Jillian was taking out the trash late Friday night when she spotted someone hiding in the darkness.
Two glowing eyes shone back at her, and she could just make out the outline of a dog crouched in the front yard. She knew that approaching the stray too quickly could scare the timid animal off for good, so she was careful with her movements.
“She ran away when she heard me coming,” Jillian, who asked not to include her last name, told The Dodo, “but when I talked to her, she stopped and listened.”
The next day, the dog returned, still cautiously keeping her distance. When Jillian turned her attention to the pup once more, the dog ran — but not quite as far away. That’s when Jillian realized the scared pup wanted something; she just didn’t know how to ask.
“When I turned around to head back inside, I realized she was following me at a distance,” Jillian said. “That was when I figured I could get her to trust me. I got a bowl of water and some dog food and left them in the corner of my yard before walking a safe distance away. ”The dog gratefully ate the food and continued to follow Jillian, still making sure to keep her distance.
When Jillian saw the dog in her neighborhood again the next day, she hatched a plan with her husband.
“We got some more dog food and left a trail for her to follow back into our yard, where I fed her again,” she said. “This time, I sat close to the food. I expected her to run away after she ate, but instead she stayed next to me and even started sniffing me!”
“When I got up, she followed me all the way into my backyard and sat next to me,” Jillian added. “I’ve never had a stray dog warm up to me like this. She was just waiting for someone to give her a chance.”
Jillian knew then that the dog was meant to be part of her family, and she named her Luna.
“We decided to keep her because we are softies who can’t say no,” she said. “I’ve also always loved pit bull mixes so I fell in love with Luna right away. ”It’s only been a week, but Luna has adjusted remarkably well to being an inside dog, and is eagerly showing her mom that she’s ready to learn.
“Luna seems to be really smart,” Jillian said. “She learned her name in one day and is already responding to some basic commands, even though it was clear that nobody had taught them to her before.”
Luna has a little way to go before she’s completely settled in, but her new mom is happy to take things slow.
“She’s still a little scared, especially of loud noises like doors closing, but she is the sweetest,” Jillian said. “She loves to run around with us in the backyard and to snuggle up and give us kisses when we sit down.”