It was Memorial Day weekend, we were in Wenatchee, it was hot and I was playing softball (of course). We had just won the tournament and getting ready to endure the awful Memorial Day traffic on the way home.
As we walked to the car we walked by a couple who had ADORABLE 8-week-old chocolate lab puppies. I couldn’t just walk by, I stopped and began playing with the puppies and one puppy in particular who I did not want to leave but I knew there was no way we could take her home. My dad didn’t have any cash on him and we had Moses (our chocolate lab) at home. As we were about to walk away from, my best friends dad walked by and slipped my dad the $450 cash that we needed and I picked up the sweet chocolate ball of fur with blue eyes that I had been playing with, she was mine.
Despite the HORRIBLE traffic that we endured throughout the drive home, I was completely content in the backseat with our new puppy. We spent the ride brainstorming names and by the time we had pulled into the driveway we had settled on the name Lily, and it was perfect.
Over the next 8 years, Lily became my best friend (even with her weirdness) and she was there for the best and worst times of middle school and high school. Lily was right by my side when Moses passed away and she always knew when I was upset. The moment I was upset, she would be at my feet pawing at my leg until I would cuddle with her and scratch her head.
Not to mention, she was always up for a walk, a run, a hike or a tanning session in the backyard during the summer. She made it far less scary to be home alone and she was by far the best protection. And she made losing Moses a little easier to cope with.
Leaving Lily for college was easily one of the hardest parts of the transition but coming home to her was my favorite and she never held it against me. It was the same excitement every time. Going on car rides wasn’t her favorite yet she always acted like she was excited to go somewhere.
During my sophomore year of college I had two hand surgeries and Lily was always by my side and would jump on the bed to comfort me, even when she knew she was not supposed to be on the bed. She was my shadow and followed me every time I got out of bed, she even waited outside the shower for me.
Shortly after I recovered from surgery and was back at school I got a call from my Mom, Lily had passed away, unexpectedly. She was not very old and was full of life. Lily suffered an allergic reaction from medication she was taking for a sore knee. I was absolutely devastated and could not believe it. For my entire life, I had never been without a dog and suddenly it was my reality and I surely was not prepared for it.
When I went home for the summer I was not greeted by Lily for the very first time and it was incredibly hard. I was no longer woken up by her in the morning and it made going on hikes far less enjoyable. Home didn’t feel quite the same without her there and it was hard to get used to. She had been my best friend for so many years and she stayed with me through the horribly awkward middle school and high school days.
So here’s to the dog that never cooperated for photos and never left my side. To the dog that never let you go to the bathroom alone and the dog that never let you skip a walk. To the dog that let me use her as a pillow and never complained. To the dog that made me like hiking. To the dog that we found at a softball tournament and couldn’t leave without.
Here’s to the dog that all other dogs have to live up to.
RIP Lily Girl ❤