There are no shortage of stories of man’s best friend demonstrating their loyalty and heart. I have reported a few on this very website. However, every now and then a dog will stand out for their actions.
This is the case with Lilica, a Brazilian stray who has made the news recently. Every night, Lilica takes an 8 mile round trip, braving the busy streets of San Carlos to visit a woman who leaves out a food parcel for her.
Lilica then brings it back to the junkyard where she lives. Without touching a morsel of what’s inside until she has returned, Lilica shares the food with the other animals in her junkyard ‘family’ – a dog, a cat, a few chickens and a mule.
Lilica was abandoned at the junkyard when she was just a puppy. The caretaker, Neile Vania Antonio took care of her to begin with, feeding her as she grew.
Lilica quickly became friends with all the other animals in the junkyard, and as she grew had to begin fending for herself.
Upon reaching adulthood, Lilica fell pregnant and had eight puppies. There was not enough food at the junkyard, so Lilica began searching further afield so that she could feed them.
That’s when she started going out at night, walking for miles, in search of scraps. During one of her nightly travels, Lilica was lucky enough to meet dog-lover Lucia Helena de Souza who took pity on her.
Lucia, a teacher by profession said she noticed Lilica roaming the streets and realized the poor dog was looking for food. “She walked and sniffed the garbage bins – that called my attention,” Lucia said. “I thought she was homeless because she was searching for food. It was then that I offered her some food.”
“One day, she stopped eating, grabbed the open food bag and ran away with it. And the food was dropping from the bag along the way. Then, the following day when she finished eating I tied the bag. And she took it. From there on, that’s how we do it. I tie up the bag before she arrives, and she carries it away with her.”
One day, Lucia followed Lilica, and discovered why she took the bag every night. It turns out that she was carrying the food back to the junkyard. “In the beginning, she brought food to her puppies, but in time she began bringing food for the other animals here in the junkyard as well,” said Neile. “Her attitude is different, the look of her eyes is different.”
Eventually, the caretaker arranged for all the puppies to be adopted. This didn’t stop Lilica from going out on her nightly trek however.
For the past three years, she has been walking the four-mile distance from the junkyard to Lucia’s home and then back again. The two have a wonderful arrangement. Lucia leaves home precisely at 9pm and waits for Lilica at an empty lot near her house. The dog arrives promptly to collect her food parcel.
“I don’t travel, I don’t go to places and stay for too long because of her,” said Lucia. Because I know she relies on me, so it’s a commitment that I have with her, and a commitment she has with me too ‘cause she comes every day.”
“We as human beings barely share things with others,” Neile said . “But an animal sharing things with other animals is a lesson for us.”