COOPERSTOWN — If you need proof that good things can come in small packages, look no further than Lily, a 16-year-old Dachshund who has brought happiness to her owner ever since the pooch was rescued in March 2010.
The package, in this case, was a battered cardboard beer box in which Lily had been placed by former owners apparently intent on abandoning her. The taped-up box had been left on the roadside in the Schoharie County town of Carlisle when it was picked up by a good Samaritan in the person of Dennis Gregory, who spotted it on his way to work.
Gregory contacted the local dog control officer, and Lily was placed with the Animal Shelter of
Schoharie Valley. The shelter’s vice president, Schenevus native Cyndi West, had rescued several Dachshunds in the past. She and her husband, Michael West, the county attorney for Schoharie County, decided Lily would become their fifth.
@Body Copy Ragged:
The story of the rescue has now been chronicled by court reporter Cyndi West and illustrator Meg Anderson Argo of Oneonta in a new book titled “Lily in the Box.”
Published by Troy Book Makers, the soft-covered volume carries a $16.95 price tag. All of the profits go into a fund for a new building for Schoharie’s Animal Shelter. The current shelter, the former post office for Howes Cave, was being renovated when it was damaged by last year’s storms that battered Schoharie County.
Cyndi West said she hatched the idea for the book after she encountered Argo at a grocery store two years ago. Years earlier, the two had been friends while attending Schenevus High School.
“The main message of the book is that out of something very bad something very good can happen, and that one person — in this case, Mr. Gregory — can make a big difference in a dog’s life,” West said.
Argo said the book has appeal to a general audience, not just children. She said she has hopes “Lily in the Box” will develop a national audience. Argo’s daughter, Gabrielle, edited the book.
The fund drive for the shelter seeks $100,000 to complete the building, situated next to the old shelter.
“We were left with a shell of a building after the floods,” West said. “It’s absolutely vital that we get into the new building.”
It turns Lily, the star of the story, is none too interested in other dogs — but thoroughly enjoys being the center of attention when in human company, West said.
She and Argo said Lily will be attending several book signings, including one at The Apple Barrel from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Another book signing will be at the Carrot Barn in Schoharie from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6.
Given her advanced age, West said, it’s not surprising that Lily— who has no teeth and no lower jaw — is slowing down. But she still enjoys going on twice daily walks and eating whenever possible, she added.
“She really eats it up when she’s around kids,” she said. “She wants to be held and licks them.”