When Zoe the Teacup Yorkie went missing on New Year’s Eve 2013, Christy Lilac of Walton County was devastated. The 13-year-old miniature Yorkshire Terrier was a cherished member of her family.
“Zoe was not only a family member, but a little momma to my girls and followed them everywhere,” Lilac said, adding that since the dog had gone missing, one of her two young daughters wouldn’t even go into a room without her since “her Zoe” wasn’t there.
Lilac was even more distraught when neighbors told her they had seen the little dog hit by a car.
“My neighbor saw her get hit, or thought she did, and there was a stain on the road where an animal had been hit,” Lilac said. “Also a passing car said a small dog was hit.”
It was a sad ending to 2013 for Lilac and her two daughters.
“This year isn’t ending well, we lost our sweet baby dog. She went to heaven and we will miss her so much,” Lilac wrote on her Facebook page on New Year’s Eve. “Please pray for our family. We are truly devastated.”
As the new year dawned, Lilac went out looking for the body of her precious Zoe, “for closure.” She went to the location where the neighbors said the dog had been hit, and did see what looked like blood and fur, but no body. She couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, her Zoe was still out there somewhere.
With the cold weather set to move in, there was a whole lot more to worry out if the little Yorkie was still alive and out in the elements. Her friends were concerned that Lilac was in denial and setting herself up for an extended period of unnecessary heartache.
“I just didn’t feel like she was dead, or thought I was in complete denial along with everyone else,” Lilac said, adding she went ahead and contacted Walton Pets Ga. (an animal advocate Facebook group), meeting with animal advocate Emily Yoskowitz-Goldstein. “I told her how I felt like Zoe was still out there and kept praying on it as did my girls.”
Goldstein did what she always does in the case of a missing pet – she made ads and circulated them on all the local missing pet locations.
As the story illustrates, no matter how hopeless it may seem, sometimes prayer really does work. On Jan. 5, Lilac posted this update on her Facebook page.
“My sweet girl is home. I am in tears right now. I have been crying all week, but now they are tears of joy.”
Lilac said she just couldn’t let it go.
“When in doubt, you gotta trust what God is telling you and never give up. I knew she was out there. When you love somebody, you just know,” Lilac said, adding, “Emily is such a sweet, sweet asset to our community.”
Lilac said Zoe had got out at about 5:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, but was not the dog hit by a car. The little Yorkshire Terrier ended up being picked up by a passerby, Julie Childers, who immediately began looking for the owner. However, at that time there were no missing signs up.
“We thought she was dead because she was so small and numerous people had reported seeing her get hit,” Lilac said.
But all that changed when Goldstein began circulating the missing dog flyers.
“Julie continued to search. She took Zoe to Summit Chase (Animal Hospital) to check for a chip. After being examined, Summit Chase posted it on their Facebook page and the calls came flooding in,” Lilac said. “So many people had been following the story and got in touch with me. Finally, Julie contacted me and brought my baby right over.”
Lilac said since her girls and little Zoe have been reunited, they haven’t left each other’s side.
Goldstein and Lilac both say it is a indication that you should never give up. There is a very active group of animal advocates in the Walton County area who spend countless hours trying to match up lost pets with those that have been found. Not all of them have such a happy ending, but advocates say those that do make it all worthwhile.