Another Tribute I Wish I Didn’t Have to Write

This one is difficult for me.  Earlier in the week, I wrote An Unacceptably Late Tribute for Poppy, a wonderful dalmatian lady who was being hospiced by my friends, heroes and inspirations; Nora and Randy.

I am devastated to report that Lily, another beautiful soul taken into their family, passed away on Friday, July 11.

2011 11 19 Lily with Santa

I think you have figured out by now that I love all dogs.  But there was something about Lily that made her stand out.   Her passing feels almost as if I lost one of mine.   She was very special, and if there is anything good to be said in all of this,  it is that  I am grateful such a wonderful girl ended up with such wonderful people.  Anyone privileged to love Lily as family was truly blessed.

A little story for you that was the tipping point that made me realize what an honor it was to know Nora and Randy:

Lily had many health problems when she was a foster kid in their home.  One of which was allergies.   I remember clearly the day Nora was taking a near comatose Lily to the vet.  Lily was not handling her medications very well at all.  The reason Lily was so sick was a flowering tree, the only tree, in the back yard.  Later that day, I received the call:  Get rid of the tree.   It didn’t matter that the tree would only flower once a year, it was a seasonal discomfort to Lily, and her discomfort was not acceptable under any circumstances.

I don’t remember if Lily was still a foster or had become permanent family at that point, but I do remember the lesson in priorities learned that day.  Other people, they would have continued to medicate despite the negative effects of the medication, or they would have simply put Lily down.   Shade in Arizona is pretty important.

Nora and Randy, knowing their time with Lily, with her many health problems , would be short in the scheme of things,  got rid of the problem – the tree, and kept what was important – Lily.   Any and every day with a happy, goofy Lily was a good day.   I know this personally.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful Miss Lily was, or how much she will be missed, even by her lowly landscaper.   As badly as her parents are hurting right now, I don’t have the heart to ask them for more pictures, so instead I will direct you to her “Calendar Girl”  biography  (Lily was Miss April, 2013)   Please click this link to read more about her:

If you can find it in your heart to give a few $$ in memory of Lily to the organization that created the calendar, that would be kind of cool too.

Thinking of Lily, and Nora and Randy’s soft spot for older Goldens in need reminds me of another special person who also treasures these beautiful souls.  If you have a chance, check out Gardens For Goldens at

Lily’s star will be bright for a very long time.  She will be missed hard by so many people, especially her Dad.

Please send good thoughts to a family who lost 2 angels so close together.



19 thoughts on “Another Tribute I Wish I Didn’t Have to Write

  1. OK. You made me cry. What a beautiful girl. I did make a donation in her memory. Not knowing last names or addresses, I referred them to the calendar and your blog. Please let her mom & dad know that she is remembered by all of our goldens as well. Thank you for her beautiful tribute.

    1. Every time I read your blog I think of this couple. They have a soft spot for the older, broken (and by broken I mean missing a body part and with at least one chronic ailment) Golden. I will really miss Lily. She was special.

      1. That comes shining through in your post and her pictures on the calendar. LOVE the mohawks. What an amazing spirit! You are lucky to have known her…and she you.

    2. Ogee – Thank you very much for your donation to Arizona Golden Retriever Connection in memory of our Miss Lily. We received a sympathy card from the rescue last night. They do so much for goldens in need. Your generosity is very much appreciated. 🙂 Nora & Randy

      1. It was my pleasure. I’m so sorry for your loss…but how lucky to have had Miss Lily in your life. Best to you both.

  2. I hope it is okay that I don’t read another story of loss. I have lost so many lovely creatures myself that these touching stories send me off into a very sad place. I am so sorry for the loss of Lily – I lost my own Lily 2 years ago – I still think of her every day and I love her still. My thoughts are with Lily’s family and I hope our Lily(s) are together enjoying their great dog’s life beyond this world.

    1. This is one I really wish didn’t need to be written. They just lost Poppy less than a month ago. I have some happier posts coming up. I just couldn’t let mentioning Lily’s loss take as long as Poppy’s.

      Sorry for your loss of your Lily. Remember the times you had and the ways she shaped you. She wouldn’t want you to remember her loss, but her influence.

  3. My tears are running and I feel sorry for Lily – but thanks for this post – it feels good when I read that a lot of people feel like me and that they love their dogs as much as I do.

  4. Kate, thank you for the lovely post about our sweet Lily. She was about 13 years old with several health issues, but losing her was still quite a shock. As sad as Randy and I are now, we are still so grateful for having Lily as part of our family.

    Lily was an amazing girl and a great example of how truly wonderful Golden Retrievers are. She was very happy, gentle and patient. She loved everyone unconditionally and her big tail was always wagging. Lily was also quite a character and could be pretty goofy at times. If you tickled her lower back, she’d wiggle and dance around like her feet were on fire. She loved to play her version of hide and seek with us around the island in the kitchen.

    Next to the day she was rescued from the shelter, we think the happiest day of Lily’s life was the day of her photo shoot for the 2013 Arizona Golden Retriever Connection calendar. Lily was about 12 years old at the time and very much enjoyed her nap time. If sleeping was a sport, she would have been an Olympic champion. Part of the photo shoot required her to run across a fairly long pedestrian bridge. Our normally sleepy girl must have trotted across that bridge thirty times, each time prancing, with her head and feet held high. She knew the day was all about her and absolutely adored all the attention.

    1. I love those pictures from the bridge. My favorite is of Lily walking with her Daddy.

      Don’t get me wrong here, I loved Keeper and Molly, and that last time I saw Poppy when she finally decided I was OK, I was so honored, but there was something about Lily… I am so glad she found you guys and I am so glad I got to know her.

      I’ll be a little teary eyed tomorrow. You’ll just have to deal with it. 🙂 and 😦

  5. So much love to Nora and Rady…My heart breaks for them…One never truly gets over the loss of their four pawed angels…We follow Gardens For Goldens too!!!!

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