A place to call home.
Who adopted who? It was a Sunday night. Drew and I were returning home from visiting my parents’ house for our weekly tradition of family night dinner. The ground was wet from a recent shower with more weather expected to come throughout the night. When we turned down our driveway Drew and I both noticed a huge shiny BLOB on the ground. After the car was parked with both jumped out and stood in the sprinkling rain checking out this giant toad. In classic Ryn fashion, I pulled out my phone and started to Instagram story our cute little toad friend. THEN… A dog comes up to us out of thin air. The dog quietly appears and just happens to stick around. It followed us to the front porch. And I pleaded with Drew that we should stay out for a little while with it in case it’s owners were driving around looking for it. Besides, it was storming after all. The dog probably got spooked and just ran. Even though it was dark we could tell it was a cute dog and figured the owner wouldn’t be far behind it.
Here is the link to Lichen’s story from my Instagram! Who Are You? Instagram Highlight
At first, we started calling the dog Lilly, 1) because we thought it was a girl and 2) short for Lilly pad, because she appeared while we were looking at a frog..toad.. shiny blob on the driveway… you know, whatever it actually was. ha! We sat on the porch for a while and no cars ever came by. We grabbed a towel to dry Lilly off a bit and grabbed the only thing we had on hand- cat food. Lilly SCARFFED the food down. After lots of debate, I convinced Drew we COULD NOT leave the dog out and about throughout the night. So we made the perfect little place for her in the basement/ laundry room area. Dry, warm, safe. With intentions of keeping her there just long enough to reunite her to her family.
The next day Lilly was happy to see us. No accident in the house and appeared to be responding to some training commands. After Drew and I both got a better look at the dog we started to really question its gender and also how well-loved the dog actually wasn’t. We noticed lots of fleas, a crazy amount of mats, and a STRONG stench. We quickly bathed the poor thing and took it to the vet to see if they could find a chip.
Classic. ugh. Around this time the Facebook post that I had shared was close to almost 700 shares. We had called the local shelters and vets. No one was looking for this dog it seemed. 💔
Drew was adamant that we didn’t need a dog. Honestly, he was totally right. My 2018 was FULL of travels. We already had two cats. And our lifestyle wasn’t very dog friendly at the time. We weren’t home more than to sleep typically.
When we got home from the vet we started to trim away some of the mats and gave it another bath. Drew went to dry it off with a towel and OUT OF NOWHERE this dog completely changed. 😂 It ran SO fast and away from us. Literally hadn’t seen the dog move quickly at all or show any motive to bolt, until then. We think it’s because of the towel coming down on him and potentially having a history of past abuse. Which breaks my heart!!! Drew and I were both down the hill and chasing this dog trying to get it back to us. Lichen managed to find a giant muddy pit on the side of the hill and was rolling all around. Drew (the one who said we weren’t keeping it) chased him down and carried him up the hill back to the house for another bath. This time with the collar and leash on.
When Lichen ran away from us I think it was the moment that Drew and I both realized that we already loved that little guy. Even though we had only spent a handful of hours with him at that point I think we all knew that he wasn’t supposed to be anywhere else, but with us. It wasn’t long after that Drew and I went to the store and bought all the essentials needed for him. Who adopted who?
Over the next few days Drew and I spent hours cutting mats out of him. We removed over 60 ticks from him and gave him a bath daily for upwards of two weeks. Slowly he started to show off his personality little by little and become a companion to someone again.
Drew and I couldn’t have even picked out a more perfect dog for us. Lichen is the perfect addition to our little family. He is great with cats, wonderful in large groups of people, gentle with children, mostly quiet, rarely mischievous, and super entertaining. He sleeps A LOT. And it just SUPER DUPER cute 24/7.
We are almost certain that he was abused in his past, but he no longer freaks out if we put a towel or blanket on him and he doesn’t wince in fear if we raise our hand in the air. And I’m forever thankful for that. Also, when he first appeared to us his hips were super tender. It slowly got better, but recently has flared up again. It’s so hard not knowing his past and what all he has experienced. We are doing our best to keep him comfortable and well-loved. He hasn’t bolted away from us in months and months. I think he knows he is home. 💙
Here are a few things that Lichen has taught us over this past year:
We have so much to give to people, animals, things, that are in less than ideal situations.
Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected.
Just because your past was less than ideal, doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the future!
Don’t be afraid to randomly approach people in your storm. For Lichen, it changed his life. I like to claim for the better. He was clearly doing okay out there on his own, but I think he likes his comfy warm bed, lots of treats, and all the pets.
Lichen changed our routine. I’m thankful for more time at home. ❤️
Who adopted who?
I wrote this blog back in April 2020.
I was going to post it since we had officially had him for one year, but COVID hit hard and it just didn’t feel appropriate to share at the time. Here we are in mid-September, 6 months later. Everything I wrote above still is true. However, our sweet Lichen isn’t doing so well. In August he started experiencing seizures. He has visited the vet a handful of times since and his bloodwork looks clean- he is just old. There is a good possibility that he has a growth or cancer somewhere, but due to his age and the nature of treatments that would follow Drew and I have made the decision to pursue all the comfort measures we can, but to not pursue invasive out of town testing to confirm what we probably already know that we wouldn’t pursue treatment for. At this point, he is still having mostly good days with a few scary days sprinkled in. We are mentally prepping to have to make a hard decision in the weeks/months to come. For now, we are loving him so so hard.
ALSO, we officially know what kinda dog he is!! He is a Cocker Spaniel and Bichon Frise. We have guessed for months what he might be. We were all convinced that he was part Cocker Spaniel, but no one guessed Bichon Frise for the other component. We found out by using Wisdom Panel. They mailed us a packet and directions, we swabbed the inside of his cheeks, followed the directions, and mailed it back! In a few weeks, we received an email with a full report on his DNA! It was so cool and totally worth the $100 to finally know what he is. Drew and I started looking for a breeder nearby because we LOVE him so so much. Turns out Cockachons are SUPER hard to find. We mainly only found breeders in England and Canada. Hum, further confusing us on how Lichen made it to our driveway that stormy night.
It’s so crazy to think that Lichen has only been in our lives for a little over a year and a half. We a soaking up all the time that we have with him. Thank you to everyone who has shared in loving him! He is the perfect little old man for our family.
Thankful that Lichen found us- a place to call home.
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