Friday, December 26, 2008

Miss Diamond Lil

Today was one of the saddest days of my life. My dearest friend, Lily, my sweet corgi passed to the next bardo. I am too emotional to be able to reflect fully on what she meant to me. I am fascinated by what animals can teach us, how they can work with us, and how they can heal our hearts. Soon I will post more on these thoughts, but for now an obituary of sorts.

Sunrise's Diamond Lily

Lily was an amazingly wise and loving animal. Throughout her many years, she played piano (see the video); worked with autistic children in both Olympia and Santa Cruz; herded chickens, ducks, sheep, cattle and small children; lived at twelve different homes with over a dozen other critters of various species; spent most of a summer on a sailboat just to make me happy; did a five month road trip zigzagging across the Rockies and camping under the stars; stayed in a upscale Lake Tahoe hotel; spent a weekend in the Santa Cruz Slammer; was a hot spring swimmer; had a great sense of humor and feigned vicious attack on the code words "politician" or "get dick;" competed in agility trials and won one; loved ice cream and popping balloons; placed third in a talent show competing with mostly Evergreen students; treated cats with utmost respect; cuddled with a hamster; enjoyed kayaking and swimming; never let a vacuum cleaner do the job she knew she could do better; nearly died of mushroom poisoning and tripped for days; survived an attack by a German shepherd; and most importantly was a wonderful companion who saw me through some very dark and rough times with loyalty and affection. Lily was quite a celebrity in Olympia; she even had many friends whom I didn't know. People would stop in the street to say hello to Lily. She met lots folks through her various caregivers and dog sitters, and once you met Lily, you never forgot her.

Miss Lil looked great, and was having fun playing in the snow and taking long walks to Boston Harbor Marina with her guardians Suzanne and Sebastian right up to and including yesterday morning. Then, Christmas night she suffered three seizures and wound up in an emergency room. We do not know what triggered the seizures, but for a dog her age and without a history of epilepsy, it was likely a tumor or blood clotting problem. The decision to let her go without suffering was painful, though not difficult. Today at around 1pm she was euthanized in my arms, quietly and without struggle. She will be missed by all who knew her. She truly was a little character and a bright light.

Well loved. Well lived.


A.M. said...

OMG! You and Andy J in the same week! His darlin' dog died of a stroke.

I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I know how much she meant to you. Although I didn't meet her while out in WA, through photos and your loving stories, I came to feel as though I knew her, and in a way, I fell in love with her.


Anonymous said...

i am so sorry

Anonymous said...

Sharp eyed, strong heart,
with a generous dignity,
a dear friend to Bode and I,
she will be missed.

My love to you and
Lilly's current manifestation.
A short furry fearless dog.


Bryan Allen said...

The passing of a long-time companion canine can truly be heartbreaking. One of the blessings, to me, is that dogs appears to accept their life, however it happens to them, as how it is supposed to be; they do not seem to labor under the assumptions we humans have of what life is "supposed" to be. When we had to put down our beloved Keeshond Niky a few years ago (she had a pituitary tumor which was leading to more and more seizures, typically at 3 AM) we let her eat to her heart's content on her last day (excessive appetive being one of the symptoms of such a tumor,) played with her and praised her, and then when the vet administered the drugs to put her to sleep we realized that to Niki this was in no means inconsistent with her expectations; that was Niki's Life, anjoyed to the last second. I think that is the ultimate gift of such fine companions, their acceptance of whatever life gives them and their joy in every day of whatever they're given. It certainly does not make their passing any easier on their human friends, but to me at least gives some small comfort that they seem to delight in what life gives them, no matter how long or how short. Again, my condolences on the passing of what sounds to have been a truly outstanding canine friend.