Last night at 10:50 PM, our precious Lily passed away.
I can't begin to tell you how very sad we all are. Tears are streaming down my face as I write this just a few hours later.
If you've ever loved a dog, you know how our hearts feel right now. Plus, we're in shock.
After bringing her home from the vet on Friday, she continued to be low on energy and wouldn't eat or drink unless we spoon fed her. It broke our hearts to see her so unlike her happy self. Yet we couldn't ever have imagined that anything serious would happen. Dogs get sick, but they recover...especially seven year olds.
Saturday afternoon, both Tyler and Caleb came home from the camps they'd been serving at. She managed to raise her head and give a little tail wag for them, but otherwise was very quiet.
Caleb, ever her beloved boy, sat by her, encouraging her to take sips of water and eat a few bites of the grilled chicken she used to enthusiastically devour. I wonder now if she was doing that more for us than for her.
We all assumed that the antibiotics she was on would begin to take effect, and that on Monday when we were supposed to return to the vet, she'd be feeling better.
But it was not to be.
After returning home from dinner to celebrate Tyler's 21st birthday, she began to labor in her breathing (looking back, it's almost as if she waited for us so we could be with her before she began to let go).
Caleb gathered her into his arms to comfort her, while Claire and I began searching the internet for an emergency vet clinic with night hours that could see her, still thinking that there was something we/they could do for her.
It then happened so rapidly. I called out to Dave and Tyler to come to the living room, and within two or three minutes, she was gone.
You can't imagine the wails of sorrow that came from our hearts and lips as we realized she was no longer with us. I don't think that any of us have ever cried like that.
Your mind tells you "she's just a dog". But your emotions say, "She was one of us".
And truly, she was. From the moment we laid eyes on her, she was the sixth member of our family. Ever the cherished dog, ever the princess in the family.
She brought immeasurable joy to us through her sweet spirit, her unconditional love, her zest for life, her funny quirks, and her gentle spirit. Never was there a sweeter dog...at least in our opinion.
In the dark of night, out in our yard, we buried her last night in a handmade box that Tyler and Dave lovingly crafted at that late hour. With sobs of grief, we said our good-byes to the best dog ever. I sob as I write that. For this family, she truly was the best little dog ever.
We will miss you so very, very, very much dearest Lily May Patty.
Thank you for waiting until we were all home so we could say our good-byes together as a family. God was merciful to spare your life until we were together as a family, your favorite thing in the whole world. It was not the timing we wanted. We wanted you with us for years and years.
But we are immensely thankful for the seven years He and you gave to us.