Lilly the Weimaraner is family. She and I both came to our surnames later in life but now belong to the same pack. Our pack is loving, loud, interesting and always loyal.
This post is about sharing Lilly’s story and how we happen to have the best dog in the world.
Getting A Dog Was Not My Idea – Flash Back 11 Years
Question: How do you go from being a cat family, to a family with a dog?
Answer: Persistent hounding by our youngest who promised to look after a dog, including feeding and walks – Yeah Right
I used to say to my husband you can get a dog anytime you want but I want no part of “it”.
My Captain is English born so lucky him, he has two passports, one black and one blue, plus a genetic deposition to owning a dog. One day we got a phone call from a local breeder who worked for us, she asked us to assist with a homeless convicted criminal. Lilly’s story began.
Lilly Came In Doggy Disgrace.
Her then owners had gone on holiday and left 1 yr old Lilly on the farm with her companion a border collie. With her owners away, Lilly without her smarter dog sister, had gone to play with another group of dogs next door and slaughtered the prized angora goat and two sheep. All she could say in her defence was “What’s the problem?”
(Now I know Lilly, I have to say she was most certainly guilty your honor)
Amazingly the farmer accepted financial compensation and agreed as long as the murderess went to the suburbs she could remain breathing. The breeder asked us if we would have Lilly for 1 week while she looked for a more permanent home – I know a sucker born every minute, only one week. Imagine the breeder laughing as she drove away.
Lilly is a big girl. Day one our youngest took her for her first walk and soon declared she was too big and not the dog for him. All bets and contracts for care were off, because this big dog was not the saggy skinned puppy he was expecting.
Despite this early rejection Lilly was soon welcomed into the family, permanently.
Lilly was always going to stay. I mean seriously, I can’t drive past a hitchhiker without offering a lift. Our home has often be filled with the homeless of the human variety, so a week of Lilly was guaranteed to end in a new family collar, even if her favourite dish was lamb.
Facts about Lilly
Firstly – We would never name a dog a human name, hence she has a host of names my favourite is Moo Bear but our eldest son calls her Bajuu. Both names have to be said in love or they sound stupid. When you say Lilly’s name she turns her ears like a koala because she knows your saying Love.
When we got Lilly she couldn’t swim – only a problem if your new parents happen to be swimming instructors, lived opposite a river and a few minutes from the beach. This had to change. Plus the minute we stepped into the water, regardless of whoever was present Lilly would proceed to howl and run up and down the beach in distress until we returned to land. Strangers would come from miles to see who was torturing the crazed dog on the beach.
Swimming lessons became a priority.
Lilly thinks and continues to think that all bird life on the river is there for her personal entertainment and potential snack food. Many a time I wished she couldn’t swim.
Lilly is terrified by thunder and guns. She also hates cameras, hence any photos taken of her are lucky shots or under protest before she runs away.
Lilly doesn’t bark but instead uses her big eyes to communicate. As she has gotten older Lilly has learned to talk in a deep gruff bear talk as she rolls on the floor and you give her a spoon like cuddle. I love these moments.
Lilly is a working dog – she goes to school everyday as the school dog. Recess and Lunch are her favourite times as she hunts out discarded sandwiches and unwanted food. For Lilly school is a simple and fair exchange. The children love her and she loves them.
Lilly takes very seriously her role to make everyone love dogs, in particular kids who are truly terrified. She is the most gentle calm dog I have ever seen with children. Lilly’s doggy external school report card was so good it put our children to shame. Captain wanted to frame it. I told him not be ridiculous but I was just as pleased.
Lilly is lucky, she has avoided the dog catcher on numerous occasions when she decides to explore what’s on the other side of the house fence or the school yard.
Lilly is smart, but not quite as smart as the cat.
Recently the dog catchers came to the school grounds to escort her away as they thought she was a stray. A team of primary school teachers jumped to her defence. Proud, Lilly belongs, her tag says so as do the staff she works with.
When I think of Lilly I think of sunshine. Her love is so huge that no matter your day she makes it better. When I think of a time without Lilly my eyes feel hot and potentially teary. I am not alone in this process.
Lilly thinks she is human and her favourite place is the back seat of the car.
Lilly sleeps with blankets below and above because as I mentioned she is nearly human. She does however sleep in the laundry because she likes the peace and quiet.
My favourite time with Lilly is when I tuck her into bed for the night and we have a quiet moment and cuddle. She never fails to tell me she loves her mummy when you say goodnight.
Lilly is now a great swimmer and swims on your shoulder or beside the kayak for as long as she needs to. The only exception to this was when a pod of about 50 dolphins decided to swim under and around her to see what she was. At this point Lilly forgot how to swim and climbed out of the water vertically and proceeded to follow her daddy on the beach.
The vet once described Lilly as an over bred thorough-bred. He was trying to be nice, but could have said she is a drama queen – we knew this already.
Lilly suffers separation anxiety to the extreme. If together the Captain and I leave her for any length of time she soon has a hacking cough, projectile diarrhea, and vomits continuously. It has got to the point that the suitcases make her anxious. All our holidays are dog friendly or very brief even trips to look at exciting new Cats that sail on the water.
Our children and my Dad hate our times away, almost as much as Lilly because they get to look after her. An unhappy dog is awful but not as nasty as cleaning up after an ungrateful poo and vomit producing machine.
This leads us to really big, painful elephant in the room question…
What do we do with Lilly if she is still alive when we eventually need to say goodbye?
The average trip from Tasmania to France is about 50 hours traveling time via plane. Lilly is about to turn 12. Truth is, she just wouldn’t make it.
Last week I thought Lilly was dying. After embarrassing myself with tears and drama (whose the drama queen now) the vet told me she was fine, it was kennel cough. I had rung at least three family members and said between tears this is it!
My distress and the Captain’s was like Lilly’s when we leave her.
Life without Lilly…. even writing it makes my heart feel a little smaller, so I enjoy everyday we have with our beautiful girl
Cheers the Miss x
PS In case you don’t know, kennel cough is horrible and your dog sounds like they are dying. Plus it was the worst case the vet had ever seen. Lilly did make a miraculous recovery though….hmm. Surprising to the vet but not so much us.