How do you mend two broken hearts?
In the period of one week, Edna and I lost our two bundles of fur and love, our Bichons Daisy and Lilly.
Lilly was a flirt, and would love it when other dogs, especially the BIG guys, would come up to her. Daisy, on the other hand, was a bit more aloof, and while she was very friendly, Daisy was not the climb-onto-your-lap kind of pet. Oh, she kept her eye on you, but that was as far as she would go.
They both came into our lives through one of my best friends, Jack Sears. Jack and I had been friends in our teen years and, when I found that he was living in Killingworth, I made a run out to see him.
Imagine my surprise when this cute little bundle of fur came running over to where I was sitting and jumped into my lap. She was an absolute bundle of energy and love, and I would receive the same greeting every time I went to visit Jack. We would go out to lunch, leaving Lilly in the trailer, and would always get the same loving reception every time we returned.
The bond between Lilly and Jack was something to see. One time when I got home, I told Edna about Lilly and she said she would like to go to Jack’s and meet this wonderful little dog. It was love at first sight. The only thing wrong was she was Jack’s dog.
But Jack, being the good guy he was, came up with a solution of sorts, depending on who you gave it to. Jack told Edna, “I know that the place I got Lilly still has a couple of Bichon puppies out of a different litter.”
That was all Edna had to hear.
My comment was, “Read my lips: I do not want another dog!”
Of course, we all know how all our women listen when we try to tell them something, right men? Jack wrote down the phone number for Edna. “Just in case.”
On our way back to Meriden, I once again told Edna, “Read my lips: I do not want a dog!”
In typical Edna fashion, she just smirked and said nothing. The next day, I found myself driving all the way down to the New London area to “look” at some Bichon puppies.
And, YES, we purchased one. I guess I showed her who the boss in our family was.
We named her before we got back to Meriden. Her name would be “Daisy Mae.” I don’t have to tell any animal lover how she wormed her way into my heart with her puppy antics.
But the story does not end there. I started to bring Daisy with me when I went to Jack’s and we would leave Daisy and Lilly to play while we went out and got a bite to eat. They bonded like they were sisters. I guess coming from the same breeder, they were close to being sisters.
This routine went on for a couple of months. Then one October day, Jack and I were going to get a bite to eat and he said to me, “I forgot to tell you, I have cancer in both lungs.”
It was like a knife to my heart.
I sat in stoned silence for a while, and then Jack went on to say, “I want you and Edna to take Lilly when the time comes and I have to leave her.”
I hesitated a bit with an answer, telling Jack I would have to check with Edna first although I already knew her answer.
Jack died the following March and Lilly came into our lives. Jack’s son John and granddaughter brought Lilly to us and she made a grand entrance. She walked over to the hearth of our fireplace and peed on it.
Jack had a bad back problem, so he would put special pads down on the floor. Lilly would do her business on them and that would be that.
At our home, Edna had broken Daisy into going out into our fenced-in backyard. Before long, Edna and Daisy had taught Lilly that this was the way to do her business.
There was only one problem. Lilly was an escape artist. Given the chance, she would bolt out of our yard with this old guy chasing her in my truck. She would scamper down the road a couple of houses, then stop and let me catch up to her. Then, as I approached her, she would give me a “grin” and run off again.
My biggest fear was she would run onto the “Drag Strip” (the Berlin Turnpike Connector) that runs in back of us. She would not stand a chance.
If one of the neighbors was outside, Lilly would run up to them and I would ask them to grab her collar and the chase was over —until the next time.
Lillisims did not end there, not by a long shot.
We have a king- size bed and shared it with our pups. One night we were yanked out of a sound sleep by Lilly’s howling, the most mournful howl ever. We jumped out of bed, turned on the lights and Lilly looked up at us like, “What’s going on? Why are you turning on the lights and staring at me?’
Both Daisy and Lilly became addicted to going for rides in my truck. Any time I did anything that would suggest I would be going out in my truck, the both of them would be giving me that sad-eyed stare that dogs are noted for. It was like, “Aren’t you going to take us with you?” And if I left without them, they pulled the same thing on Edna.
Daisy was the quiet one, Lilly was the barker. This proved to be very helpful when Daisy had to go outside to do her business. Daisy would simply sit at the kitchen door waiting for one of us to notice her and let her out. When this took place, Lilly would start to bark furiously until they were let out.
Another of their favorite pastimes was chasing squirrels. We have a ton of them in our backyard, which is actually state land loaded with oak trees. The squirrels love them. Lilly and Daisy would lay in wait on the deck and then chase them when they got too close to the house.
We could never ask for better traveling companions, even when we had our place in New York, When we were heading to New York, they would each grab a spot on the rear seat and sleep all the way up with one stop to stretch out their legs.
Daisy and Lilly filled our lives with joy and love for over 13 years. Daisy seemed to be showing signs of illness and old age, but trips to the vet kept her going. Lilly, on the other hand, was the wind beneath our wings. She was as rambunctious as a puppy right up to that fateful day that she was hit by a stroke.
Edna and I tried to help her as she struggled with the infirmaries brought on by the stroke, but it was of no use. With both of us crying like babies, we took our beloved Lilly to the vet for her final farewell. Knowing what a sissy I was, Edna made me wait outside while she took Lilly in to put an end to her suffering.
We were still suffering the loss of Lilly when Edna brought Daisy over to our groomer for her monthly haircut. Before her last day on this earth, Daisy roamed the backyard looking for some sign that Lilly was still in her life. After that, Daisy became quite lethargic, almost like she was heartbroken over the loss of Lilly.
Edna dropped her off at the groomers and then got a phone call from the groomer saying that Daisy had collapsed on the table. Edna rushed over and took her to the vet and was told she was suffering terribly. Daisy went to join Lilly in Doggie Heaven.
When Edna entered the house carrying Daisy’s collar, we fell into each other’s arms and wept shamelessly. Our two precious “girls” were gone from us forever. How do you mend two broken hearts?
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be.