Friday, June 2, 2017

Loosing Hurts

Today I had to put my sweet Lilly to sleep.

Lilly was actually a dog who came to me 3 1/2 years ago after being re-homed several times by various well meaning people, all whom should have never owned a Border Collie.  Luckily, Lilly ended up in a breed rescue, where I adopted her after she was returned by a previous owner.  Unbeknownst to myself and the rescue, Lilly had a bite history with several bites that the owner who turned her back in did not make known, and by the time I had Lilly in my possession, I had already committed to her.

From day one, Lilly was a challenge.  She was bold, fearless, relentless, and had a spirit I admired.  She had a "take no shit" attitude, and was a workaholic.  If you hang around in dog sporting, you will hear folks say:  "Oh, my dog has drive!"  And I will assure you, no matter how many folks have told me that over the last 3 1/2 years, Lilly had more drive than any dog I had ever met.  Sadly, along with this insane work ethic and drive, came some aggression issues.  It was manageable.  I knew it was there, and I felt like I could keep the other folks and animals in my family safe.  Until this week....

The Reluctant Farmer called me while I was on vacation and said Lilly had attacked our pit bull mix, Suzi, on the shoulder, ears and neck.  She had taken Suzi to the vet and had her doctored up, but she wanted my opinion.  It was decided she would separate the dogs and I would deal with Lilly when I got home.  Then The Reluctant Farmer sent me a picture of Suzi and my heart nearly stopped.  Suzi had several puncture wounds about her head/neck, but the worst was this HUGE hematomba that was the size of a small basketball on her shoulder.  It was horrible!  If it was any other dog, I would think that maybe the other dog did something to provoke Lilly, but I can 100% guarantee Suzi has never picked a fight with anyone.    

Last night when Kay and I arrived home, I took one look at Lilly's eyes and knew something was different with my girl.  Call it intuition, call it paying attention to detail, whatever, but I knew something was off in her eyes.  We all discussed Lilly and what this new bout of aggression would mean for our family in terms of  controlling her environment, and it was discussed that her recent change in behaviour was making some of the other family members nervous.  As I was pondering just what to do, I looked down at Lilly and her head started ticking in a seizure like motion.  I called her veterinarian, and made an appointment to bring her in first thing this morning.

Our wonderful veterinarian discussed all of Lilly's symptoms with us, and she said she could refer us for additional testing at a state hospital, but warned us that likely the results would be the same, and she was leaning towards a brain tumor being the cause of Lilly's eyes being off and her suddenly worsening aggression issues.  After a consult, it was decided that in order to keep our family safe and to be fair to Lilly, euthanasia was the best option.

I loved Lilly with my whole heart.  She was one of those rare "soul dogs", the kind that are once in a lifetime companions.  This experience has changed me.  She has changed me.  I'm not sure if I will ever rescue a dog of that caliber again, simply because I'm not sure if my heart can handle the "goodbye" and the feeling of loosing.  I'm at a complete loss right now.....


  1. My heart goes out to you. {{{HUGS}}}}

  2. My thought are with you. I know you did all you could and you made a difference in her life. I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. You did the best thing you could in such a hard situation. The most important thing we do is make good decisions with our beloved pets, and I believe with all my heart that you did.