Yes, We Have A Dog And Her Name Is Lily

In a post a few days back I mentioned something about letting the dog out or feeding the dog.

More than one person in the comments said, "You guys have a dog?"

Why yes, we do.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, say hello to Lily. She's nine (just a bit older than Simon) and she's been with us since she was 6 weeks old.

Here she is with our second black lab, Wyatt, and Simon in 2003:

And here she is in 2004:

Lily is the reason we will always have female dogs from now on. She's kind and gentle and loyal and just gets a tad-bit excited when someone comes to visit.

My Dad had a black lab growing up: Mac The Knife.

I grew up with a black Lab - Mac The Knife Jr.

Labs have always been a part of my life.

Lily is the third black lab to live with Chris and me.

A couple years after Chris and I were married we brought our first black Lab pup home: Eddie. Eddie was killed in an accident before he was two. It was a terribly sad, heartbreaking experience.

After Eddie, we knew we wanted another dog. We found Wyatt online and drove to Northern California to pick him up. Wyatt had more of a "person" personality than any of other dogs. Seriously. He was four or five when picked him up and he lived to be about nine. He got to live out the last few years of his life at the beach with my parents.

Lily came to live with us right around the time that Wyatt did - so for a number of years we had two dogs. Which was interesting in our small living quarters with a new baby.

Lily is awesome. She's really all you could want in a dog.

Once a year Lily goes bird hunting with my Dad in eastern Oregon.

This year, before heading to the other side of the state, Lily went to Grandma and Grandpa camp for some conditioning work. She's getting up there in years and needs a bit of physical training to get her in shape for the rigors of hunting. When she goes to Grandpa and Grandma camp she goes crabbing in the boat with my Dad. He throws tennis balls for her over and over again. They go out exploring in the sand dunes.

Needless to say, when she sees my parents pull up to our house she gets really excited and I think she probably wants to go home with them.

When they get over to the east side of the state it's all business.

Some years there are other dogs along for the adventure.

She totally loves it and she's great at retrieving the birds.

After a long day of hunting out in the crazy weather she usually gets a nice warm bath and then gets to sleep with my Dad on the bed.

Around here, Lily is my daily companion. Most of the time you can find her here with my in my office or she follows me around the house as I do this and that.

Neither of the kids have an extra-special bond with her. It's more of a co-existence. Simon's gone through periods where he wanted to cuddle with her (and she's happy with that for sure) but it hasn't been an ongoing thing.

As I was looking for photos with Lily in them I had to laugh because we have lots of photos where part of Lily is in the photo. Photos like this:

And this one where she's in one of her favorite spots under the table (in our old house):

Most of the time she's hanging out waiting for a snack:

Here she is on the move (that's Wyatt in the foreground) back in 2004 or 2005:

She's definitely a people dog. She wants to hang out and she wants to stay close to home (both Eddie and Wyatt were always interested in wandering). She barks really loud to let me know when someone is out the door and then wiggles and wiggles and licks the person who ends up on the other side of the door.

She's an awesome dog. Love you Lily-girl.

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  1. marci

    2011-02-04 14:12:48 -0600

    your beautiful lily reminds me so much of our beloved paige, who died two years ago at the age of 13. lily's photos and your description of her bring back such happy memories of our paigey. thank you, and give lily a big hug for me.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  2. Patti G

    2011-02-04 14:30:46 -0600

    I have yellow lab - she's actually pretty white. Her name is Miss Liberty Bell, but we call her Libbi. She is our 2nd lab - & I'm with you, I wouldn't have any other kind of dog. We had a black lab mixed years ago, then a full blooded chocolate lab, & now Libbi - our "white chocolate" lab. LoVe them all too pieces!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  3. Sandra

    2011-02-04 15:18:32 -0600

    AWW, I miss my labs. I've had two black ones who have passed on, Labs are really great dogs!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  4. tara w

    2011-02-04 16:03:39 -0600

    So so sweet. If I could guarantee a great dog I would get one in a heartbeat.

    You are also so very lucky to have parents who really invest in your life. I hope they read this - they do a phenomenal job. I love hearing about how they do certain things. Even taking Lily - just so sweet.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  5. Barbara

    2011-02-04 16:32:24 -0600

    I just love your photos and I'm so glad they are just as "bad" as mine ;-) My black lab, 9 months old Lexie, it is impossible to get a decent picture of her! She constantly runs up to me when I have the camera, and she is so black, just a black spot on the grass or in the snow. She lies on the sofa on her back, all 4 legs up and is snoring right now, and looks outragously funny, but with the flash it just looks horrible, and with my 50 mm 1.5 lens it is still to dark, blurry pictures, a black heap on the sofa*sigh*.
    Any tips on photographing a black lab ??
    Greetings from Germany

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  6. ale

    2011-02-04 16:42:22 -0600

    love this post, ali! lilly is a great dog. it's amazing how big dogs seems to behave better then the small ones around kids.

    have a great weekend!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  7. ana smith

    2011-02-04 16:47:01 -0600

    I had a walk last night with the best dog ever. Her name is Gigi and maybe it is because she's a female that she has the best temperment. Love that doggy!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  8. Marie Phillips

    2011-02-04 17:20:33 -0600

    I, like you, also grew up with a black lab. Some of my favourite memories are of "Sophie", who was an incredible dog. My husband and I also had a black lab, "Brutus", who was taken from us too early.
    Four years ago, I lost my husband to cancer, and my newly adopted daughter and I spent a large amount of time at my parents'home during my 1 year parental leave. About 1 week after returning to work, I contracted a terrible infection, and as a result was no longer able to care for myself and my daughter alone - we have moved into my parents home on the farm, and are quite happy here. This past summer my parents decided that my daughter should have a pup, since in their words "no child should grow up without a dog". My daughter was visiting at my brothers for a few days this past summer and we got a lab pup while she was away. It has been love at first sight since she came home and called our pup "Lily"!! They have been inseparable since - Lily even lets my daughter dress her up in tutus, sunglasses, hats and pearls!! Lily also just about turns herself inside out everytime she greets someone - even when she greets us after a night's rest!!!
    I am so glad to hear that there is another Lily giving Joy to another family!!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  9. Christine

    2011-02-04 18:53:08 -0600

    This should be an album just about Lily. I do albums and pages on my furry baby--my fourth child really!--and I treasure them even more now because he has cancer and I don't know how long we get to enjoy him. I love seeing other people who treat their dogs like family.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  10. lyn

    2011-02-04 18:55:17 -0600

    Loved meeting Lily. My aunt has trained labs to help the blind. They are awesome dogs. We have a boxer, Riley, that is a wonder. He is great with kids and wonderful at being intimidating at the door! :) He is my shadow. Will be 5 in March. And dog hair.........grrrr......

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  11. Sue

    2011-02-04 19:27:28 -0600

    What a great post! It is so nice to see dogs that get to go on adventures that they were/are bred to do. My dog would love to live with your parents too! Although he is a loved family member, he doesn't get the opportunity to go on those special doggy hunting adventures like Lily. I know he would love them beyond words, or woofs in his case. What fun for her!!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  12. Issy finlay

    2011-02-04 19:44:25 -0600

    Hi Ali!
    I have the most beautiful and gentle black lab. My youngest son named him Jag (short for Jaguar as he looked like a baby jaguar when we got him on Independance Day 2010). He is so great with my toddler grandkids and loves to be stroked. He must be a keen scrapbooker, cos he follows me into my craftroom and sits with me for hours. He looks after me and tells me that its bedtime, when I'm pulling an all-nighter, whilst trying to finish a project! I can't bear to think about life without him. Love from Scotland

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  13. Kate

    2011-02-04 19:50:40 -0600

    I grew up with black labs, 3 in a row, all given the same name by my father. I have never not owned a dog and more often than not had 2 and on occasions 3, which is hard work. I am a mad dog lover and currently have a brown lab aged 3 and a greyhound x golden retriever aged 9.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  14. Denise

    2011-02-04 20:40:27 -0600

    We have a black lab and guess what her name is... Ali ~my daughter named her, it's totally a coincidence, I'm not a crazy stalker! LOL! SHe was a rescue dog and one the very best dogs we've ever owned. LOVED your story!!!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  15. Fernanda

    2011-02-05 07:12:09 -0600

    shes pretty and I have one black too!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  16. Colleen F

    2011-02-05 19:25:28 -0600

    Loved learning about and seeing the pictures of Lily. Made me miss Cookie and B.K., the two labs that I grew up with. They are the best dogs to have around children. If I had the space for a dog, it would be another lab.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  17. Monica Calderin

    2011-02-05 20:25:32 -0600

    I think pets complete your family! We had a lab for 9 years that we had to put down. Now we have a Golden Retriever in the house. They boys adore her.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  18. Danielle Taylor

    2011-02-06 12:21:04 -0600

    Lily is precious! We also have a black lab and couldn't have gotten luckier with our perfect baby!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  19. Suz

    2011-02-06 15:23:51 -0600

    Really happy you showcased your Lily in this post. I've seen her "out of the spotlight" yet in your layouts and blog posts throughout the years and always enjoy the ones where she is in it. Clearly an integral part of your family (as is our Lily too!--Black lab/shepherd mix).
    There was awhile back, that I didn't see her in your pics/posts and was worried that something had happened to her, so I was very relieved when she started showing up again!
    Have a great weekend!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  20. Lindsey

    2011-02-06 20:58:16 -0600

    When I saw this, I thought of you. I figured Simon would probably love something like this. :) Lego cake!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  21. Sue TR

    2011-02-07 10:11:53 -0600

    Hi Ali! Thanks for sharing Lily with us! We have a almost 8 month old black lab mix named Shadow....PLEASE tell me she'll mellow out!! Am a cat person so hyper energetic dog, sometimes am at my wits end! I love the pix of her hanging w you under your desk...that was my "vision" when we adopted her, I know I'm going to have to wait awhile for her to get to that point...right now when I bring her in my studio, she heads right for the paper recycling box to shred things.
    Are yours "chewers"?

    Really, how long does the puppy thing last with labs anyway?!!!

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  22. Beke

    2011-02-12 01:12:40 -0600

    Over the 4 months of being a regular reader of your blogs, I've looked at your past layouts over the years and saw Lily in some of them. I had always wondered about her story.:)

    We don't have a dog these days, as we live in a townhouse and not allowed pets like dogs or cats, but I can't wait till I can have MY own dog as an adult, though we've had dogs as a was growing up. They are truely the most amazing animals, esp those who really do have that human personality. I would love to own a lab, golden or black. I've heard and seen that they are fantastic with children as well as the whole family.

    A few months ago, my mum had to give away her staffy x kelpie x jack russle (sounds funny, but he has so good looking), it is always the sadest thing to loose a pet, esp a dog who's your best friend. tressure their lives!


    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  23. Lisa

    2011-02-12 06:45:12 -0600

    We have a 9 month old female chocolate lab and I agree wholeheartedly with you on how perfect they are. Carly is cute, sweet, funny, smart and playful. She and my son have a very special bond. I think if you got a puppy, perhaps in a few years, your kids would bond with a crazy, playful, interactive pup.

    I wouldn't give up our lab for anything. She is a much loved member of the family.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  24. For The Love Of Sweet Lily Girl | Ali Edwards

    2013-06-24 05:00:26 -0500

    [...] See more photos and read a post from 2011 about her story here. [...]

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
  25. Deirdre - Irl

    2013-06-24 11:29:29 -0500

    Hi Ali, just read this from the link in your post about Lily's passing. So lovely to read about her day to day routine and the impact she has had on all your lives.

    We currently have a black lab x g. retriever who is just 10 months old. I am tearing up typing this as she will be leaving us in a little over 2 months time. She is a guide dog puppy and I am a volunteer puppy walker for the Irish Guide Dogs. When we got her at 6.5 weeks last October I thought that handing her back would be okay (since we knew that we would only have her for the year) - how foolish was I!.

    I can totally relate to your post - her and I have a special bond but so do my husband and two boys. We have decided that we are going to puppy walk a second puppy. We are hopeful that she will make it through the training to become a guide dog or assistance dog and have a very positive impact on someone's life.

    Hugs to you at this difficult time.

    * edited 08/11/14 06:19AM
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