Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tilly T Wonderdog

My children have a knack for unusual names for their pets. Especially the dogs. Today you will learn about Tilly T (T stands for The) Wonderdog.

It was a lovely spring day and I was visiting a friend. We sat on the front porch talking and enjoying the weather.

His neighbor brought out a little puppy and tied it to a stake in their front yard. She left no water even though it was a warm day. When she went inside her small children came out.

As children often do these little "angels" were being cruel to the poor puppy. They tormented it and then began poking it with sticks.

I knocked on their door to let the mother know what was happening to the poor puppy. She did not seem too concerned.

Then she told me she would probably take it to the pound because it was too much work. That was when I offered to take it home with me.

The little guy was cute. Because it happened to be my oldest son's birthday he claimed the dog as his.

And the little boy puppy turned out to be a little girl puppy. She probably was just barely old enough to be away from her mother. She still had several milk teeth.

My son said he always wanted a dog that he could give a good life to. As you know many pets do not get to stay with their families because they die early or run away. My son intended for this not to happen with her.

Naming her was a process. He wanted to name her after his previous dog Attila Thor Doberhound. I suggested Tilly as a derivative of Attila. Tilly it was. The rest of her name came as she grew into it.

Tilly was a normal puppy. As her new teeth began to come in she chewed. And chewed. And chewed. Then she kept on chewing after she had her teeth.

What upset me was that it was always my things she chewed. I would come in the door and see the evidence.

I was stunned that my daughter's love birds, who picked up several words and noises, did not say "Damned dog!" because it seemed like that was what I said every time I came in.

I once went on a trip. My luggage was leather. When I came home I was tired and did not immediately unpack. After a bit of rest I had to report to my job.

When I came home from work I found that she had chewed a hole in my suitcase to get to my shoes. She took one she from each of two pair and chewed them. The shoes were new and worn only once. The shoes and the suitcase were ruined. Damned dog!

It took a couple of years before she stopped chewing.

Then she became a lady. She had a delicate face and such a pretty blonde blonde color. She was medium sized.

Tilly was gentle and even tempered. However she did not like children up close.

She was happy when my grandchildren came to visit. She would greet them at the door, wagging her whole back half. Then she would retreat to a safe place so they could not try to play with her. Perhaps somewhere in her memory she remembered being poked with a stick.

Tilly took great pride in being a dog. She did not wish to be one of us. She loved us and we were hers but she knew she was a bit better than a human.

Tilly ate her dog food. She did not want table scraps. (How common!) My son would sometimes try to give a piece of his hamburger if we had fast food. She would reject it unless he forced her. Then she would take her little piece away from our sight and then grudgingly eat it. She did not like to eat in front of us.

We could have left a raw steak out in front of her and she would not even have sniffed it. It was beneath her.

We had gone to Wendy's to get fast food one day. Of course we had to have frostys  too. A frosty is similar to a shake or a malt. It is thick with ice cream. It has a bit of chocolate flavor and I think perhaps a bit of malt powder.

We ate in front of the television. I sat my frosty on the floor next to my leg as I ate and talked.

I was telling a story and reveling in the amusement my children were showing. They were chuckling and their eyes shone with glee. They usually sat and acted as if I were boring them. I was in heaven.

To catch my breath I reached down for my frosty. Imagine my shock at finding the frosty with Tilly's nose in it! She was stealing my frosty! That was what my children found so funny.
Of course we all began to laugh out loud. Tilly polished off the whole thing. Which was good because I no longer wanted it.
We also discovered that she liked cherry flavored Hall's cough drops. My son kept them on a shelf next to his bed. He had to put them in a safer place because she would eat them all and they were not really good for her.

My son also kept money on the shelf next to his bed. One day after work he came to me from his room laughing. He had walked in to find the dog had pulled all his currency onto the bed and was rolling in it much the same way a dog rolls in the grass. The money had to be put somewhere else too.

We had cats at the same time that Tilly came to live with us. There was a window they liked to lie in and sun themselves while taking a nap. Tilly thought it looked like a good idea so she began to do the same.

The problem started when she grew too large to relax there. She would fall asleep and fall to the floor. No more naps in the window for her.

Another thing Tilly could do was identify a $20 bill. Any other denomination could be presented and she did a big "ho-hum" and ignored it. To her a $20 bill meant we had ordered pizza. She would jump up and down and get all excited. The thing is that she never ate pizza. She got to terrorize the delivery boy. She was happy.

To say the word bath in front of Tilly was cause for her to begin to shiver with fear. She would act like someone was ready to beat her. I do not know why. When my son would get her in the tub she did not want to come out. She loved the water and loved to swim.

My youngest son looked like my youngest brother. Tilly was on her chain one day when my brother came to visit. Tilly went running up happily to greet my son.

When my brother spoke to her she turned angrily and growled and lunged at him. By his voice and his smell she knew he was not my son. I think she was angry because she had been deceived.

Tilly began to walk in circles through the house. She would walk to the front door then back through the hall to the bathroom over and over. When she was so exhausted she had to sleep she would lie down. As soon as she woke she started to pace again.

We took her to the vet. The vet said that Tilly had a lesion on her brain that caused the compulsive pacing. There was nothing to do to control it. Eventually she would have to be put down.

When would be time to do that? The vet said we would know.

Tilly began to have seizures. Because of my epilepsy my children and I know what to do during and after a seizure. We tried to make her as comfortable as possible.

We had taken Tilly with us to a new park we found several times. There was a small lake there for swimming. Dogs were allowed. She loved it there.

She kept getting worse. We went to the park for a family outing and took Tilly along. When she got out of the car she took off dragging my son behind her. She went directly to the water. She swam all afternoon.

That was the last good day Tilly had. A few nights later she began seizing repeatedly. My son told me to call the vet which I did. But she stopped seizing and my son could not bring himself to take her.

The following morning she was worse. My son held her as I drove to the vet. He cried because he knew he was losing her.

The vet was sympathetic. She said it was time. She gave Tilly an injection and in seconds it was over. We were given a box of tissues and as much tim as we needed to be with Tilly. We used the whole box.

Tilly was a wonderful dog. She appreciated us as her pets. Best of all my son had given her a long and happy life.


  1. A good dog. Some pets are more special than others. Tilly was top of the lot.

    1. Tilly was special for sure. As one of her pets I miss her still.

  2. A beautiful story about a beautiful friend. Made me shed a tear for her.

    1. You would have liked her John. She was loyal and always by my son's side. He was her favorite pet.

  3. If Tilly could have seen this tribute post, she would be wagging her tale for sure, Emma.

    1. Actually Tilly could not have been bothered by mundane human things. Her job was to allow us to worship her. She was a loving pet owner.

  4. Beautiful post! :-) Thanks,

    Greetings from London.

  5. what a beautiful post, and glad that Tilly got a beautiful gift of family.

    1. She lived to be about 11 years old so she had a fairly long life. She knew that my son loved her and the rest of us did too.