She Was Our Silly Tilly Girl

Frequent readers know that we generally eschew posts of a personal nature, but today we make an exception, for we said goodbye to our Silly Tilly.  She made so many friends over the years we thought we would share some of our favorite memories.

It all started when The Consort was a wee young man, 7 or 8 years of age, and he saw a bulldog named Helen; apparently he loudly proclaimed “I am going to have a dog just like that.”  It took a few years (ahem), but back in 2006 when we said goodbye to Phred, our giant schnauzer, we decided it was “now or never” if we wanted to bring a bullie into the mix. Because we had been blessed with ‘good pet karma’ over the years we decided to go with a rescued bulldog; after we were interviewed and approved by West Michigan Bulldog Rescue we were able to bring Tilly home. This is the first photo I ever took of Tilly, it was her second day here at the Prepatorium. At this point she looked rather…noble.

September 2006

Unfortunately Scooter-the-Wonder-Cat thought she was finally going to be Queen of the Hop.  But, once she accepted her reduced status the two were willing to give each other some space, here they are on Day Two.

September 2006

Here is Tilly on Day Three. Yes, yours truly insisted on making a snappy bed, only Marimekko and blue flannel would do. (Because she would know about Marimekko.)

September 2006

She liked to sleep. A lot.

September 2006

She appointed herself to the local Neighborhood Watch team.

September 2006

It was evident that Tilly hadn’t had the medical care she needed, the first surgery she had was for an eye condition. She was stoic in donning the satellite dish.

September 2006

On multiple occasions (and in multiple styles) the poor thing was in the Cone Zone.

Unknown Date

Tilly was exceptionally tolerant of our harebrained schemes of the oddities perpetrated by humans, like the notion she needed to sport a Yale sweatshirt.

February 2007

She really wasn’t in favor of supporting the local University’s Veterinary College by personally participating in the annual dog wash.

April 2007

She was overheard saying, “Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets wet.”

But she reveled in the occasional spa day.

March 2007

It was evident Tilly had been abused. Severely. She was hand shy, obviously afraid she was going to be struck by any hand or other object coming near her face. But she was sweet and never, ever aggressive, just terrified to the point it made your heart hurt to see her cowering. We think this was why she felt safer under her blue binky.

Unknown Date

As soon as we gave Tilly the old bedspread for extra padding under her bed (or so we thought) she started finding a way to drape herself in it, wrap all around her.

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It was clearly Tilly’s safe place, but sometimes all you could see was the Tilly tongue.

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Like almost all bulldogs Tilly had serious health issues. In addition to the eye surgery (and many other surgeries) she had severe allergies. We spent a great deal of time at the MSU Small Animal Clinic trying to determine what triggered the skin problems.  Ultimately Tilly was put on a diet of fresh ostrich and sweet potatoes. The ostrich was flown in three times a week (don’t even ask how it smelled when being cooked). Tilly loved it when we made her sweet potatoes (mashed into her ostrich, and fries for snacking), licking the beaters was her very. favorite. thing.

January 2009

Tilly’s next most favorite thing was going for a ride, nothing excited her like being asked “Do you want to go for a ride?”

Unknown Date

She loved being in a vehicle.

Unknown Car

Anything with wheels and she was deliriously happy.

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She was forever climbing into open trucks of any and every kind, she just invited herself on board.

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Sometimes she was a bit of a devil dog, once she knew she was in her forever home Tilly could be a scamp. Here is one of her “Hah, hah, hah, I’m too cute to punish” looks.

December 2007

And here is one of her “Tilly is not amused” stares. (This one might offer a glimpse as to why we would occasionally say “oh look, it’s the devil in her blue dress come to visit!”)

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Much to everyone’s surprise Tilly loved to run, we called her the ‘amazing, flying Tilly’.

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No matter the season, she would take off in a dead run.

February 2007

It was like she was the Forrest Gump of bulldogs.

April 2012

And Tilly loved her yoga, she was the queen of downward facing dog.

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But more than anything she was an optimist.

Unknown Date

In Tillyland it was always a sunny day.

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Even as she became older (no one knew how old she was, but her arthritis was so bad portions of her spine were fused together), Tilly was smiling. She always believed there would be more food.

Unknown Date

More friends to make.

March 2007

More fun to have.

And we will miss her so.

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64 Comments

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64 responses to “She Was Our Silly Tilly Girl

  1. MCW

    Oh…I am so sorry. Tilly loved you very much too! I am sure she is waiting in heaven!

  2. I’m so sorry, sympathies from all of us to you both. It’s such a hard thing to face and you’ve borne it bravely.

  3. Amy

    What a beautiful post: I’m all teary-eyed. You loved Tilly with all of your hearts and she loved you, and you’ll always have part of her with you. Bless you for rescuing such a sweet dog and giving her a good life. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. I am so sorry for you loss. Dogs are so much part of the family, I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  5. Allyson/@HBMomof2

    I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Tilly. I will miss seeing her wonderful adventures via your blog. May your memories keep you smiling during this difficult time. My thoughts are with you both.

  6. christy

    I enjoyed reading your posts about Tilly. I’m sorry for your families loss.

  7. a.

    Oh Susan I am so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing Tilly’s Monday morning face and will miss seeing her. So glad she finally found a loving home with you and K. Thank you for sharing her with us! xoxo

  8. Anonymous

    Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of Heaven
    is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been
    especially close to someone here,
    that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

    There are meadows and hills
    for all of our special friends
    so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine
    and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old
    are restored to health and vigor;
    those who were hurt or maimed
    are made whole and strong again,
    just as we remember them
    in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content,
    except for one small thing:
    they each miss someone very special,
    someone who was left behind.

    They all run and play together,
    but the day comes when one
    suddenly stops and looks into the distance.
    His bright eyes are intent;
    his eager body begins to quiver.
    Suddenly, he breaks from the group,
    flying over the green grass, faster and faster.

    You have been spotted,
    and when you and your special friend finally meet,
    you cling together in joyous reunion,
    never to be parted again.

    The happy kisses rain upon your face;
    your hands again caress the beloved head,
    and you look once more into those trusting eyes,
    so long gone from your life,
    but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…

  9. Camille

    Oh, such a sweet, loving post. She had a wonderful life in her forever home. I’m all weepy. Those furry friends come into our lives with only love to give…if they only knew how much of our hearts they take with them when they cross over the rainbow bridge. She’s running with the big dogs now…

  10. I’ve never commented on your site before, but had to let you know that I am sorry for your loss. A rescue dog can be a challenge, and it takes a special person with patience and understanding to open their home (and heart) to these dear creatures. Bless you for taking Tilly into your life and showing her the joy of a loving family. May you remain strong in your time of grief.

  11. madeleine gallay

    So sorry for your loss. My elderly, rescue English Bull Dog, Cheese, passed on so quietly two weeks ago. A day of not eating, not drinking and I am so glad I hugged and stroked her and gave her water in a turkey baster. She was so gentle and never complained, allergies, bad breathing, a rough life pre-here. Gentle, stoic, happy, the gift of being happy to be alive.

  12. Oh Susan! I am so so sorry for your loss! My thoughts are with y’all right now. I know that pain and understand your love for your sweet girl.

    xoxo
    KK

  13. Stephanie

    No one ever loves us more unconditionally than our pets. Thinking of y’all.

  14. Meg

    I am so sorry to read about your loss. That was such a beautiful tribute to Tilly. I can’t imagine the sadness that you are feeling. My thoughts are with you as Tilly smiles down from doggie heaven.

  15. So sorry for your loss of Tilly girl. I will miss the updates and her cute squishy face!

  16. BroncoMom

    Rainbow Bridge, the most wonderful place for sweet Tilly. I am so sorry for your loss, there are no words of comfort. Please know that your posts always are interesting to read. My most favorite parts of your post were those that were inspired by Tilly. Ms Tilly had a way of putting a smile on my face.

  17. So, so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful recap of her life and tribute to her impact on your family. My thoughts are with you.

  18. Oh, sweet friend, my heart absolutely aches for you. Pets are truly family members, and rescue dogs especially find a way to fill your life with joy. What a wonderful life you gave her!

    Xx,
    Sarah

  19. Oh my goodness, I have tears in my eyes! What a beautiful tribute to Tilly. The photos are wonderful and I know that y’all will cherish them and the memories of Tilly forever. We just lost our 16 year old Jack Russell, so I know the pain y’all are going through. Will miss the Tilly greetings on Twitter.

  20. girltuesday

    What a lovely remembrance of your friend. I shall miss seeing Tilly grace these pages. Thinking of you.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope Tilly and Oreo can find each other up in the big dog park in the sky and be friends.

  22. Kathie

    What a lucky girl she was to have you as her adopted parents! You gave her a great life with you.

  23. Sandra {Preppy 101}

    We are all crying for you and the Consort today. We will all miss Tilly; her expressions spoke for all of us so many times. While I know she brought so many moments of joy and love into your lives, I know you did the same for Tilly. What a lucky gal she was to have you for parents. Thinking about you in the days to come. May you receive comfort from your happy memories. Hugs.

  24. Kathleen

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Tilly! I always loved seeing her smiling face on Silly Tilly posts and she was pretty much the best present wrapper ever. I’m glad her forever home was such a happy one at the Prepatorium.

  25. k.a.odonnell@gmail.com

    What a sweet post! I’m so sorry for the loss of your family member.

  26. lisagh

    Boston, Paris and I extend our most heartfelt condolences. Much love. xo

  27. kristina k.

    I’m so very sorry to hear about Tilly. She will be missed. You provided a wonderful life for her during the last six years and it looks as though she enjoyed every minute of it. How lucky you all were to have found each other. May the happy memories ease the pain.

    My condolences,
    Kristina

  28. Oh goodness, how sad! I always think we are so unbelievably brave to attach our whole selves to pets that we know we will outlive. I recently thought about life without Milly when the time comes and quickly shook it off, too painful to even think about. It is evident that you have captured sweet Tilly with many wonderful photos and down the road, they will make you smile when you see them, knowing what fun she was and what a nice life you offered her. Thinking of you!!!! xo

  29. I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of your dear, dear friend. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

  30. oh i am so very sorry for your loss. take solace in knowing that you provided sweet tilly an amazing home. xx.

  31. I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet Tilly. I know that she gave you years of joy. I know you will have great memories of her.

  32. what a sweetie-pie! personality to die for! if only everyone in our lives could be so wrinkly-cute!\

  33. Ok…I see a book! But that may just be me!

  34. Have been thinking about you and the Consort all day – – and the precious Tilly. Lots of love from Malibu. xxoo Jennifer @atthebluebarn

  35. mona

    What a heartfelt memorial. I’m in tears. R.I.P. Tilly your fans will miss you. Hugs for you both, Princess and Consort. I’m so very sorry for the passing of your fur baby. She was blessed to have such caring humans. I hope you find comfort in knowing she’s waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  36. Joni

    So sorry for your loss of that wonderful baby. I am still crying from your post. I have 2 rescues and actually love dogs more than I like most people. They are great souls. She had a lot of love from you guys and a great life with you.

  37. Marie-Hélène

    I’m so sorry! You are wonderful people to have given your doggy such a good home!

  38. I teared up while reading this post. Thank you for giving a rescue dog such a sweet and loving home and so many happy memories and experiences to replace her old ones.

    Our condolences go out to you and the consort.

  39. It is so painful to lose a pet. They are just as much part of our family as a person. In fact, my dogs think they are people. I always loved seeing photos of Tilly on your blog. Will be thinking of you.

  40. VickyMacDonald

    Love to you at this sad time. A lovely piece on a beautiful and noble friend. Precious Pictures.

  41. I was saddened to learn of Tilly’s passing. Your posts that featured her are some of my favorites. She was very lucky to have such a great forever family. You and the Consort will be in my thoughts and prayers….

  42. Bridget

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Goodbye, dear Tilly.

  43. My condolences to your family. What a wonderful life Miss Tilly had, and I know she brought everyone (including your readers) many smiles. Grief is the price we pay for love.

  44. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved whenever she made an appearance on the blog. It’s never easy to lose a pet, my heart goes out to you.

  45. I’m so sorry. She was a part of the family and will be missed.

  46. Rachelle

    I’m a longtime reader, but have never commented before. I was so, so sad to see this. I absolutely adored the Tilly posts. She was a darling dog, so full of character and those wonderful bully faces. Our beloved pets do so much living in the short time they have with us – and so fully wrap themselves around our little fingers and hearts. Can you just imagine how Tilly girl is romping around now? Happy Trails Tilly.

  47. I sent you an email last night when I first heard the news – but gosh, I should have read this post in the privacy of my own home because now I’m sitting at work with tears streaming down my face. I’m so, so sorry for your loss – but I truly enjoyed reading this insight into Tilly. You know she had a special place in my heart and I hope she knew that in addition to her adoring parents, lots of us loved and cared for her. Thank you for making her life so special and pampered and for being such wonderful caretakers. You made her feel special, and she was. ((hugs)) – thinking of you and sending much love my friend.

  48. TCP

    Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry to hear this! She was certainly a sweet girl, and I know that I will certainly miss seeing her pics on my twitter feed. 😦 Hugs to you both.

  49. Thank you for sharing your photos and your story about the Preppy Pup.
    I know how hard is when a pet passes on. I still can’t bring myself to adopt another rescue dog because I still miss my last dog so much who died a couple of years ago.
    What is so important is that no matter what kind of abuse your darling Tilly suffered in her early years, you gave her a warm and loving home.
    My condolences to you, The Consort and Scooter on your loss.

  50. Ashley

    My heart goes out to you in this time of sadness. What a sweet tempered little lady you had the pleasure of adopting. Thinking of you all today.

  51. Jaye

    I am so sorry for your loss. Hold your memories close. Thank you for being a rescue family. We need more people in the world like that and we need more “Tillys!”

  52. RIP little princess Tilly… you are missed very much.

  53. I literally gasped when I read the title. This was a beautiful post. Sweet Tilly girl, I am glad you were so well loved and taken care of. My heart breaks for you guys, please know that you are in our thoughts and Honey Ham is sending some healing bulldog kisses your way.

  54. What a wonderful, wonderful tribute. We will miss her too.

  55. So so sorry. As I sit here looking wistfully at my ancient basset hound and wonder how much longer we’ll have him, I have an idea of what you must be feeling.

  56. My heart goes out to you – I know too well how it feels to lose a beloved friend. May your memories bring you joy and peace.

  57. Karen Miller

    So sorry for your loss of dear Tilly. My tears are for you and your lovely husband during this sad sad time. I’ll hug my dear Bell extra tonight and say a blessing to all the mommies and daddies who open their hearts and homes to rescues…..sniffle sniffle wipe wipe 😉

  58. Dorothy McCarten

    I am so sorry for your loss. The pictures and short stories were wonderful – so much shared love and joy !

  59. OMG….. I am a bit behind on my blog reading but I am so so so so SORRY about Tilly. OMG my heart skipped a beat reading it, what a cute adorable full of personality friend you had, I am sorry Tilly is gone but no doubt is resting comfortably now and I know you would not want it any other way. Hoping the memories you had together will keep her memory always alive in your minds and hearts. They truly make the most wonderful unconditioinal friends..and this post was a wonderful testament to the special dog Tilly was.

  60. Rebecca Nichols

    Just a lovely, sweet and perfect tribute for your sweet Tilly. I happened across this, and felt the urge to tell you how moved I was to read about Tilly, and your love for her. Man’s best friend, and woman’s too; the love and companionship of a dog is one of life’s greatest rewards. I know you’ll miss her so very much. You gave her a wonderful home, and the comfort and security she deserved from the start.

  61. Oh, TPP, I seriously have been on my honeymoon and in a different world. I had tears in my eyes while reading this post because it just shows how much Tilly was loved by your family!!! I am so sorry for your loss. *BIG hugs*

  62. lkn106

    I just read this and it brought me to tears. I have always loved reading/seeing photos of Tilly’s adventures. What a sweet pup.

  63. Julie

    I am sorry for your loss. I enjoyed seeing pictures of Tilly. She was a sweetie and a cutie-pie.

  64. Anna J Tonarely

    I am so, so sorry to hear of this devasting
    news. Being owners of 6 West Highland White Terriers and one from a owner who had the
    Mom and only a litter of 2, we have also been
    through it all. Not having children, when our
    beloved Boodles, developed cataracts because she was an insulin-dependent diabetic (shots 2X/day – she never blinked) we had her eyesight
    restored by having a cataract surgery that inserted lenses into her eyes–and suddenly she
    could see! But many people outside of Florida are unaware of a poisonous toad introduced to the sugar fields to kill the snakes because the cane cutters refused to cut cane from fear. When the toads are agitated, they emit a poison on their backs and of course, over grew the boundaries of the fields to the cities. Terriers will chase anything. They would capture a toad and
    if we saw it, would flush her mouth with water and drive like Batman to the 24-hour clinic to try and counteract the nerve poison. We lost 2 that way but not for want of trying. Heartbreaking. Yet no matter what fences one erected, if it had rained or there was water nearby. There they were. If there is anyone new to Florida, please
    learn about this deadly beast. It would not have hurt a big girl like RIP +Tilly but for the small dog
    it’s obvious the damage. It is only because we
    love so deeply, can we be hurt when its our
    animal’s time to be put at peace. The hardest thing to do, but it’s our responsibility to give them comfort even if it breaks our hearts. God bless you for rescuing your Tilly. There are so many homeless, misunderstood dogs. I hope you will cuddle up with your cat and give it live in spades while she grieves. Again, our hearts go out to you both in understanding. Thank you for sharing with us the photos of Tilly. Iknow
    I will be saving them in my PREPPY PRINCESS
    folder. OX Anna, Henri & Sasha

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