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.
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.
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.)
She liked to sleep. A lot.
She appointed herself to the local Neighborhood Watch team.
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.
On multiple occasions (and in multiple styles) the poor thing was in the Cone Zone.
Tilly was exceptionally tolerant
of our harebrained schemes of the oddities perpetrated by humans, like the notion she needed to sport a Yale sweatshirt.
She really wasn’t in favor of supporting the local University’s Veterinary College by personally participating in the annual dog wash.
She was overheard saying, “Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets wet.”
But she reveled in the occasional spa day.
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.
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.
It was clearly Tilly’s safe place, but sometimes all you could see was the Tilly tongue.
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.
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?”
She loved being in a vehicle.
Anything with wheels and she was deliriously happy.
She was forever climbing into open trucks of any and every kind, she just invited herself on board.
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.
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!”)
Much to everyone’s surprise Tilly loved to run, we called her the ‘amazing, flying Tilly’.
No matter the season, she would take off in a dead run.
It was like she was the Forrest Gump of bulldogs.
And Tilly loved her yoga, she was the queen of downward facing dog.
But more than anything she was an optimist.
In Tillyland it was always a sunny day.
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.
More friends to make.
More fun to have.
And we will miss her so.