Lily was born in February 2000 and I acquired her in October of that year at the young age of 8 months after my first foxhound of 14 years died a few weeks prior to meeting Lily. Lily, who was formerly named Shirley by her foster mom, was the answer to my prayers as I had been heartbroken about losing my first dog. I was planning to get another dog but wasn’t sure when I would find the right one and when the time would be right. After researching and searching different breeds, I kept coming back to the hound breed and stumbled upon BREW on the internet during a search for foxhounds where in addition to listing available beagles, they had listed a few of their foxhound cousins up for adoption.
I soon made arrangements to meet a few dogs, among them a blue-tick coon hound puppy that I had been interested in but didn’t feel a significant connection with during our visit. Then, I heard about Lily and met her at Beagle Fest in mid-October. It was love at first sight! She was the sweetest hound but she seemed very shy and skittish. I had been told that she was looking for a good home after being shuffled around several times in her young life. I took Lily home the following week and it was a match made in heaven as I enjoyed twelve joyful years with her, some of which were frustrating and comical but never a dull moment. If you’ve ever had a hound, you know that unlike their beagle cousins, they are a little more feisty and stubborn and Lily was no exception. She was a loving dog who was never far from my side for all those years yet she had an independent streak which gave her a lot of spunk.
Physically, she was a magnificent dog with her hound stamina, beautiful tri-colored spots and freckled long legs. Hardly a day went by without someone asking me what breed she was or commenting on how elegant she was – she was a true beauty and I was always proud to walk her. Last month, Lily was diagnosed with leukemia and although she had the slow-progressing type, we weren’t sure how long she had it - I was told she could possibly live another year or two if it was monitored. I was not ready to lose her a few weeks later when over a weekend in May, her appetite began to diminish and the morning of her death, she appeared very ill. Instead of going to work that day, I took her to the vet and they put her on an IV and told me I would be able to pick her up that evening but my Lily had other plans.
I received a call late in the day with the news that my Lily had passed away. I was devastated, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way – I wasn’t even with her at the time of her death to hold her paw and I didn’t get to say goodbye which broke my heart. I later realized that perhaps Lily wanted to make it easy on me, she died without me there and maybe because she knew it would be too difficult for either of us to let go as she was never far from my side for all those years. She gave me the gift of leaving in a way that I didn’t have to make any difficult decisions. I miss my hound terribly. After 12 yrs as my constant companion, Lily has crossed the bridge but I smile when I think of all the amazing days we had together and her memory will continue to live in my heart until I see her on the other side of that Rainbow.