“She had been through severe thunderstorms and she never budged,” Allen told YNN. “We thought she’d be okay, but we learned our lesson.”
When the fireworks started, a frightened Lily broke her leash and took off toward the woods. “She was laying down and then all of a sudden there was a boom and she just bolted like a bullet,” Allen described to YNN. Fields ran after the fleeing Lily while Allen spoke with a nearby police officer, reporting their dog missing.
Though Allen, Fields, and friends searched the area, nine long days passed without any sign of Lily. Not knowing the whereabouts of their furry friend, the couple was heartbroken. “It was hard going to work, coming home and she wasn’t there,” Fields described to WKBW. “Because she goes to the door and watches me come in, and it was just gone, like somebody took a piece of me.”
Lily was missing in action until the afternoon of Friday, July 13, a day that would prove lucky for the Border Collie mix and her family.
Rochester veterinarian Dr. Gino Sementa happened to be hiking at Niagara Falls State Park’s Three Sisters Island when he spotted a white dog on nearby Little Brother Island. Sementa contacted emergency personnel, and the New York State Park Police Swift Water Rescue Team was dispatched to rescue Lily.
The team, including Lieutentant Clyde Coty, Detective Sergeant Brian Nisbet, PO Scott Durham, and PO Jason Berardi, orchestrated the rescue operation alongside the Niagara County SPCA. Lt. Doty and PO Durham made their way through the dangerous rapids, coaxing a very scared Lily close enough that they could secure her and bring her to safety.
Following the rescue, Allen and Fields were notified that Lily was safe and resting at the SPCA. The thrilled couple hurried to reunite with the dog.
“She came running over and she was jumping on us and kissing us and we were hugging her and kissing her, crying happy tears,” Allen said.
“It was almost as happy as the day I met [Ruth]. It was that just that joyous for me,” Fields adds of Lily’s homecoming.
The couple says Lily is relaxing at home, and that after all she’s been through, she won’t be attending any fireworks displays in the future.