Tilly's Gift

My precious pup Tilly died in my arms today. We took her up to our cottage where she loved the lake and to visit with the neighbours, never thinking we would come home without her. Yes she was 12 and yes she had slowed down in the past year or so and yes we had her on some medication to kickstart a waning appetite of late.
But she left us too soon.
I watched her laboured breathing slow and her heartbeat stop as I stroked her beautiful head on my lap.
She loved the back seat of the car. We took her everywhere with us. She knew we were going somewhere and she knew she was with us. Tilly had been with us and part of us since a few months after we married in 1999. A gift to my son Calvin, then 10, Tilly was his best little buddy during an important chapter of his growth and maturity into adulthood. It broke my heart but I was filled with pride as he lifted her lifeless body out of the back seat of the Santa Fe and insisted on carrying her into the Lynden Animal Clinic.
I will cherish every moment of her short life from the time Pam Jamieson of the Hamilton SPCA brought a tiny puppy with one blue eye and one brown eye, into the CHCH News at Noon set, to the moment my wonderful Dave brought her home inside his leather jacket, to Calvin's first moments meeting her...to our last good-bye...so many wonderful memories of a loving and gentle soul in between with wisdom beyond most people's understanding of "man's best friends".
I am so glad I played with her, ran with her, cuddled her, kissed her head, buried my face in her fur and told her over and over that she was the best dog in the whole wide world.
Everyone who met her loved her. Tilly touched many hearts with her gentle nature and engaging personality. She has left a giant paw print on this corner of the world.
We stroked her and told her how much we loved her then pulled ourselves away knowing her spirit had left us in that back seat...the back seat where she felt comfortable, where she was with us and where she chose to spare us the difficult decision of how and when to end her pain down the road.
Tilly, I know you are running with the wind again. I will always love you, my precious puppy...