Lollie Wonderdog finds her family

Lollie Wonderdog, the pit bull mix reclaimed from a Maryland trash bin and lovingly fostered for nearly five months in a Takoma Park home, has been adopted.

Lollie, whose experience as a foster dog was recounted in the blog Love and a Six-Foot Leash, was adopted by a family of four — a family (that’s part of it to the left) whose mom saw in Lollie a fellow survivor.

It’s a lovely ending to a tale well told by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, whose family took Lollie in temporarily and blogged about the experience — partly in an attempt to find a permanent home for the three-year-old dog, partly to tell the world about the joys of fostering.

Including, last week, the bittersweet and often tearful feeling that accompanies the successful conclusion of that experience.

In a letter to her departed foster dog, she wrote, “You pass through the world with a carefree grace that I have rarely seen in a dog, and have never seen in a person. Your ability to make everybody like you and the whole world smile, paired with your ability to overcome anything with a wagging tail and a flapping tongue is truly remarkable. I hope you don’t remember the specifics of how you ended up in that dumpster in September, bruised, half-starved, and filthy, but I hope you always remember that you have overcome so much — and come out a shooting star. An eternal firework.

“Lollie Wonderdog, it’s an amazing thing when a sad little dog can teach a bunch of humans so much about perseverance, patience, and overcoming the odds. You have touched our lives forever, and we love you very much.”

Emotions ran strong on the receiving end, too. After Lollie — whose new name is Lily Fireworks — was situated in her new home, her new owner wrote down her thoughts about it all, which were published on Love and a Leash this week:

“I had breast cancer at 24, had a few breast surgeries, lost all my hair, all that fun stuff … Fast forward six years, and we’re looking for a dog. We found Daisy, a beagle with giant “udders.” A breast cancer survivor finds a dog with udders…it was meant to be! Last year I went through chemo again when my cancer returned, and Daisy beagle was the sole reason I got up and got any exercise some days. She lay next to me on the couch when I felt pukey, she sniffed my head when my hair fell out again, she saw me through the whole year of chemo. That’s a lot of walks together … Sadly, we lost Daisy very unexpectedly a few months ago, and I didn’t want another dog …”

Then she came across Lollie’s blog, through the Montgomery County Humane Society website.

“We contacted Aleksandra and set up a time for John and me to meet her Lollie Wonderdog. If we thought she’d be a good family member, then we’d tell the little ones. We went to meet Lollie. I couldn’t get over her itty bitty waist. She was adorable. Those giant eyes … she licked my stinky shoelaces, and it was love. How could a dog who had been through so much still have so much love to give? I thought about it — Lollie and I are both survivors …”

(Photo by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, courtesy of Love and a Leash)

John Woestendiek

John Woestendiek is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of "Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend."

5 thoughts on “Lollie Wonderdog finds her family

  • February 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

    YEA LOLLIE WONDERDOG now Lily Fireworks !!!!! Excellent, excellent excellent. Thank you foster mom and congratulations new mom.

    Irish Blessing
    “May God be with you and bless you.
    May you see your children’s children.
    May you be poor in misfortunes
    and rich in blessings.
    May you know nothing but happiness
    from this day forward.”

  • February 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Wow, what a story! This is going to make me smile (and tear-up) all weekend! It takes a very special personality to be able to lovingly foster and then finally relinquish an animal. I could never do it, but I am so thankful that people exist who can and want to do this. It is such a gentler, kinder avenue for a temporarily unwanted pet, and I hope a growing trend.

  • February 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Awesome News! I have followed Lollie’s Blog since you first posted about her & keep going back to watch her adorable videos. I secretly wished to adopt her into our home, but being a former foster mom for dogs, I failed on my last foster & adopted the brindle & white love bug that was only meant to stay w/ me while he recovered from his many injuries after being hit by a car & abandoned by his owner at the vets office I worked at. Little did I know that 2 weeks after coming home w/ me, another hidden injury was discovered once he was mobile. A luxating patella. He had his surgery for that & in the mean time…we fell in love so hard that we could not bear to let him go, thus ending my fostering days for a while, as we now have 4 permanent dogs. I send a huge & heartfelt “Thank You” to Lollies foster family. I would have been too weak to let her go. To her new forever family, “Congrats!” You are awesome people who got an equally awesome dog! Wishing you many, many Happy & Healthy years together! 🙂

  • February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Lollie/Lily’s foster mom here . . . thanks for a great story, Woestendiek!

  • March 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I have also been pointing people in the direction of the Love and a Six-foot Leash blog. Lollie’s story resonates with me on so many levels, and Aleksandra’s account of the foster experience is one that I hope will encourage more people to consider fostering. Without people like Aleksandra and John, many of the dogs who are now beloved family members would never have made it long enough or far enough to be there.

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