Friday, September 15, 2006
My obituary for Lily
Well, Matt and I went to wish Lily a final farewell. She was put down just after 1:00 today. It was amazingly, incredibly sad. I wondered how I would have the strength to get through it. I guess you just do.
Lily was born on April Fool's Day in 1996. She was officially named CoZe's Primera Lily de Agua, Lily for short. My mom had fallen in love with Portuguese Water Dogs after visiting Lily's mother, and decided to take Lily home. Early in life she had three litters of puppies. The first was perfectly normal, lots of sweet, healthy puppies. The second two litters were delivered by c-section, not many puppies lived, and there were some complications. She also was a show dog. I don't remember all the titles, but she won many awards. She also was a therapy dog, and was trained to visit folks, young and old, and provide companionship.
Lily loved playing frisbee. My parents have a huge yard at their home in Wisconsin and Lily spent alot of time playing frisbee, especially with my dad. Just after her seventh birthday, Lily flew on an airplane out to live with me in Seattle. I had been dying to get a dog, and Lily wasn't getting along with another female dog my mom had, so I was incredibly excited to become her new care taker. We did just about everything together. Went to dog parks, went on lots of walks, visited friends. She loved to swim. I bought her a toy for her to fetch in the water and we went at least once a week to the lake for her to swim. Lily was the single light of my life, at least until Iris was born. Then she graciously shared the attention, and the bed, with a new baby. Lily was always gentle and careful of the baby. Never once acting aggressive towards her. She tolerated all of Iris's stages of baby and toddler-hood with grace, letting her hair and tail be pulled without so much as a yelp. Lily was very fond of sitting right under your feet and tripping you up, lying right outside the tub as you showered, positioning herself underneath the table as you ate dinner, and sleeping on the bed. She pretty much ignored Benjamin (our cat) but loved to chase other cats. She also loved to steal "treats" from the cat litter box :) Some of her favorite treats were popcorn, apples and carrots, especially the popcorn. Matt used to make popcorn almost every night and he and Lily would sit and snack together. We also had some silly nicknames for Lily. I don't remember how she got some of them. Lily Lillerson was a favorite, which stemmed in to "Lily Lillerson of the Fremont Lillerson's" because I lived in a neighborhood called Fremont when she came to live with me. We also called her Lily Butters, which was often shortened in to just Butters. Not sure why, but it was a term of endearment that stuck.
My last great memory of Lily was at Eloise's birth. I must admit I don't personally remember much from this, but rather my memories are pieced together from everyone telling me how Lily stood guard through the labor and delivery, positioning herself closely and sitting patiently. My midwife thought she was just the sweetest dog.
I am going to miss her a great, great deal. As the days go on I am sure some of the grieving will get easier, as some of it will get a bit harder. She is still all over our home, her toys are laying out, her bowls are still on the floor in the kitchen, her kennel is still set up in the living room. It might be a very long time before I can bring myself to put them all away. She loved and protected us and was a friend to everyone who met her. When out in public people used to stop us all of the time to talk to us about her, often wondering what kind of dog she was.
Lily's body was donated to an autopsy program whose mission is to help better the lives of portuguese water dogs by determining their causes of death. It feels good knowing that her life will benefit countless dogs in the future. Her body is going to be cremated and her ashes will be spread at some of her favorite places.
My sweet, sweet Lily. I love you dearly. I am sure you will live eternally, happily swimming your days away.