Staying with the memory of Lilly

A republication of a post from February, 2014

Yesterday, I offered the first of two previous posts about Lilly. Here is the second, originally published in February, 2014.


Lilly, the second of our nine dogs.

Last week was the start of a series of posts giving you, dear reader, background on each of our nine dogs.  Thus last week, Jean wrote about Paloma.  Here is Jean’s account of how Lilly came into her life.



Lilly - Taken in the last two weeks.
Lilly – Taken 26th January, 2014

Lilly came into my life fourteen years ago. I had taken my car into the mechanics workshop in San Carlos, Mexico for an oil change and was beckoned over to an old junk car in their lot. It had no glass in the windows and in the hatch-back area lay a smallish dog with five young, suckling puppies. She had apparently walked in off the street and chosen the old airy car as a suitable ‘house’ in which to have her babies. The workers had supplied her with an old greasy towel for a mattress.

My girlfriend, Suze, and I immediately set about making her comfortable with a small quilt and plenty of water and good dog food. She had been dining on tacos and tamales scraps up until then.

Suze and I visited frequently and took plenty of food and at the same time went about looking for homes for the pups. However, one day we arrived and found all the beautiful babies gone. The mechanics had given them away. We were shattered and could only hope that they had gone to loving homes.

‘Rabbit’, as she was then called, continued hanging around the workshop and the men seemed to like her. Rabbit had this trick of leaping on her hind legs, twirling and landing on her four legs; hence her name Rabbit, I guess.

Suze and I would see her once a week on average and had also arranged for Rabbit to be spayed. All seemed well until Easter came (I think we are talking of the year 2000). As is common in Mexico, during Easter week in San Carlos everything shuts down. It’s carnival time. The streets are busy with tourists and there is much traffic. I was worried about Rabbit as the mechanic’s shop was locked up tight and Rabbit was outside in the lot by the street. I planned to take her home for the rest of the holiday but fate intervened. On my way to collect her, I was aghast to see her motionless by the side of the road, obviously having been hit by a car.  I gently picked her up and took her home.  On inspection, it was clear that she had two broken legs on her right-hand side.  Her injuries were so bad that I knew the local vet did not have the skills or instruments to heal her. My late husband, Ben, and I ended up driving her two hours South to Obregon where there was an orthopaedic vet. He put pins in both legs and she stoically set about mending herself. Rabbit became Lilly. Irrespective of name, she was an assertive but sweet young dog and settled in nicely with my burgeoning pack; I had twelve rescue dogs in those days.  Her legs healed nicely and she resumed her twirling.

Lilly became a particular favourite of Ben, my late husband. When in 2005 Ben lay dying at home, Lilly slept non-stop by his side on the bed, only leaving to eat or go outside.  I knew for sure that Ben had died in the night when one morning I awoke to feel Lilly beside me on my bed. Lilly sensed that now I needed her more.

Lilly is still with us.  Now a dowager old lady of at least fifteen years of age, she still enjoys going out with her buddies whom she tends to boss somewhat.  (Paul thinks that Lilly is an ‘alpha’ dog, in other words has pack leadership in her genes.) But one thing that Lilly doesn’t now do; she doesn’t twirl anymore, but then neither do I.

It will be a very sad day when Paul and I have to say goodbye to this treasure of a dog. [As indeed, it was] In the meantime we endeavour to make each day that she has left as rich as possible.

Another very recent photograph of Lilly.
Another very recent photograph of Lilly.


I think it would wonderful to also include a section from an email that Suzann Reeve, a good friend of this blog, sent to Jeannie yesterday.

The story of Lily and her origins:

(I of course burst into tears when reading your email, Paul.) I knew it was coming. I wish I could have seen her one more time.

Poor baby, I hope she did not suffer much.

In 1998, Don and I went to a junk yard, which at the time was next to the telephone company in San Carlos. As we were talking to the men, out of a shell of an old car behind us popped a small mama dog, heavy with milk. I of course went right over there after hearing puppies cry to see many little baby puppies were mewling for mommy’s milk! The dog was so sweet and jumped around like a rabbit. I brought food and water for her and found her a nice blanket for her and the pups.
I told Jeannie about them and we went back the next day to check it out. We told the men we would care for them, but one day when we came to feed, the puppies were gone! I begged Don to let me take her, but as I lived in an RV, he would not let me, and I also had 3 dogs at the time, Poncho, and his sister and Destina….., plus the men wanted her, which almost led to her death.
After Don and I left town for the summer sometime later, if i remember correctly, Jean and Ben were driving down the main road in town when they saw LLevre (rabbit in Spanish) injured on the road. I believe they took her down to Obregon for an operation right away, and after a successful operation, she was theirs! They saved her life!
She has lived a very full and happy life. I am so sad that she is gone.


6 thoughts on “Staying with the memory of Lilly

    1. No doubt about it. The house still seems very different without her. We collected her ashes last Thursday and we have Dr. Jim, the vet, and Janet, his wife, coming to dinner tonight as our way of thanking them both for the love they bestowed on Lilly last Sunday.

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