Where is Lydia the Pit Bull....


Remember "Lydia", the scared girl saved by Eagle's Den Rescue and adopted?
Lydia escaped her Harness & Her new parents desperately need to find her.

My name is Beth McDuffie. Jerry, my husband and I have worked in animal rescue for as long as I can remember! 

From the start, Jerry and I opted to rescue those animals that other rescues would or could not take. We shy away from the cute little puppies that rescues then to fight over and frequently have several seniors lounging in our home. We also see our fair share of Pit Bulls. The most common Pit Bulls to grace our homes  are known as Bait Dogs. They come to us maimed and scarred and we do our best to help them heal.

When Lydia came to us she won our hearts immediately. She had been horribly abused by the family that was supposed to love her. She had been taken from this family by animal control because of cruelty. Lydia was from Chesterfield, SC, a place where dog fighting is as common as having dinner every day. The fact animal control confiscated her speaks volumes. And Lydia was truly terrified. When she came to us, she had been in a rescue in SC for a little over a week. She was not coming around and they needed the space, so they called us. Of course we could not turn her away.

From the start we knew Lydia would be special. For one thing, when she was transported to us, it took us 30 minutes to get her out of the crate she had been transported in. We finally had to disassemble the crate from around her for fear of hurting this small to medium sized Pit Bull. Her eyes were wide with fear and she would try to "disappear." It is difficult to understand a dog doing this until you see it. The effect is not heart breaking. It is heart wrenching. When human hands touched Lydia, she would use the bathroom on herself uncontrollably. We gradually got her to at least move while on a leash, but the effects of that also broke our hearts. Lydia did not walk, but crawled along. We had never seen her stand erect. We learned from the Chesterfield, SC Animal Control that Lydia's family had bred her so they could sell her puppies. Lydia had been kept on a very short chain and the children in her family would beat her with a shovel, throw bottles and cans at her, and cheer when they would hit her in the head. So we understood her fear ... but teaching her to trust was our job .

Dogs do not understand the words love. What they understand is the feeling of respect and trust grows from that. Respect and trust together equals love in any language ... especially "Heart speak," the language of dogs. We had hoped to at least teach Lydia that she is and ever shall be respected before she went to our veterinarian. But Lydia had a few problems that required care and it could not be put off any longer. Of course, we always go through with a spay or neuter while the dog is with the vet so they do not have to leave us again. So we drove Lydia to the vet and went through our ritual of getting her out of the car and into the office. When she could not make herself small enough to fit under the car seat, she just disappeared somewhere inside herself, as we had seen her do so many times before. Again, this is one of those experiences that will make your heart hurt literally.

But. I understand a wonderful lady named Karin Nikischer from a place called Ontario, Canada was instrumental in helping them to find me. Isn't it amazing how someone so far away can love me so much and reach out the way she did.

And I know that without this wonderful lady named Karin, the people who wanted so to help me,  may not have ever found me !!!                

I am safe, and I thank  you so very much for caring about me...

Thank you Karin... From my heart to yours

In the in heart speak language that I know you can hear,

A very sedated Lydia after Beth & Jerry found her,
waiting in the Van to finally !!! Go Home.....

Beth McDuffie

The whole story will be published in my up coming book...

Several things happened while Lydia was with our vet. The absolute worst news was that Lydia had a tumour that ran from her ribcage to the "spay" area. It was expected to be a mammary tumour, but we could not be sure and it had to be removed. Also, we had to have the histology report. I had written the check that we always write when we leave an animal with our vet: $250. That covers all basic vetting for rescue, including spay/neuter and a ten day stay in the hospital or boarding. I knew this would be a bit more, but we never have treated our rescues any different than we treat our own pack, so I swallowed hard and told our vet to do whatever was needed to make Lydia whole. I had posted Lydia's "story" on Face Book, as I do with so many of our rescues, telling the story from the dog's perspective. Now, I added this bit of bad news and prayed for donations.

It was about this time that I got a private message from a woman in Canada that asked my permission to work with Lydia. The woman's name is  Karin Nikischer and I was not too sure exactly  what she planned to do or what it would cost. But I knew if it would help Lydia, then we needed to try. I was a little surprised when she explained exactly what it is she does and I actually had some understanding since I have a sister who has explained Chakra (energy centers) to me before. But the huge surprise was when she told me that she needed to do this for Lydia.


I have never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when it is for one of our rescues. I listened for news from Karin and actually was not surprised when her words concerning Lydia were prophetic. The tumour was benign, in fact, and Lydia had a very speedy recovery. For a little dog who has had her spirit broken to the point she knows how to "disappear" inside herself, this recovery was amazing. She was soon ready to leave the vet's office. We had numerous applications for Lydia's adoption and combed them all carefully. I have been accused of being obsessive compulsive when it comes to placing these wonderful animals. But I know they have suffered enough and do not intend to allow any more suffering. I could go on forever about the adoption process for Lydia and how we had some really dishonest people attempting to take her home with them. 
As it turned out, we found a wonderful couple. They had experience with Pit Bulls and experience with fearful dogs ... a lot of experience. Jerry and I met them and liked them instantly. Lydia also seemed to like them. We left her in their care on a Friday evening, with her actually eating from her new "mom's" hands. This was something I had never been able to get her to do for me, though she had eaten treats from Jerry's hands before. I received a call in the night and could hear Lydia snoring in time with her new "dad." The snoring is always a sign that the animal is relaxed and at peace. For the first time since I met Lydia, I slept soundly believing she was at long last going home where she belonged.

 I did not know that well over a thousand miles away a woman named Karin Nikischer was restless and concerned. I had no way of knowing she was not sleeping and, as I would later learn, was seeing  Lydia's face when she tried to close her eyes.

Around 6 AM Saturday morning my phone rang and woke me from a very peaceful sleep. I could hear Lydia's new "mom" on the other end of the phone but could not make out what she was saying. It took a moment for me to realize she was crying uncontrollably. I finally heard the words: "WE LOST HER."
Lydia, at some point in the healing process she experienced over the past month while under the vet's care and Karin's constant presence in her life, this scared little dog had gained a bit of confidence. We have the pictures to prove when her new mom and dad walked her that morning before leaving for a 12 hour trip, Lydia walked upright and proud for the first time ever. I have my suspicions as to what had given her courage after the events that unfolded over the next three and one half weeks, but Lydia showed no fear in the pictures I saw.
However, what happened next stunned everyone, except maybe the woman who had spent a sleepless night in Canada. However, what Lydia, as explained by her "new mom" did not want to get into the vehicle to leave. When she and her husband lifted her to put her in, this once scared little girl took her paws, put them behind her head and took first a collar off, and then removed a harness that I had been sure would be secure for a little dog that I had never seen stand erect. It took only a few seconds and she was darting away - not crawling - but fully erect with her tail in the air for the first time ever. She found the closest wooded area and ran in. The woods happened to be behind a mall in this town that was about 40 minutes from my home.
That morning the search for Lydia began. We had sightings, but fleeting ones. We could see signs where she had been ... tracks, the place she had slept the night before, the place she had gone to the bathroom - our food was disappearing. And on one occasion we walked directly into her. It shocked everyone so badly our reaction was far too slow. Lydia stopped, and I believe at that moment she was starting to come to me - someone she knew - but there was a stranger beside me and as quickly as she had stopped in her tracks, she turned heel and ran back into the woods. We knew there was an underground drainage system in the area and that Lydia was using this system, but had no clue where to look.
Then I heard from Karin, we talked for hours on that first night. She told me things that she could not possibly have known, and yet she did. She described the area where Lydia was to me and I sat open-mouthed. She sent me a map to follow and told me she would help me to find our scared little girl. She also told me that Lydia would be coming home to me. She said it would not be the first week and we would need to be patient.

Oh my, Patience is not my strong point, but I listened since
I absolutely trusted what Karin was saying. She had been right on far too many things for me to ignore this. We purchased a trap for $300 and set it up for Lydia where Karin told us to. Animal Control, shocked that a woman was calling them from Ontario about a dog also took notice and placed a trap where she told them to. Night after long night I would sit and wait for Lydia to enter our traps. Some nights I had company - another of our rescue members - but since she has children, I would also go alone. I slept in a sleeping bag, hiding my van because I knew vehicles frightened Lydia. I would have to return home during the day to handle my part of the Rescue. Dogs were not getting transported and commitments were being put on hold. We were covering boarding fees for some animals because we had to find Lydia. During the day, animal control and the police department would stay near the area and try to keep strangers away. They had been told Lydia was terrified of people she did not know.
Now ... the most frustrating part through all of these long nights was I could not talk to Karin on the phone. Karin was using something called Map Dowsing to locate Lydia and I needed to know what she  was seeing. But the MS prevents me from being able to feel the phone on vibrate, and because of my diminished hearing, the phone has to be loud for me to hear it. The sound of the phone would frighten Lydia away and we could not text between North Caroline, USA and Ontario, Canada. So Karin and I would talk before I would leave and I would travel with my map she had sent. A good friend and another member of our rescue named "Kat" would talk to Karin on the phone and send me the text message. It was not the perfect plan, but it was what we had to work with. And there were times it was very frustrating - especially on the day I realized I was reading the map wrong.

Then I got an idea I should have had in the beginning. I remembered one of the maps you can pull up online will actually give you a satellite view of the area.
So after about a week of total frustration with Karin threatening to get in her vehicle and drive to Lydia (and I have no doubt she would have done it), I sent her a link that would shock even her I believe.
Now I had been shocked the week before when this woman, who could not possibly know the area since it was over a thousand miles away, had given me a very detailed description of the area where Lydia was. And I had been shocked when we had a tracker come to try and help locate Lydia. Karin had told me that Lydia was staying in a five mile radius. Our tracker had a small hand-held device that would measure the distance we walked. As he tracked and we walked the area where she was suspected to be, we finally had come full circle. We looked at his device and saw we had been exactly 4.98 miles. I sighed and smiled. It is not easy to realize the distance involved in a radius for me. But seeing it there on the machine made Karin's work all the more real for me. I think the largest shock was when she described a structure that is not listed on any map and something I still have not told her about. She will learn of it for the first time when she reads this.

This area used to be all farmland. In the last few years, the state has made it a tree farm. But about a mile down the road from the edge of our five mile radius where Lydia was lost is this open field with a very small horse stable in the middle of it. I had lived in this area for over 20 years before moving to our present home and Jerry had lived in the area his entire life, but neither of us were aware of the stable. I have no idea how long it has been there. It becomes important to this story for one reason. At the end of the first week, on the second Saturday when I left for the search and planned to stay all day and night if need be, about midway through the afternoon there was a very large commotion "down the road" from the area. There were police cars and ambulances. I knew immediately the noise would push Lydia into hiding.

I called Karin to tell her that I had come home for a bit and she described a structure. She was not making a lot of sense to me at that time, but I tried harder to understand what she was talking about. I searched my memory banks for a structure like the one she was describing and I attempted to tell her that what she was saying was absolutely not there, since the area she was talking about, I THOUGHT was all office buildings and tree farm. The tree farm begins just on the other side of the office buildings, but I had not even told her about the tree farm, yet she was telling me about it. Finally, I told her I would look for the structure. She told me not to worry about that because Lydia was not there, but there was something about that structure so maybe I should look for it because it could be that Lydia was finding it at times and using it as shelter. I could tell Karin was not overly concerned with the structure, but it had plagued her at some point or she would not have told me about it.

The next day I knew exactly what she was talking about.
I bought a local newspaper and was shocked to see the road where I was searching for Lydia named in the paper. A bit down that road from us, a woman had been trampled to death by a horse the day before ... the noise and sirens I had heard the day before. I do not know if Lydia had been to the area and seen it, or if Karin was just so focused in on that area that she picked up on it. When I talked to Karin I started to tell her, but all I managed to get out was that I had found the structure she was talking about. Karin told me not to worry about that, and began telling me what I needed to do for the night. She would tell me where to leave food for Lydia and how to use Rescue Remedy to help this scared little dog who needed to come home.

When I managed to recall the Bird's Eye view and sent the link to Karin, she began telling me where Lydia was immediately. And I will never forget what I said:


When she could not get through to me, and when I was almost so tired I would have missed Lydia had I seen her most likely, Karin spoke to my husband
. At that point I was discouraged because there had not been a sighting for several days. I was concerned. NO, to be totally honest, I was scared. After Jerry talked to Karin he road with me to the area where I had spent so many long nights. There were several mornings when I needed to leave that I had to stay a little longer because the MS was acting up and I could not do anything but lie very still until the spasms stopped. But determination and love are very strong motivators. I am sure Karin can speak to that because I have no doubt whatsoever that she fell totally in love with this little dog that she saw night after lonely night. And Lydia was lonely.

She would not enter our traps because she had seen cats get trapped in them. To make matters worse, strangers had been arriving during the hours we were changing clothes and eating. And now there had not been a sighting in a few days. So I was very afraid.
But Karin spoke to Jerry and we drove together to the place Karin had told him to go. It was a street called Trinity Drive and it was across the road from the original area. Right at the edge of Trinity Drive, even though this is a housing development, there was a small stretch of woods. At one end was a house facing the main road. And almost behind that house was an empty house with a fenced in back yard. The family had only recently moved out. I got out of the van and walked behind the house and there, in the fresh mud (it had rained the night before) were a dog's paw prints. They looked to be the size of Lydia's and this area has a leash law. So it had to be a stray making the prints ... or a very scared, lonely and hungry little Pit Bull named Lydia.

I was excited. I heard a bell tinkle and saw a white cat dart past me. As the cat ran for her home, the house that was facing the main road, a woman came out the back door. I asked her if she had seen a dog in the area that she did not know, she told me she had, and that she had seen our posters and planned to call me. "She had seen Lydia that day".

I talked to her a little longer. She told me if she saw her again, and if Lydia would go inside the fence that belonged to the now empty house, she would close the gate and call me.
It had been a little over three weeks but seemed more like three years. I went to the van and told Jerry. We decided to set the crate that Lydia knew and that had our scent on it inside that fence where we wanted Lydia to go. I put a bowl of food and water in the crate and laced the food with some Rescue Remedy. The next day we returned to find the food was not eaten and my heart sank to a new depth.

But we replaced the food and water with fresh and left. The next afternoon I received a call from the neighbour. She told me the dog she had seen in the neighbourhood had entered the fence next door and she had closed it. She also said she had gotten a good look at the dog and she looked like Lydia.

She was in that fence and I was determined to at least get a picture of her for all of her friends on Face Book.
I am not sure how fast we drove to get there, but I am sure had a police officer been anywhere within range of us we would have gotten a ticket. We arrived at the vacant house and I ran to the backyard and the fenced in area. Jerry was beside me and I honestly believed we both moved faster than we thought we were capable. We went inside the fence and closed the gate behind us. No mistakes at this point. We started in the same corner of the yard and walked in separate directions looking for the little girl who had stolen our hearts and then ran off with them. Neither of us saw her anywhere. I walked toward the crate that was sitting near the deck of the house. Jerry began to walk in that direction too and I believe I already knew. I took my camera from my pocket and turned it on.

I peered into the crate and there was Lydia!!! The Rescue Remedy had made her very sleepy and she actually appeared drunk.

I smiled as I posted the picture that night and wrote in the note that
"YES WE HAD DRUGGED HER FOOD". There was no denying the very sleepy girl in that crate was our" Lydia".

There have been a lot of details to work out and a lot of budgeting after so much money spent during that 3 and 1/2 weeks. I was not online often enough to ask for help and donations and they do not seem to come in unless I ask for help. So we cleaned our checking accounts out - both the personal and the rescue ...
but Lydia is home. Or she is almost home. On the day when Lydia can walk past a human being and not think they may do her harm; on the day when a human hand can touch her and she does not cringe a little; on the day when the wonderful memories make those horrible years of abuse fade into the background ... then Lydia will be home -

Karin, I can never tell you exactly what your actions and the time, heart and love you put into this mean to me.

NEVER in all the times I spoke with Karin did she mention payment. Instead, even though I know the time it took to do what she did both

 day and night, she donated to our rescue so we could keep looking for Lydia.

She also asked others to" put their money where their mouths" were and do the same.

She would call when she was concerned send a new map by email,
and kept sending distant healing to keep Lydia's energy level in balance. She never gave up.

Because of this, Lydia is safe today. And Lydia is as much Karin's dog as she is ours.

I know Lydia will forever be in Karin's heart -

and Karin lives there in Lydia's as well...

Rescue is in the trenches, where honesty lives...

~Beth McDuffie~

~Eagle's Den Animal Haven & Rescue, Inc~


Not in the minds of men, where opinions lie.