S-L-O-W-L-Y learning to cope

Celebrating 6 month ampuversary!
Celebrating 6 month ampuversary with a peanut butter shake!

Well, it’s been 19 days since we lost our Lily and missing her is still foremost on my mind every minute of every day. 19 days is not a long time but it feels like an eternity when it counts the time since you last could hold close a dearly loved one. The house still feels so empty and everything brings about a memory of our beautiful girl with the giant personality (e.g. a stupid reality TV competition involving people licking peanut butter off a plastic sheet to reveal a 4-digit code. Lily would have DOMINATED! And likely would have generously helped every competitor without bias).

We were so freakin’ lucky to be her family and have all her love!

An odd thought occurred to me last night and it was that in a cruel and strange way Lily’s osteosarcoma diagnosis was in a small way sort of a…I don’t want to call it a gift or a blessing, never that….but it was a great push to remind us that time was short and we needed to make the most of it. We *never* took Lily for granted in all her life but we took time for granted. Her health was always A+ and she was always very young at heart and strong physically. It was easy to forget that she was getting older because she didn’t act or look old! Her white hair disguised the gray so we barely noticed that the black spots on her face were being “whited out”.

LilyPawzThat awful first day of knowing she had bone cancer set in motion 7+ months of tighter hugs, more kisses, extra smile and laughs, a focus on fun, lots more crunchy peanut butter…and yes, more tears. But, had we not known, the overwhelming urgency to make the most of the those too few remaining precious moments would not have started until that early morning of Tuesday, December 16th when we awoke to her heartbreaking first grand mal seizure. Less than two weeks later, Lily was gone. Not from osteosarcoma, as we had braced ourselves for, but from a brain tumor long before the osteosarcoma had a chance to take her from us. I loathe cancer and I have special kind of hatred for that brain tumor that took her from us way too soon. I will never be thankful for her osteosarcoma but I am thankful for the reminder it provided to make the most of every single day. Time with loved ones is so precious.

Today I contacted the Oklahoma Great Dane rescue group to offer my services as a volunteer. My heart will not be ready to adopt or foster any time soon but the desire is great to help all those Dane faces in need of a home. Maybe it will help me to heal in the same way as being active in the Tripawd forums. The rescue has a need for home checks so it looks like they will be putting me to work soon.

Another day without Lily passes and my heart aches….the journey toward learning to live without her continues.

Author: Lily's Mom

Lily joined our family as a ornery puppy on December 20, 2005 and changed our lives forever. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in May, 2014 and had her right back leg amputated on May 8. She hopped on 3 legs like she was born to do it and continued to fight cancer with grace, valor and an abundant sense of humor...and always a giant smile on her face. We said goodbye to Lily on December 28, 2014 and miss her terribly every day.

3 thoughts on “S-L-O-W-L-Y learning to cope”

  1. Ahhh, Lily would say “You learned your lesson well, grasshopper”. Making the most of each moment in each day is what ‘being more dog’ is all about!

    Volunteering for a GSD rescue really helped me with my grief. I hope your experience will be similar. There is nothing like helping a homeless dog find their furever home!

    The sense of loss is HUGE at first. But you said it … ‘We were so freakin’ lucky to be her family and have all her love!’ … YES! You WERE! And so was she. Can you even imagine a life that never had Lily in it? I bet you can’t. We love them and we lose them far too soon. And it frickin’ HURTS. But I just can’t imagine life without all the wonderful dogs that I have shared my life with. What a cold and empty place that would be 🙂


  2. You really, really articulated so very well how, in a bizarre crazy way, this journey helps us make each moment count with an inensity and depth we never knew possible. You made perfectly good sense to those of us on this journey. No, it’s not a “gift” any of us want, but it lresents us with an opportunity to cram more loving and more spoiling into each day..as though it may be their last.

    Thank you for paying tribute to Lily in a manner where she can still touch lives and have such a positive impact on others.

    To help at the shelter is such a life affirming way to honor sweet Lily…sweet, sweet Lily. We all love her so!

    I wish I could tell you the nights will be better soon…..or the mornings will be better soon. All I can tell you is there is no way to rush grief…no way to stop the unexpected sobs that come when you find your mind reliving her transition…rather than reliving all the thousands of days of joyful memories! Eventually the happier memories, the memories Lily wants you to remember, will become stronger…it just takes time.

    And that picture of Lily and her peanut butter shake…OMD!!! Sooooo CUTE! And she’s so dainty and polite!!

    Surrounding yoj with Lily’s eternal Grace…

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

  3. What wonderful photos of Lily. Her eyes on the peanut butter shake photo are priceless.

    I think I’ve told you that I’m a big fan of these gentle giants. I’m happy to hear of your plan to work at the Great Dane rescue. Recently I’ve seen photos of a 14-month old Dane named George who is a service dog to a 10 year old girl who can’t walk on her own without crutches. But she can walk with George! It’s very touching.

    They are lovely dogs, I you find some joy in your volunteer work. It’ll be an honour to sweet Lily.


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