Remembering Lylee

I wanted to write today because it’s an emotional one for us.

Today is one year since we lost Lylee.

Last year we were in the last stage of pregnancy. It was freshly fall. We were in the midst of a fun & busy travel season, squeezing in those last few trips before M would arrive. We were looking forward to a baby shower and my birthday and the holiday season. There was so much GOOD going on…

And then Lylee got an infection and passed away so suddenly it took months for us to wrap our heads around it.


Ly’s passing was the second major, Earth shattering, out-of-the-blue death in my life. And if you’re a “she was just a dog” kind of person then this post isn’t for you. But chances are you’re not because our friends and family and neighbors truly SHOWED UP for us this time last year.

I am so grateful for the community of love in which we belong. My parents, K’s parents, & my grandparents gathered together with us to say goodbye to and bury Lylee. My brother and sister-in-law drove four hours just to bring us a gorgeously framed photo of the bear and sit with us in our grief, remembering the joy Ly brought us. Friends and neighbors sent cards, flowers, and food to heal our souls. My best friends had a drawing of Lylee (& Enzo) commissioned and sent to us.

Remember the life Lylee lived and the love she brought out of others is the gift she left behind.

I’m also pretty sure she gifted us Bristol and laughs about it everyday, looking down on us and thinking, ‘See? I wasn’t so bad, was I?’ Lol.


Lylee would have adored Moo. I know Enzo still misses his sister. I think about her often. She was K’s dog through and through, and I know her death still deeply affects him. But Lylee came to us by chance and we were so damn lucky to spend those years with her. She was our first baby and I’m forever grateful that we got to love her.

So the moral of today’s post is simple. Hug and squeeze and kiss on the ones you love- fur and flesh. Sit in the sun and pet your cat’s warm fur, throw the ball a few extra times for your dog, give your mom a call.

And please adopt your next fur baby. Do it for Lylee ♥

Happy Birthday, Bear!

Today is our oldest fur-baby’s birthday. She is 4 years young today and handling the milestone quite well.

Lylee

A few weeks ago I did a post for Enzo (read it here) but today will be all about Lylee.

Name || Lylee
DOB || June 17, 2011
Gotcha Date || December 7, 2012
Heritage || Husky, Boxer, Lab?
Eye Color || Brown
Fur Color || Golden blonde
Weight || +65lbs.
Nicknames || Ly, Lylee Bear, Bear, Bearface, Wy-wee, Big Bear, Wy-wee Bear, Lyler, Fluffy butt, Wywer

Adoption Story
Lylee was originally adopted from a local Ohio shelter, but not by us. She spent her first year with friends of ours (Kelsey & Andy). Unforeseen circumstances forced them to make the heartbreaking decision to re-home Lylee, but Kelsey was determined to keep her out of the shelter. After pleading with my parents (& Kyle, since we’d be married in less than a year) I told Kelsey that we would take her. On December 7, 2012 we drove an hour north to meet Kelsey and load up Lylee, her dog house, and everything else that came with her.

I remember it was storming that night but Lylee hopped right into my car, laid down, and fell asleep.

Hunting for a Dog House
We adopted Ly in December, got married in April, and I moved into the apartment with Kyle right away. Unfortunately Lylee stayed at my parents’ house. Since they’re gone most of the day, she was tied out a lot. (If you know Lylee you know that she does not like being tied out.) These days of isolation brought out a new personality in her- she became fearful of storms, aggressive toward some dogs, and very anxious.

We could see the transformation and knew something had to be done… so we bought a house. Lylee was the first one to move in.

IMG_1644

Growing the Family
After we bought our house I started casually browsing PetFinder. (I still tend to casual browse PetFinder……) Lylee was getting more dog-aggressive/anxious and needed a sibling. I finally convinced K of this and on December 7, 2013 (yes, one year after taking in Ly) we set out for a boxer-mix. Instead, we found Enzo.

IMG_2822

We knew the deciding factor would be Lylee. When we introduced them in our driveway Lylee gave him a few sniffs, pushed him around with her nose, and decided he would do as a brother.

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
Lylee is a very anxious dog. She’s also very friendly & loyal, but when she gets scared (other dogs, loud children, etc.) she reacts with fight rather than flight… Since we brought her home we’ve been working on this- she has been to obedience school, seen a dog trainer/whisperer, and taken medication. She still quivers in a bad storm and barks at foreign dogs, but she has a few dogs that she gets along with and she’s starting to relax on her own. (She’s been medication-free for over a year now, with the exception of occasional Benadryl.)

She’s a handful but she’s my favorite handful.

#ThrowbackWednesday? A puppy-pic from Ly's first owners.
#ThrowbackWednesday? A puppy-pic from Ly’s first owners.

Princess Lylee
The best part about Lylee is her personality. Some people have one-sided conversations with their pets; my dog actually talks back. She will ask for a walk (daily), she’ll demand food, she will tell you if her ball is stuck under the couch, and she will come find you and tell you when she’d like to go outside. She sits on her brother to get him to move. She tricks him into giving up his toys. She snuggled into the bed, all by herself.

She is the smartest dog I have ever come across. She knows more than a few words and her reasoning skills are incredible. She associates my tennis shoes with a walk, a chain link fence with dogs, and steam/smoke from the stove with smoke detectors (my bad).

I am so grateful that Lylee crossed our path and enter our life when she did- she’s an amazing critter. Happy Birthday, Big Bear! Love you!

Dog food + Whipped Cream!
Dog food + Whipped Cream!

(Am I the only one that gets puppy fever when looking through old photos??)

-Louise