Saying goodbye is painful, especially when you know it’s the end. We said goodbye to our best friend with four adorable paws on Sunday night. It was not easy to say goodbye and it still hurts deeply. Lily, or Lily-cat as I often called her, had an exceptional life; and with having her in our lives came some of my most cherished memories. She loved to play, eat ice cream, and go for car rides. More than that, though, she loved people and she loved life. Lily taught me to live in the moment, to find happiness in the little things, and to slow down. She was a close talker and would come right up to your face and sniff you, not touch you, just be right there with you. I loved it.
Here are a few of our favourite memories of our dearest Lily.
Lily was born in Michigan in January of 2009 – she flew to us in Dallas and when we picked her up at the airport her crate was zip-tied closed. I panicked. How are we going to get her out? After about 3.2 minutes she was out of her crate and on the grass playing with us. In the car we had her in the back seat. Think she could stay up? Nope. She fell all over the place, paws in the air and all. This experience, I believe, is why she was such a good traveller.
Here’s Lily playing tug as a sweet pup.
Family walks – she grew quickly for being only 6 months old here.
Canmore hikes with Bella and us. Funny story – both of the girls, as we used to call them (then ladies when they got a tad older) were doing so well walking off leash and staying close. On this hike we were about 3 minutes in and Bryce and I thought, heck, maybe – just maybe we could let them off leash. Then, 4 steps later, 6 deer came dashing out of nowhere and Bella pulled and Lily jumped. They both were just ready to run. Me, I laughed and laughed. No way I wanted to lose either of them in the woods while they tried to chase deer – so it was leashes all the way.
See – this is what happens when they’re off leash.
We live in the country on a few acres and we often get wildlife. Well, this coyote lost. Lily won. She was much more of a lover than a fighter, yet don’t be fooled, she could fight.
Treats! Lily was so particular about her treats. Salt and vinegar chips – check. Sweet potato bites – check, check. Popcorn with butter and salt, the real good homemade stove top kind – check, check, check! Bryce found out just last year that Lily loved popcorn. I often eat it for dinner when he’s on nights and he was so shocked when I had a bowl and Lily jumped up on the couch right beside me and just sat there waiting for a few kernels.
Below, this is her and Bella (who you can see is eyeing up Lily’s treat, trying to strategize how to get both) eating cool summer treats on the deck.
There’s that tongue again – she thinks the snow is a treat! Lily must have eaten her weight in snow every year.
If you loved something then it was only a matter of time before Lily loved that same thing. It’s nap time.
Oh, all the stuffies! I told you if you love something she’d love it too.
After Bella passed away I asked Bryce if I could get Lily the biggest pink horse I could find. He happily said yes. About 4 days later I asked him for some help – can you grab the stuff from the truck, passenger side. Well, Sophia the pink unicorn was buckled (yes, a seatbelt) in and ready to meet her friend, Lily.
Sophia is huge, as you can tell, and far too big to fit in our washer so she stinks like goodness. Lily liked to play tug with all of these stuffies and sometimes they’d rip – one day I had to preform ‘surgery’ on about 9 of them. From lacerations to head contusions and from stitches to abrasions my little sewing ER got busy, yet I never minded. Anything for Lily-cat.
Speaking of anything for Lily-cat, this huge memory foam bed, which is actually our twin bed from our Boler trailer, was brought upstairs in January 2017 and Lily loved it so much that it stayed for the rest of her life in the middle of the living room.
Car rides with Lily were the best. From Yellowknife to Kelowna and even all the way to Sault Ste. Marie, this girl was a road trip champion.
Hey, that’s us in Yellowknife! All dressed up and staying warm.
Coats, windows, truck ceilings, baseboards, appliances, the tv, plants and somehow even our faces were often covered in Lily slobber. She learned to shake from Bella and boy oh boy did she ever send her slobber flying.
The best was when she would run with this sort of drool – she never really ran straight and her slobber would end up all over her. Then she’d stare at you, like ‘what?’.
Lily I love you – you and the spot between your eyes which fit my nose just perfectly. Head hugs were the best.
Remember how I said that Lily loved ice cream? Well, this is a rather dignified photo.
This one, not so much. She’s making a mess – ice cream and slobber down the side of the cone and she often got it all over me. Who cares, it was my favourite thing to do with Lily. Absolutely my favourite.
Bryce in his housecoat taking miss Lily for a ride down the block to see her Leonberger friends. She would bark and bark while all three of them would run the fence line as if they were chasing the white truck away. She loved it. Flat out her favourite thing I’m sure.
Lily on the deck – she loved to be outside. This was taken on her 9th birthday – yes, in January she even wanted to just lounge outside. Not without a blanket, though.
This is the last photo I took of our sweet girl on our camera. I was in the kitchen cooking away on Saturday and she propped herself up like a boss and just stared at me. Lily loved to live in the moment and taking photos of her wasn’t the easiest thing; it was better to just put the phone down and play tug or give her a bum rub.
Lily-cat I miss you. You were my best friend and Bryce’s too. You taught us to live here and live now – you never held us back and joined us on so many wonderful adventures. You will be forever loved. We were given over 9 years with this head-rub loving pup and she made our hearts richer. She enjoyed ice cream for dinner on Sunday and we took a ride around the block so she could say goodbye to all her friends. She barked away and as always, enjoyed the ride.
I love you ya-ya-ya. I love you ya-ya-ya. I love you ya-ya-ya – oh, yes I do, oh yes I do. I love you Lily-cat, I love you so much hunny-bun. Sweet dreams.