Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lilly Girl

It has taken me two weeks to be able to get on here and write.
To share that we lost our sweet Lilly girl on June 21st. We are so heartbroken, and we miss her so much!

Wes and I got Lilly when we lived in Chicago. We drove several hours to the breeder and picked her up - the last smooth fox terrier in her litter. I'll never forget how she came prancing through the door with a little pink ribbon around her neck. She was 6 months old. We were in love, and boy we didn't know what we were in for with her! :)

Lilly had anxiety issues from the beginning.
When we tried to crate her, she would bark and scratch her way out until she hurt herself. She always had "potty" issues, even when we hired a dog walker to check in on her while we were at work. 
We tried meds, behaviorists, training classes, etc. It was an "it is what it is" situation with her. We just dealt with it as best we could. Wes and I have always felt we were meant to be her doggy parents as a lot of people probably wouldn't have put up with it. ha ha

Lilly was such a firecracker when she was younger. LOVED to play frisbee, go on long walks and loved chasing the water hose. We had several nicknames for her including Lills, Lou Lou, and Lillpots.
In 2006, when I was in grad school at Marian, I woke up and Lilly looked different. I soon figured out that she had had a seizure of some sort. Long story short, she spent several weeks at Purdue University and through a series of tests, she was diagnosed with GME. Our vet, along with the specialists at Purdue, had never heard of this. Wes and I spent a lot of time online researching the condition and found a yahoo group who directed us to a vet in Boston who specialized in GME. We had Lilly on a cocktail of drugs, including chemotherapy injections for a full year. She went into remission. We almost lost her twice while she was at Purdue, and one night had even said our goodbyes to her as we left. She was such a brave little girl, what a fighter.

We didn't know how long we would have with her after all that. 6 weeks? 6 months? Well, we got 6 YEARS. And we are so grateful.

Lilly was always AWESOME with Chase from the beginning. They became buds quickly. Chase loved to let her out and give her treats! 
 and sometimes snuggle with her. Doesn't she look thrilled?!

Lilly started to have a cough about a year ago and we had some things tested and nothing major came up. About 3 weeks ago, right after our visit to Chicago to see out new nephew Luke, Lilly started to become more lathargic. And then she wouldn't eat. We knew things didn't look good. We took her to the vet on Wednesday for bloodwork.

We prayed that our God would give us a clear sign on what to do. Our prayer was that the bloodwork would come back showing something.
Thursday morning we learned she was in kidney failure.
We made the hardest decision to say goodbye that afternoon. We just didn't want her to get worse, or suffer at all.

That day haunts me, two weeks later. Wes and I stayed with Lilly until the very end. I felt like I owed it to her after everything we had been through with her. I never wanted someone else holding her at that moment - we wanted her to feel loved until the end.

She is so missed. It has been hard answering Chase's questions. We share what we can, and keep it simple. Still, my heart breaks when he asks where Lilly is, or when can we go to heaven to see her? It's hard. I want to protect his heart so much. Grief is so hard.

We are slowly getting used to Lilly not being around. The first few nights were hard, not having her in our bed, not having to get right up in the morning to let her out. I find myself forming her name on my lips when I drop food while cooking, only to realize she isn't there to eat it.
It is going to take some time.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us, or sent us a means so so much to us.
She was like family.
We will always remember and cherish our 12 years with our sweet Lilly girl.


The Roberts said...

Erin, we're so sorry to hear about Lilly. I know how much you all loved her. We're thinking and praying for you all.

The Beckers said...

Oh sweet Lilly! So sorry for your loss, Erin! Our pups are such important members of our families! We are thinking of you guys!

Melissa said...

Erin, your post made me cry. Such a beautiful tribute to your Lilly. Just love that picture of Chase looking out the window when Lilly is in the snow. I think you are absolutely right about Lilly getting the perfect parents....not many would have done for her what you did. She was a very lucky dog indeed.

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