Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Goodbye Tilly, It Was a Pleasure Knowing You

I didn't know her for long but there was something endearing about her. Maybe it was the way she wagged her tail even though she had weak legs and her kidneys were failing. Maybe it was the look on her face, always the same, but always looking at you. Maybe it was because she was an old girl and needed my help. Maybe it was because she asked very little of me, just some help getting up from the floor or up the steps. Maybe it was just because she was one of those dogs that you can't help but be drawn to.

Whenever I would help her I couldn't not hold her close to me and give her a kiss on the head and a bit of a squeeze, that's the kind of girl she was, you would have had to do it, too, because you wouldn't have been able to help yourself.

Tilly was funny showing her bossy side to the other dogs, she was funny when she'd hop to go after a ball, or chase one of the dogs. She was funny (and not in a ha ha way) because although she may have been feeling internal pain, hunger from not eating and feeling discomfort in her legs, she had a spirit for life.

I brought Isaac in to the vet for his neuter appointment and I asked if someone could explain exactly what was going on with Tilly's kidneys when I went back to pick him up, because she was barely eating. She showed signs of wanting to eat but when food was presented to her she turn meat, to chocolate, to ice you know something is not right when a dog refuses chocolate.

I was told to bring Tilly with me when I returned for Isaac. It had briefly crossed my mind that Tilly wouldn't be with me much longer, how could she be if she wasn't eating...I figured next week I'd have to bring her in for euthanization, her desire to be in life veiled the reality of her body.

I met with the vet and we talked about what's been going on with Tilly. Tilly stood there, listening, being a good girl that she was. I was told that she had lost 3+ pounds since her visit about 10 days prior, that her kidney situation was extensive that temporary relief could be brought with SubQ fluids but that it would be temporary. I knew there would be no miracles for her, she was old, her body was breaking down. But I hadn't planned on what was decided. The vet looked at me and said, "it is her time." As the vet left the room I looked at Tilly and spoke to her and she wagged that little white stub of a tail. THAT will kill ya. I picked her up and held her close, kissed her and told her how happy I was to have met her and what a good girl she was. I told her she would be going to a place where she'd be able to run free of pain. The vet came back, we made her comfortable and as I told her over and again what a good girl she was, she was injected and slowly fell into peace.

Afterward, I still had to get the boy. As I went into the waiting room, I could see the knowing of what just happened because my face is red, eyes squinty and no dog with me, the look on the client's faces told me so much and the staff voiced their condolences. Tilly saw them briefly two times for weight measure, but they felt her magic, too, I think.

When R. got home and started to remove his boots, I stopped him and said, "before taking off your boots, could you dig a hole in the back yard?" He gave me a questioning look...I said, "Tilly was put down today" he said, "I didn't know," I said, "yeah, I didn't either, it wasn't planned." So in the dark, he dug a hole as I held a flashlight. I gently laid Tilly's wrapped body in the dirt and said goodbye.


  1. Poor Tilly :(
    It's Hell getting old.
    This is so sad to read but Thank God she was with someone who cared about HER and held and comforted her as she was released from her suffering. Thank you for putting her needs first and not prolonging the pain she must have experienced from her kidney situation.
    This rescue stuff is not easy on the heart sometimes.
    XOXO - Cindi

  2. My sympathy and regards, Tilly clearly had a good and strong friend to be with her through to the end. It is such an awesome responsibly for being a kind steward over these little lives who touch us in such a big way, it's not a path in life everyone is cut out for. It is clear from your efforts Tilly was able to live, pass, and be remembered in a way which is respectful of her life, which, clearly had meaning in this sometimes hard to comprehend world. Thank you for your work.
    John Painter

  3. Oh Denise... My heart is breaking for you. Its so hard to do the right thing. I think her tail wagging was her way of thanking you for letting her go while in your care. I think she knew a lovely soul when she arrived and decided that she wanted to spend her last days with you, lucky girl. You really inspire me. Thank you for sharing :)

  4. I'm so sorry :O( I lost Bernard a couple of weeks ago, so I feel your pain. X

  5. Thank you all for your kind words, they mean a lot....

    ...I am just an ordinary girl trying to make the right decisions for these four-pawed beings that are in my care.

  6. You honor Tilly and give her dignity by depicting all her special qualities. t was great that you knew when you had to let go...


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