Tuesday, February 27, 2007

She was a good dog

Early this morning, my mother's ten-year-old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel died of heart failure. She was the kindest, gentlest dog I ever knew.

I will never forget the day we went to pick out Tiger Lily. There she was, one of the smallest dogs of the bunch, crawling across two litters of sleeping puppies, pulling on tails and ears, trying to wake the others to play. The breeder tried to convince my mother to take another dog because Tiger Lily had a deformed mouth, but my mom saw straight through to Tiger's heart.

Over the years, Tiger Lily brought joy and happiness to many people. She was a therapy dog who visited children in hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and special eduction settings. She helped a child learn to walk and was credited with bringing another out of a coma.

Tiger never met a person or animal she didn't think was going to be her friend, even though this assumption proved wrong on more than one occasion. Tiger Lily had a true joie de vivre and did all things with unabashed enthusiasm.

I will never forget her, the little clown dog, in her many costumes, twirling and hopping about for treats. I will never forget flopsy dog running down the hall to show her mother that she climbed up our steep wooden stairs all by herself. She was our little Tricky Woo, and we loved her. She will be missed.