Happy Tail: Lilly the Beagle flowers in her new home

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Winomie and Matt Wilson and their four children have fostered many dogs for the local shelter, but in January, after losing a beloved pet, they decided to adopt a Beagle.

“I started a search on Petfinder, thinking it would be hard to find one, but the first picture that came up was at our local shelter,” the Okmulgee OK, woman says. The dog was listed by Okmulgee Humane Society.

Lilly and Jayden, age 6, keep an eye out for Matt Wilson's return from work.

Lilly and Jayden Wilson, age 6, keep an eye out for Matt Wilson’s return from work.

Winomie felt uneasy about not looking at other listings, so she browsed a few but kept coming back to that first dog, now named Lilly, who had been found starving and cold and with a mangled snout. She had also recently had puppies. To Winomie, this was a dog that definitely needed a second chance.

The next day, she visited the dog in her foster home. “She was nervous and skittish, but I loved her,” Winomie says. She had to wait two weeks while Lilly recovered from spay surgery to bring her to her new home . “It felt like forever, but on the day we picked her up she was a different dog — playful and no longer stand-offish.”

This was Matt Wilson’s first time to meet the dog, and she went right to him. Her devotion has continued. She jumps in the bed to wake him each morning, follows him around when he works in the yard and waits eagerly for him to come home from work.

She’s young and chews things up and gets into the trash. After escaping over a baby gate that was supposed to keep her in a back room while the family was gone, she ate a container full of crickets that were intended as fish bait. When the family arrived home, Lilly hid, knowing she’d been naughty. The family laughed it off, knowing it was just something young dogs do.

At night she often settles into their arms on her back and begins to sleep like a baby but snore like an old person. Lilly is firmly ensconced in her new home.