  The Animal Control Officer and the Police Department tried daily to catch her, to no avail.  She'd let you see her, but not get close to her.  The Police Department had received so many calls about her they were now telling people not to call about the dog unless someone catches her.  They continued to try to catch the dog daily, but the calls were tying up the phone lines at the station.   People started referring to her as "Little Whitey".

With the horrific October storm hitting New England as hard as it did, it sent the local residents into a panic of fear knowing Little Whitey was still on the loose, fighting the elements of the storm.  It was clear if she wasn't caught soon she would either starve to death, freeze to death or be killed by predators. The locals formed a network and kept each other informed as to her whereabouts.  At any given time, there was a group of people trying to catch her or lure her in.  As the weeks passed, she was getting thinner and thinner and more afraid.

I’m not a year round resident at the lake but I do have a house there and go up most weekends.  I'd heard about the dog several times, but had never seen her.  One weekend in late November, I was up at the lake putting things away for winter.  A local friend of mine came by to take me to the local pub for a bite to eat.  We noticed a crowd of people gathered on the dirt road.  They were looking at Little Whitey staying just out of reach, but visible in the woods.  We stopped and got out.  The people told us they'd been out there for about 4 hours that day trying to catch her.  I looked down and noticed they were trying to catch the dog with a collar and a leash.  Hmmm, I knew that would never work.  The dog was wild and scared and since the dog wouldn't let anyone close to it, a collar that needed to be slipped on would never work.  My friend had a rope in the truck and made a noose.  I knew I only had one chance with the noose so I asked for some dog treats from the crowd and told everyone to stand back and not say a single word.  You could hear a pin drop. I made eye contact with the dog and without breaking her stare I tossed one treat to coax her out of the woods.  She was hesitant, but came and got the treat. I took one step towards her and she bolted back into the woods, but still in sight. Crap! With only two treats left, I had to make this work. I tossed the second treat just in front of me.  She thought about it for a long while and without looking away, she came for it.  She was skin and bones and she was starving. She was close enough for me to notice she had one blue eye and one brown eye, like a Husky of some sort.  I’d think about that later.  She ate the treat and didn't move.   I had one chance left.  She was just out of reach so with the third and last treat I tossed it in the air with the hopes she'd follow it with her eyes and not notice the noose.  At the same time I tossed it up, I lobbed the noose and caught her.  She went wild trying to wiggle out of the noose. The harder she tried the tighter the noose got.  When she realized she couldn't breathe, she gave up and just sat down.  I quickly loosened the noose and hugged her.  She looked at me with her tired, pleading eyes as if to say OK, now what?  She didn't bite, bark or run.  She stayed by me and didn’t leave my side.  It was at that moment I realized she was just a puppy.  One of the people in the crowd ran home to get food and water.  Another person in the crowd called the police to say we caught the dog.  I just stayed and connected with her.  She seemed so lost and lonely to me.  She was infested with ticks and fleas and scabs.  She had dried blood on her neck.  She was filthy, scrappy and scared to death.  As the police cruiser showed up she jumped right in the back and looked for me to join her. I went to the window and was haunted by the look she gave me.  It was like she was saying "Hey I trusted you, why aren't you coming with me?"  We followed the cruiser to the dog pound.  What I saw next was life changing.

I was horrified to see the pound was a tiny cell with cement floors and walls.  The only thing in this prison was a broken small straw cat bed with no cushion.  It was cold and dark with just a doggie door leading out to a tiny fenced in area for the dog to go potty.  I was sick about it.  I stayed with the dog while my friend went back and got an old dog bed and boat seat cushion to put under the bed.  It was at that moment I decided to make, and donate dog beds for stray dogs.  After three days, the Animal Control Officer called me to say no one had claimed the dog and they were sending her to a shelter.  He said since I caught her, I had first dib’s.  Last March I put down my beloved 13 year old black lab.  I didn't think I'd ever get over her death and swore I'd never get another dog.  I'd wait for a dog to get me.  I called my brother and he said "consider yourself got".  I called my vet and my groomer.  They both agreed to see her as soon as I brought her home.  I went and picked her up.  She remembered me but was cautious.  Before I loaded her into the truck I took her for a walk to re-connect with her.  The Police told me she cried the entire three days they held her.  It broke my heart.  My groomer was so touched that she opened her shop after hours to bath and clean the dog.  We worked together to pull ticks and try to calm her.  She was wild and hard to control but we did it.  I held her while the groomer cleaned every orifice on her body from head to toe.  First thing the next morning my Vet saw her.  He gave her all her puppy shots, tests and we made a follow up appointment. The Vet said she was about 7 months old and she was ready to go in heat.  She needed to be fixed asap, but had to wait two weeks because she had just had all kinds of shots.  I made an appointment for exactly two weeks.  My Vet told me about different programs in NH that support people who rescue stray dogs.  I was able to get all her shots, spay and meds for free under different programs.  

After all the hub-bub and it was just her and I, it was time to think of a name.  I didn’t want to keep the name Little Whitey for I didn’t want to be reminded of her ordeal in the woods for 7+ weeks.  I kept looking at her and decided, for no apparent reason, she looked like a Lizzie.  I named her Lizzie.

Lizzie and I have completely bonded.  She does have some trust issues, but she trusts me.  She tends to bark at tall males and she is very protective of me.  The Husky in her wants to run fast and free all the time and for a while she was making great escapes.  When not at the lake I keep her on a leash.  I live in a neighborhood with cars, concrete and kids.  When at the lake I let her run free.  She knows every dog up there and now she lets all the people who tried to catch her, pet her.  I’ve gotten to know a lot more people up there as I’ve become sort of a local celebrity known as “the lady who caught Little Whitey”.  It seems my quest for peace and privacy has been foiled by a dog, but I’m OK with that.  The people at the lake still fondly call her Little Whitey and I never correct them.  Lizzie never responds to Little Whitey so what’s the point in correcting them?  She goes up to their hands nudging for treats and they’re just happy to be able to pet her know.  She’s everyone’s dog.

I’ve been cooking three meals a day for her since I brought her home and I continue to do so to ensure she’s getting all the nutrients she needs to make a full recovery.  Her white coat has changed color to a caramel coloring now.  Her eyes are brighter and she’s even filled out some.  It’ll take a while until she’s 100%, but she’s well on the way.  I walk her three times a day and play with her at night.  I get little else done for the moment I get home from work, it’s all about Lizzie.  We hike every weekend and she gets to run wild and play with lots of dogs.  I continue to work on her issues with the hopes they will go away completely.  She’s a great dog and although it may sound like I saved her, she really saved me.  I never thought I would love another dog like I did the last one.  I was wrong.

Judy Brown.



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