Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lily the Homeless Stray Dog Joins Bob Beshara

DickD Note: After you read the neat story about Lily and Bob come back and sign the "Friends of Bob Beshara Guestbook" <==Click and tell Bob what you think of Lily and his courage.

The Beshara family takes each day with Bob and shares this quote . . . " Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

Bob Beshara is a son of Bill Beshara DHS55 and Sandy Gravelle Beshara DHS57. In March of 2007, Bob was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. He is confined to a wheelchair and does not get out as often as he would like, which is difficult for the man who has been the face of Rapid City’s Colonial House Restaurant for nearly 27 years.

Until November 2008, he had been able to continue working at the restaurant for a few hours a day, greeting and visiting with the customers. The cold weather and the toll of the disease have meant more time confined at home. Right around the time he stopped going in regularly, he said, depression set in.

“Right around last Thanksgiving, I got depressed,” Bob said. “I wouldn’t eat or drink any water. I had just given up.”

He said his daughters were frustrated and trying to think of something to lift his spirits. “The girls thought a dog would give me a will to live.”

He doesn’t know if Lily cured his depression, he said, but it subsided a couple of weeks after she came into his life.

Nicole said Stephaney wanted to get a highly trained service dog for their father, but after finding out what was involved, they decided to get a small, mellow adult female dog that could sit on their father’s lap. Every time they visited the Humane Society of the
Black Hills shelter, though, they were shown a dog that met all of the criteria except for size. Shelter staff believed Lily, a medium-sized shepherd mix, would be the perfect match — and they were right.

Bob said he was a little shocked when he saw Lily. “I wasn’t expecting a dog, and certainly not a big one,” he said.

By the next day or so, he realized she was the ideal dog. Lily is tall enough that Bob can reach her comfortably from his wheelchair. And as much as he would have liked a dog to sit on his lap, he said the weight would have been too painful for his legs.

“So she’s the perfect size. It’s like they just knew this was what I needed,” he said.

Even with her large size, Lily can maneuver around the house and manages not to interfere with Bob’s wheelchair. She keeps an eye out for the treat bag he keeps or for his outstretched hand.

Lily is the picture of health with puppy-like qualities and clear, happy eyes, showing no signs of her previous life. She was picked up as a homeless stray, with protruding ribs. Both of her canine teeth are broken, which the veterinarian said is indicative of a starving dog that has resorted to eating rocks.

Even in that poor condition, her good nature did not go unnoticed by animal shelter staff, which used Lily during her month long stay in the shelter as a companion for other dogs who needed socialization. The family members did not know of Lily’s history until after they had selected her.

When Bob had a feeding tube inserted in his stomach in December, he had the chills when he came home from the surgery, and his wife, Pam, invited Lily to sleep in the bed with him.

“Now every night she sleeps with me,” Bob said. “I get such a relaxing feeling just to pet her. It is nice and soothing.” . . .

Lily photo credits to Bill Beshara. Lily and Bob photo and compete newspaper article see Rapid City Journal <== Click


Florida Beach Basics said...

what a heart-warming story. I'm sure Lily has found a forever home and is treated like a queen. Dogs need a job, and she's found a great one. stay strong, Bob.


Amanda said...

I love these kinds of stories. He needed her and she needed him, a match made in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

What a great story, and what a courageous family. Don't we wish there were such a good home for every stray dog or cat. I know what their restaurant means to Rapid City. I stopped by there yesterday at noon and it was a beehive as usual. He doesn't know me, but I pray for a miracle for Bob.

p.s. Good dog, Lily!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the up-date on Bob Beshara, I didn't know how rapidly his deterioration had been. Such a sad thing, thank goodness for Lily!

Pat Hungerford

Anonymous said...

I loved this story. When Dick sent me a note asking me to look at it, my first thought was “who is Lily Beshara?” She, I had never heard of. When I opened up the DHS blog site however, I learned Lily to be a beautiful rescued dog. I found the story to be so touching and I think Lily and Bob were made for each other and a guardian angel surely had a part in putting the two together. The old saying “a dog is man’s best friend” is so true. They give of themselves unselfishly and ask nothing but a few kind words and a few strokes in return, which benefits man and dog equally. Lily was lucky to have found such a good home and Bob equally lucky to have found such a great companion. The two were made for each other, two strong and brave personalities to share life.
My best to all the Besharas, My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Yvonne, DHS “53”
March 8, 200

Anonymous said...

Hi Dick

The story about Bob, Lily and their family was so touching and courageous. It brought tears to my eyes and a keen memory of how comforting a pet can be and how they seem to understand when sometimes it is hard to tell someone else how you are feeling. What a wonderful gesture of love his daughters have shown!!.....Lilly has found a home and a companion to share her life with after all she has been through.

Thanks for all your give to all of us with your DHS website!

Peggy Huhta-Frank

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