Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{Goodbye, Lily}

Hey, y'all.  I haven't posted in over a week, and there's a good reason for that.  I've been really sad because my husband and I had to have our beloved dog Lily put down Friday night.  My blog is normally about crafting and revamping furniture, so if you don't want to read this, it's okay.  I just really need to write this...  
My husband and I have been absolutely heartbroken for days now.  If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that we haven't been able to have children.  (You can read all about that {HERE} and {HERE}.)  Because of that, Lily was our baby.  She was such a blessing to us.  We babied her, and she acted like a child from all the love and affection we gave her. 
About three months ago, she was diagnosed with nasal cancer.  We were devastated.  When the vet told my husband that Lily could have only days to weeks to live, he refused to give up without a fight.  Chemo and radiation aren't all that helpful for most dogs, so my husband researched any way possible that we could give Lily a fighting chance.  He found a blog that talked about treating dogs with cancer holistically.  My husband started cooking Lily two meals a day, and he ordered many, many herbs and supplements to give her.  I really admire the way he was so dedicated to our little baby.  
This and a whole lot of prayer seemed to be working well until two weeks ago when Lily started bleeding from her nose.  (This is how we first realized something was wrong with her, but she had only had a few very brief bleeds since being on her new diet.)  
Last Monday, my sister and mom and dad came over to my house to celebrate my birthday.  Lily was SO EXCITED to see them because she just genuinely loved people--especially "her" people.  She played and loved on everyone, but then all of a sudden, she had a seizure.  That night, my husband and I stayed up all night with her.  She had another seizure during the night.  After that, we had brief periods where we thought she might rebound, but we finally realized Friday that she was progressively getting worse.  She was acting nothing like herself, and the vet assured my husband that it was only going to get worse, and it was time to let her go.  That decision was so tough.  A vet tech came over so that Lily could be put down at home.  I rubbed her back as she slowly slipped from this life into the next.
I just can't believe that she's gone.  We had her for 6 1/2 years.  There's a great story that goes along with how we got her, and my husband really said it best in a post on his Facebook page.  It's the "Story of Lily":
Some people who've never had a pet who was much more than a just a pet might not even understand how someone could be devastated over the loss of an animal, but Lily was special. She filled a void that Bethany and I've had because we haven't been blessed with kids yet. She was a gift from God, and I told Him when He healed her, I'd give Him the glory. Well, it didn't happen so today I'm going to give Him the glory for putting Lily in our lives...
Bethany and I were married a little over 8 years ago. I always told her that I wanted a golden when we got married, and she surprised me with one right after my birthday in 2005. We drove to a nearby town, picked her out, brought her home, and named her Rosie. She was a great dog. A year and a half went by, and one day she escaped my back yard and was hit by a car. We came home to find notes from my neighbor taped to my door that chronicled the day's events. My neighbor wound up helping another neighbor load Rosie up and take her to the vet after rescuing her from beside the road. The next day I would go to the vet's office to see her one last time and give the ok for her to be put out of her misery. I was devastated. Rosie was MY dog, and she was gone. I cried for weeks everyday. I told everyone I'd never have another dog, but I prayed secretly that if I ever had another, she would be just like Rosie. 
     Approximately 6 weeks later, on Christmas Eve night, I would go back on what I said. I was at my in-laws' house. They saw how broken I was over Rosie, and they said you need another pup. I told them repeatedly that I wasn't ready, but after much urging, I looked in the local paper they gave me for an ad for golden retriever puppies they said was in that week's edition. It wasn't there because they had given me a two week old edition. I told them this and was just going to toss it aside when I flipped to the back page and there was an ad for golden puppies in a town about 25 miles away. I reluctantly called the number and spoke to a guy who said, "I'm sorry, but they are all promised out." I told him I really wasn't ready anyway because I had just lost one a couple months ago. He then asked me for my phone number, and said, "Let me talk to my wife...I'll call you back." I didn't think much of it, and said, "Ok." He calls back and said, "I spoke to my wife, and we have two person backed out today. Come on over and pick one out." I asked him was he sure he wanted me to come over right then because it was Christmas Eve night. He said, "I am usually very particular about who I sell my dogs to, but I have a good feeling about you." He asked me who I got my first golden from and when, and I told him. He said, "You're not going to believe this, but your Rosie is my dog's sister." Obviously, at that point, I had no choice. We drove 30 mins, spent time with this guy, his wife, their two small children, and all of his goldens on Christmas Eve for over an hour. This one puppy never got distracted and kept coming back to me when all of the others had better things to do, and I brought her home. I named her Lily, and yes, she was Rosie's niece. She was actually born on November 14, which was the same day Rosie died. I tell people this story all the time and they get chills and tear up, and this story means much more to me now than it ever has. 
Lily was OUR dog. Bethany saw how grieved I was over Rosie, and decided she would become more involved with Lily. Things were much different. Lily NEVER slept outside. She slept with us in the bed until she was just too big to. (Well, Bethany left for a getaway one weekend a couple years ago, and I invited Lily back up on the bed. She gladly accepted. Don't tell Bethany.) 
We bought a new chair a couple years ago. Lily claimed it, and we were happy to let her. This was Lily's house. She has a toy box full of "babies." She knew most by name. I'd say, "Take piggy to mommy, Lil." She would gently pick piggy from her box or the floor and take her to see Bethany. We treated her like she was our child because she was. She woke us up every morning by "chirping" and beating her tail against the bed, and she wouldn't go to bed at night until I prompted her, "Com'on, Lil, time for bed." Yes, this has shattered our world. Lily was special. My neighbor, who was especially fond of her, told us how terribly she cried for us when we left her for a while. One of the most difficult things for me was having to go tell him the news of her nasal cancer (three months ago) until I had to go tell him of her passing yesterday. He had been giving her grain free treats because I gave him some because he liked to give her snacks, and I was treating Lily with a holistic diet. He was happy to try to help, and he was devastated when I delivered the news Friday. He said, "I've been around and had a lot of dogs in my life, and I've never seen a sweeter, more compassionate dog than Lily. She loved people." That's the kind of dog she was. My in-laws were here for support when we said goodbye Friday. They loved her like we did, and cried when she was we did. I'd give anything to see her one more time, and I'm so sorry this happened to her. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything to change it. But I'm not sorry we got her. I'd still choose her if I had to do it all over again because, well... it was meant to be.
Both my husband and I are sad, and, to be honest, our house feels a little empty.  There are so many little things that Lily did that brought us joy, and we're definitely missing each and every one of them.  I know the hurt will heal, and more than likely we will get another dog one day because we're just dog people.  But one thing is for sure, there will never be another Lily.


  1. Bethany, I'm so sorry to hear about Lily! She was such a sweet part of your life and will always have a place in your hearts. Thinking about you!

  2. I have never left a comment on your blog before. Normally I scroll and bookmark your pretty things in my Reader then carry on. But I had to stop and read this, and then reach out with a comment after reading of your heartbreaking news.

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how you are feeling. I lost one of my girl cats last year, 11 months ago now, and like you she was my baby, my little girl, and I loved her so very much. Her sudden passing completely broke my heart and for weeks, months, I felt like I couldn't go on. But time did lessen the pain, and I was able to devote time to healing myself and my remaining cat family. I still miss my little girl every day. But I just wanted to say, I understand, I know how you feel, and I hope you will draw strength to carry on. Lily would not want you to be sad. And she was so lucky to be loved and cared for by such wonderful parents. Remember that you made her life happy.

  3. This brought tears to my so sorry for your loss!

    My lil Bichon, Cashew, and I send lots of hugs your way. :)

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and completely understand the devastation. When my beloved pug, Jake, suddenly developed seizures one morning and by noon I had to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge, it nearly killed me. Furbabies are so special. I can't imagine my life without them. My heart goes out to both of you.

  5. I'm so sorry, Bethany! Your post made me cry like a beautifully written. What a gift.

  6. So, so sorry for your loss! Great pictures to cherish always!

  7. I know how much sweet Lily meant to you, and I'm thankful that you have allowed me to be involved through prayer through all of this. She is so much more than just a dog. I'm in tears right now - just breaks my heart to know the hurt you feel.

    I love you so much honey - and will continue to pray for you and Chad. This, too, shall pass, right? But you'll forever be blessed by sweet memories of Lily.


  8. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know that pain and emptiness, and how devastating it is to lose a member of your family. Lily was beautiful - inside and out.

  9. Dear Bethany,
    I'm so sorry to hear about Lily. My heart breaks for you & your husband. Sending hugs...

  10. Oh, my, Bethany. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Lily. We have a Lili Mae (deaf white Persian) and I would be heart broken to miss her. She is 3 today. I remember when our neighbors lost their 2 year old Golden to cancer. It was awful. But at the time I had a farm where folks dumped their kitties ( we were in a tourist/summer folk area) and I rescued babies as small as 2 oz. I had never lost a baby until I moved to the farm and it soon became a regular but always devastating event. Now we have 2 doggies (both rescued) as well as Lili and I cannot imagine being without them. It would be like losing a child. You will always have your wonderful memories. Blessings, Nancy

  11. As soon as I read your dog had died and looked at her pictures I start bawling. I so know how you feel. We had a cocker spaniel from time she was 4 months old to over 14 yrs. She was a black cocker, what a personality like your Rosie and Lily.
    It is so terribly hard, they are our children, we love them as strongly as we do a child. We have 4 kids but now that they're all involved in their lives we don't see them or hear from them much, our furry kidz are our life. We joke that we couldn't ever get divorced as we'd have to fight over custody of our dog and cat.
    Our cocker got some kind of immune deficiency and almost died several times. Then she'd be ok for awhile til the next time. She had bleeding thru her nose and other places before we had to put her down. Our Vet didn't charge us to put her down as I guess he saw how devastated we were. That was one of worst days of our lives.
    Bless your hearts we really do understand. It's awful. They are such a huge part of our lives. It was several months before I was ready for another dog. We have a black lab/border collie now who is 4yrs. old last Nov. We got him at a 1 yr. old. He is so precious to us, smart, affectionate, loving, well behaved. We got him thru an adoption day at PetSmart. He wasn't what we went looking for but he's what we came home with. So many people have asked us if we were crazy, we're older (71 and 72)why would we want such a big dog. I think he picked us. We love him to bits along with our 10yr.old or so cat that adopted us in KY. He showed up at our house one day, didn't seem to want to leave so we kept him. Since I'm crazy about orange striped kitties that was ok.
    One thing I did after our Cocker died was get her pictures and write about what we did with her, her personality, experiences we had with her. It seemed to help to revisit the memories. I cried alot for several weeks but then I'd write about her again. So many wonderful memories of her in our lives. Maybe this could help you both also. I still miss her so much but our Tommy helps with that ache. He is such a wonderful addition to our lives. Take it one day at a time. Heart felt sympathy.

  12. We lost our dog of 10 years this year. We got her from the pound together when we were just dating so I know how you feel and am praying for you. Ive been off fb for a few weeks but I get your emails HUGS jay bee

  13. Bethany, my heart is breaking for you and your husband. I will be praying that the pain eases a little each day for all of you. We have a 13 month old blue heeler and while she drives me crazy at times, I would be devastated if she wasn't here to greet me everyday. Thank you so much for sharing your story of Lily (and Rosie). Hopefully this will help you with your grieving process. Kim

  14. Dear Sweet Bethany,

    I just had to write to say I keeping you and Chad close in my heart and prayers right now. I have lost pets who were truly my children and my family, and the pain is incredible. Nothing I can say will lessen that, but please know that many people understand and care, as you can see from the comments.

    I truly believe that Lily will send you another pup to love when the time is right, just as Rosie did with Lily. I currently have a cat who I k ow was sent by my a former cat I had and lost whom I loved dearly. I am going through a very difficult time right now, and he is the bright spot in my days, just as your Lily was in yours.

    I know someone else mentioned this, but I think it bears repeating, you have Lily a wonderful home and so much love, and she knows she was just as lucky to have you for parents as you were to have her.

    Hugs and prayers,

  15. Hugs and Prayers of comfort for you and your husband. I am so thankful that she had the 2 of you to take care of her over the past 6.5 yrs. Please remember the good times, and keep a spot in your heart next to Rosie for Lily. <3

  16. I am so sorry for your loss Bethany! Dogs can truly become a member of our families. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  17. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I know how much a companion like your Lily can mean. Our Riley is 12 this year with many health issues his whole life. And I can not imagine life without him. I pray that your memories of Lily and the loving home you provided for her will help you through this sad and lonely time.

    "dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole"

  18. I do totally understand, as do so many others. I am praying for you.

  19. My prayers to you and your husband. Trust and believe that our furbabies have a special place in heaven. xo Jess

  20. Bethany, Im so terribly sorry for you and your husband. Ive been in your situation a few too many times. and I know that heart break all too well. Lilly was definitely a special gift for you two. I love your husbands story about how she came to be and was related to Rosie.. thats awesome.
    Hang in there. I think we get to see them again someday! At least thats what Im counting on.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. I don't care what anyone says... pets are family... dogs are the ONE TRUE SOURCE of unconditional love we humans will ever be able to experience. I'm so thankful that your beloved fur-baby was able to spend time on earth here with such amazing people who will love her forever. They do so much more for us than we will ever be able to do for them....

    I had to put down my two Bostons within six weeks of one another due to cancer... it isn't easy...but it does get easier. I still have a memory book I made for my little girl but I can't get through the journaling without breaking into tears...and it has been years... so it sits... unfinished on the shelf.

    When it is time...and you'll known when... I hope you are able to rescue another four-legged child... to give you EACH a second chance at love.

  22. I am so sorry for your loss, Bethany. I literally cannot fathom what I would do if Bonnie got taken away from me like that. I hope your hearts are able to heal and I believe that God will send another baby your way to help the process! Bonnie and I are sending love to your family.

  23. Aw Bethany I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. Hugs and healing sent to you xxx Nat

  24. Oh Bethany, I'm bawling like a baby! I'm so sorry for your loss! I have children and I love my dog like one of my kids. No there will never be another Lilly, but there is another dog out there that needs you and your husband as much as you need her. We had to put our dog Roscoe down two years ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I guess I have had a pretty easy life without much tragedy. We had Roscoe before we had kids and she was our baby. I cried every day for a month after Roscoe died and it was slow process before I started to feel better. I waited three months to get another dog and it was way too long. We still miss Roscoe, but our new dog Piper has filled our hearts with so much love. You will know when the time is right.

  25. Oh, your poor baby girl! I'm so sorry you had to lose your precious dog like that, she truly sounds like and amazing pup. I can totally understand how a dog becomes a member of the family if you let them. This story almost made me cry, I guess I'll quickly go and give my pup Coca a big hug!
    I'm sure Lily will always have a place in your heart, and she couldn't have had a nicer family to call her own! :-)

  26. I am so sorry, Bethany. I know you and your husband are bereft with missing your beautiful Lily. We rescued our black lab mix, Stella, almost 3 years ago. She is my (our) baby. She brings laughter and love to our family every day. I will be praying for your broken hearts to heal.


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