Today I lost one of my best friends, not human, but no less important. Lily has been by my side for nearly 9 years and I am so thankful that she was with me.
I knew as soon as I saw pictures of her litter That one of those pups was mine… of course puppies are cute and a lot of people, myself included could say that about nearly every litter. But we knew this litter’s human mama and the stock she came from and the timing was right. What more could 2 broke newly weds want/need that a puppy? When she was 5 weeks old we got to met our Lily girl. She was perfect. Just enough attitude and more love than we could ask. A few weeks later she was home and I came down with an awful bronchial infection that kept me on the couch for 2 weeks and gave Lily and I ample time to bond.
As she grew, her fetch addiction became clear. She not only played with balls of any size and color, but apples, pumpkins, tomatoes, pears, pine cones, and kids toys. if you threw something for her, you were instantly a friend for life. One of her favorite people other that Ian and I was my Dad, who we affectionately refer to as “The Man Who Will Throw the Ball.” Any time whether at our house or theirs, Dad made time to throw the ball for Lily, so she was always super excited to spend time with him.
But Lily was much deeper than just a dog with a ball, during our time working at Schrom Boy’s Home, she was a therapy dog. She was never trained or tested, but she spent hours with those boys while they worked out frustrations, divulged secrets and learned about life, Lily was there offering love and support however she could. She loved every minute of it, which was not a job for just any dog to live with the change and stress. I still remember her “the Dogtor is in” look she had with the boys.
I think Lily struggled a bit when we brought John home. While she had seen a few other dogs come and go, but I think she understood John was here for the long haul and would take a lot of time and attention from her. She was a good girl and the transition to having to share her closest human full time with a small, loud human that clearly came first almost all the time was tough. Lily did enjoy when John got big enough to spill food though and they developed their own fetch friendship over the years.
Remembering all this reminds me of the wonderful life Lily had and how blessed I was that I got to experience it with her. She was with me for every up and down in my life for nearly 9 years, even though I have a lot of people in my corner, she knew just as much about me as all of them. I relied on her to lay with me when I needed to cry and to jump up and dance or play with me with I was happy. Lily pushed me to be a better person, but loved me just as I was. Who could ask for a better best friend?
Memory eternal, Ol’ Girl.