Playing Games

The VA informed me last night that someone has come forward claiming to be related to Jack, and he is repudiating everything I’m trying to do to honor Jack’s wishes and unite him with Gretchen. I know that one of Jack’s actual former in-laws reads this blog, and I wonder what he thinks of these developments.

It’s true, no good deed goes unpunished.

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Ari as Lilly

Although she’ll never be Lilly, I have to admit that Ari has done some pretty uncharacteristic things over the last two weeks. She’ll periodically come up to me during the day and either present her head for petting or give me a quick lick. Last night, however, she did something new for her. Oh, each night she floats into bed to accept a couple of Meaty Bones, but then she decided that I needed some love and hung around for another 5 minutes adopting various poses, snuggling, kissing, staring nose-to-nose, and so forth. It’s unusual and rather Lilly-like for a young GSD to be so affectionate and patient.

Lilly

From: Kate Lawrence [mailto:KateL@gcvs.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 17:00
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Lilly

Mr. Royall,

I wasn’t able to sit down and put the emotion into words yesterday when I read your email. I know that I’ll never be able to really put the depth of the feeling that we (and I) had for Lilly on paper, much less try and imagine the torrent of emotions you are experiencing. I said before that Lilly was a Queen, and I truly believe that. She was a once-in-a-lifetime friend, and it seems so unfair that the friendship in your life with the one companion who is always loyal, utterly selfless, and loves without reservation, should be the one that is so brief.

Dr. Hottinger and I believe that Lilly deserves to be recognized for her steady faithfulness, dedication, and love. Over the last week or so, we have been composing a submission to nominate Lilly for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame, a yearly event recognizing exceptional animals in Texas. We couldn’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more than Lilly, and were hoping that her light will continue to shine – through you, through Arena, and through her legacy of unwavering service and devotion. The submissions are due September 15th, and we have already enlisted the help of Dr. Anderson, who will be writing her own letter of recommendation. We would love to be able to have two additional letters from people that Lilly has touched in her life, and a few pictures of you with your girl to complete the nomination. While we certainly don’t want to overwhelm you so soon after Lilly’s passing, we did want to let you know how much Lilly meant to everyone around her. She touched our hearts in a truly profound way, and with your blessing, we hope that she can continue to touch hearts with the story of her remarkable life, and your journey together.

You are ever in my thoughts and heart this week.

With love,

Kate Lawrence
Client/Patient Service Coordinator
Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery
713-693-1122

Lilly Royall – TVMA.doc

Lilly

I will put this into my blog for people to react to as they will. I can’t at all disagree with putting Lilly in the hall of fame. She deserved it as much as any dog.

From: Kate Lawrence [mailto:KateL@gcvs.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 17:00
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Lilly

Mr. Royall,

I wasn’t able to sit down and put the emotion into words yesterday when I read your email. I know that I’ll never be able to really put the depth of the feeling that we (and I) had for Lilly on paper, much less try and imagine the torrent of emotions you are experiencing. I said before that Lilly was a Queen, and I truly believe that. She was a once-in-a-lifetime friend, and it seems so unfair that the friendship in your life with the one companion who is always loyal, utterly selfless, and loves without reservation, should be the one that is so brief.

Dr. Hottinger and I believe that Lilly deserves to be recognized for her steady faithfulness, dedication, and love. Over the last week or so, we have been composing a submission to nominate Lilly for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame, a yearly event recognizing exceptional animals in Texas. We couldn’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more than Lilly, and were hoping that her light will continue to shine – through you, through Arena, and through her legacy of unwavering service and devotion. The submissions are due September 15th, and we have already enlisted the help of Dr. Anderson, who will be writing her own letter of recommendation. We would love to be able to have two additional letters from people that Lilly has touched in her life, and a few pictures of you with your girl to complete the nomination. While we certainly don’t want to overwhelm you so soon after Lilly’s passing, we did want to let you know how much Lilly meant to everyone around her. She touched our hearts in a truly profound way, and with your blessing, we hope that she can continue to touch hearts with the story of her remarkable life, and your journey together.

You are ever in my thoughts and heart this week.

With love,

Kate Lawrence
Client/Patient Service Coordinator
Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery
713-693-1122

Lilly

This note from Kate does cause me to wonder if the Palladia didn’t decrease Lilly’s quality of life in the last two weeks, because she exhibited the symptoms Kate described. Of course, as one of Lilly’s doctors put it, we would’ve always wondered If the chemo could’ve helped if we hadn’t tried it. True, but the manner of Lilly’s death and her final days will haunt me as long as I exist. She came to me in her last moments clearly pleading for help, and I could do nothing. It took me a minute to fully realize she had died. In fact, I’ll never really know if she was pleading for release or to stay, but, knowing her, it had to be the latter. Some great owner I was, I sat there powerless to help. I had decided the night before that it was time to release her. I simply hadn’t told her doctor yet, and now I wish I had. My poor wonderful girl.

I realize that even most dog owners will shake their heads at all this gnashing of teeth over the death of one dog. After all, there are so many. I almost envy those people for their ignorance, for you had to experience Lilly to understand what made her special. No words really do her justice. There are smart dogs and there are sweet dogs, but how many dogs actively spend their lives teaching themselves how to fill the specific needs of their people? All without any formal training? Only one that I know of, and she did it even when her own body was failing her.

A big part of me went with Lilly when she died. That’s probably why I’m so heartbroken. Lilly is now beyond any pain or discomfort. She’s probably beyond everything, but part of me has this forlorn hope that there’s some sort of afterlife where I can eventually apologize to Lilly for her final moments. She deserved so much better.

From: Kate Lawrence [mailto:KateL@gcvs.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:50
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Cc: Dr. Heidi Hottinger
Subject: RE: Lilly

Mr. Royall,

Good morning! 🙂

I had a quick question for you. Is the tenderness you have noted when Lilly is walking on her forelegs something that has recently started, or is it an on-going issue for your girl? If it is a chronic problem, has it worsened recently? Oncology let Dr. Hottinger know that they have seen a few patients on Palladia show some discomfort on their front legs, or develop sores on their paws.

Let me know!

Talk to you soon.

Thanks,

Kate Lawrence
Client/Patient Service Coordinator
Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery
713-693-1122