Today we celebrate Tillie, a dog I never met, or even barked at on the Internet. She was a Lhaso Apso owned by Auntie Bev and without her there would be no tails to tell.
On Saturday morning our Auntie Bev passed away, She was one of the most important people in our lives, and, without knowing it, changed lives throughout the world.
In 1996 Mommy and Daddy had been married for two years. During that time Daddy would ask the same question: “Can we get a dog?” and Mommy would give the same answer “No way.”
Mommy said she was not a “dog person.” The only dog she had become close to was one who showed up in her driveway before she married Daddy. She was a small Shih Tzu and, when she saw Mommy, she stood on her back legs and twirled. Mommy giggled. She picked the puppy up and checked for tags but there was no sign of an owner. She reported the lost dog to Animal Control and the Police but no one stepped forward to claim him for two days. On the third day, after Mommy had come to enjoy the puppy on her lap and the sweet kisses, the pup’s family tracked her down leaving Mommy very sad.
Shortly after Mommy and Daddy got married they got a cat, Gizmo, who they called Mr Mean. He never sat with Mommy, bit her, attacked family members and was a terrible grouch. Mommy mentioned one days she would like a lap dog for company. Daddy immediately thought of Aunt Bev’s dog Tillie and said he would introduce Mommy to Tillie the next day.
Unfortunately Tillie had gone to the Bridge the summer before but Aunt Bev told Mommy that us little dogs were no work. She said we barely ever barked, were easily house trained, weren’t stubborn at all, and Mommy wouldn’t even notice us. Loving her nephew very much Auntie Bev basically lied her ass of for him.
Mommy said she would consider getting a dog and Daddy didn’t let a blade of grass grow under him. He was investigating the want ads the next day and before ]sunset Blake Bear was a member of the family. A few years later, after Gizmo ate an entire Glad large trash bag and went to the Bridge, they decided to add another dog who they named Foley, and later gave the last name Monster because of my unruly hair and big ears.
And from that day forward, every time Mommy and Daddy got a new pup, they were at Aunt Bev’s who, her body wracked by arthritis and unable to take care of a dog on her own, enjoyed each doggy Mom owned including Pocket, who was the last dog Mommy and Daddy introduced to her.
After her husband, Uncle Bob, passed away, Daddy spent an hour a week with Auntie Bev and he learned so much from her, which he passed on to us. Her arthritis became worse and soon she had a fall which put her in the hospital and then a nursing home. We visited her several times there until her mind, like her body, began to give out before her heart until that too finally beat it’s last and she passed on to the Bridge to be reunited with her beloved husband Uncle Bob, Tillie, and all the dogs who came before Tillie.
When the day comes for me to go to the Bridge I know Auntie Bev will be there to meet me and both of us will be young again and we will get to play like we never got to on this Earthly realm because we will be young, strong, and fast again. I will tell her my stories and she will tell me hers and I will finally get to meet Tillie.
Auntie Bev never knew how many lives she touched, because without her there would be no me, and without me my Mommy would not have found so many wonderful friends on the Internet, there would be no Tanner Brigade, DS would be a different place, dogs would go unrepresented in a court of law, Hobo may never have written his book.
So thank you Tillie for being a wonderful dog who inspired Auntie Bev to convince Mommy to get a dog, which led to a blog, to great friends, to a wonderful social network, and so many good friends and good times.
And thank you Auntie Bev for my life.