Tillie was originally from Louisiana. She was a present to a young girl, whom she loved very much. She still jumps for joy when she sees little girls with long blonde hair. Unfortunately, the little girl was only occasionally home, and the adults of the family didn't have the time to care for Tillie. She spent most of her time tied up outside and was malnourished and neglected. She developed severe allergies to her Louisiana environment resulting in generalized atopy, ear infections, superficial pyoderma, and so on. Her life was very unhappy until . . .
Tillie's neighbors, an older couple, were walking down the street one day and noticed Tillie tied up in her backyard. They were both sad because they had just lost their beloved West Highland white terrier to old age. Tillie, a Wheaton Scottish terrier, looked very much like their West Highland white terrier. After several days of walking by and seeing Tillie tied up, the couple got the nerve to knock on the front door of Tillie's house and ask the owners if they could have her. They explained their anguish over their loss and how much they would love Tillie if she were theirs.
The couple took Tillie home and loved her like their own child. Tillie loved them back. Unfortunately, Tillie's allergies continued to get worse, and her new owners could see she was uncomfortable. After 18 months of veterinary visits, antihistamines, and steroids, Tillie's veterinarian suggested that moving out of Louisiana might be the best thing for Tillie. The couple was heartbroken, but they loved Tillie so much they knew they had to let her go. Through a local Scottish terrier rescue organization, they successfully placed Tillie in a new home: mine. She now lives in Kansas City, Mo., with me, three canine sisters, and one canine foster brother. Although her allergies are a constant battle, Tillie is one of the happiest little dogs around.
Tillie's story inspired me to give homeless pets a chance at a happy life. Since I welcomed Tillie into my life three years ago, I've fostered more than 20 dogs. I'm always happy when another one finds a home. As we all know, dogs thrive in homes where they're loved, and the foster program really helps those who may deteriorate in a shelter environment. I am thankful for the love Tillie has shared with me and that she gave me my start in foster pet parenting.