'Lily in the Box' recounts dachshund's rescue; Shelter benefit
9/11/2012 By Jim Poole
Lily, the abused dachshund rescued from a cardboard box, has joined the list of literacy canines.
She's the subject of a new book, Lily in the Box, told by her owner, Cyndi West, and written and illustrated by Meg Anderson Argo.
Profits from the book's sale will benefit the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley. To celebrate Lily's release, Ms. West, Ms. Argo and Lily herself will have a book signing this Saturday at The Apple Barrel in Schoharie, 11am-3pm.
A second signing will be at The Carrot Barn in Schoharie October 6, 11am-2pm.
The book and the signings are something of a triumph for Lily, who two years ago was just recovering from mistreatment.
In early spring 2010, Dennis Gregory found Lily inside a taped-shut cardboard box by the side of Saddlemire Hill Road in Carlisle.
Part of her lower jaw had been removed, and she was dehydrated, suffering from a lack of food and water.
Mr. Gregory took her to the Shelter, and Ms. West and her husband, Mike, adopted Lily days later. Those who had abandoned Lily in the box were apprehended.
Lily in the Box got its start a few months afterwards. Ms. West was shopping in Price Chopper and ran into her high school friend, Ms. Argo.
"We caught up on our news of the past 25 years, and I found out she was an illustrator," Ms. West said.
"Meg asked me what my passion was, and I said, 'Animal rescue,' and I told her about Lily."
The two friends decided to go ahead with the book, with Ms. West telling the story and Ms. Argo supplying the art.
Because it's a children's book, Lily is sanitized a bit, Ms. West said. Left out is her damaged jaw, her malnutrition and abuse.
But the feelings of being abandoned and alone in a box are there, as are Mr. Gregory's rescue, meeting friends at the Shelter and Lily's eventual new home.
"It basically says that bad things can happen, but good things can come out of them," Ms. West said.
And the underlying theme of the book is that pets should be treated with kindness. The dedication reads:
"For all the abandoned, unloved, unwanted dogs and cats that never expected love and to those who rescue them and love them and expect nothing."
Lily's well-publicized adventures two years ago made her something of a poster child for animal treatment. She's made numerous appearances on behalf of the Shelter and will be making more to promote the book.
"She loves it," Ms. West said. "She loves having kids visit her, and kids love her, too."
The book is $16.95, and Ms. West said profits will go to the Shelter; the remainder will go into more printings of Lily, with future profits again going to the Shelter.
The Shelter is building a new facility next to its current one in Howes Cave. Ms. West, vice president of the Shelter, said the organization still needs about $100,000 to fully complete construction, and she hopes Lily profits will help.
Gabrielle Argo, Ms. Argo's daughter, edited Lily in the Box.