Some people who've never had a pet who was much more than a just a pet might not even understand how someone could be devastated over the loss of an animal, but Lily was special. She filled a void that Bethany and I've had because we haven't been blessed with kids yet. She was a gift from God, and I told Him when He healed her, I'd give Him the glory. Well, it didn't happen so today I'm going to give Him the glory for putting Lily in our lives...
Bethany and I were married a little over 8 years ago. I always told her that I wanted a golden when we got married, and she surprised me with one right after my birthday in 2005. We drove to a nearby town, picked her out, brought her home, and named her Rosie. She was a great dog. A year and a half went by, and one day she escaped my back yard and was hit by a car. We came home to find notes from my neighbor taped to my door that chronicled the day's events. My neighbor wound up helping another neighbor load Rosie up and take her to the vet after rescuing her from beside the road. The next day I would go to the vet's office to see her one last time and give the ok for her to be put out of her misery. I was devastated. Rosie was MY dog, and she was gone. I cried for weeks everyday. I told everyone I'd never have another dog, but I prayed secretly that if I ever had another, she would be just like Rosie.
Approximately 6 weeks later, on Christmas Eve night, I would go back on what I said. I was at my in-laws' house. They saw how broken I was over Rosie, and they said you need another pup. I told them repeatedly that I wasn't ready, but after much urging, I looked in the local paper they gave me for an ad for golden retriever puppies they said was in that week's edition. It wasn't there because they had given me a two week old edition. I told them this and was just going to toss it aside when I flipped to the back page and there was an ad for golden puppies in a town about 25 miles away. I reluctantly called the number and spoke to a guy who said, "I'm sorry, but they are all promised out." I told him I really wasn't ready anyway because I had just lost one a couple months ago. He then asked me for my phone number, and said, "Let me talk to my wife...I'll call you back." I didn't think much of it, and said, "Ok." He calls back and said, "I spoke to my wife, and we have two females...one person backed out today. Come on over and pick one out." I asked him was he sure he wanted me to come over right then because it was Christmas Eve night. He said, "I am usually very particular about who I sell my dogs to, but I have a good feeling about you." He asked me who I got my first golden from and when, and I told him. He said, "You're not going to believe this, but your Rosie is my dog's sister." Obviously, at that point, I had no choice. We drove 30 mins, spent time with this guy, his wife, their two small children, and all of his goldens on Christmas Eve for over an hour. This one puppy never got distracted and kept coming back to me when all of the others had better things to do, and I brought her home. I named her Lily, and yes, she was Rosie's niece. She was actually born on November 14, which was the same day Rosie died. I tell people this story all the time and they get chills and tear up, and this story means much more to me now than it ever has.
Lily was OUR dog. Bethany saw how grieved I was over Rosie, and decided she would become more involved with Lily. Things were much different. Lily NEVER slept outside. She slept with us in the bed until she was just too big to. (Well, Bethany left for a getaway one weekend a couple years ago, and I invited Lily back up on the bed. She gladly accepted. Don't tell Bethany.)