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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123 thoughts

  1. melanie says…
    02/03/2011

    loved learning more about miss lily. i've never had a dog but look forward to it when we have a bigger home post-residency + fellowship. that day will come soon, right? ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Julia says…
    02/03/2011

    :) Our Lily, a Bernese Mountain Dog, passed away last year at the ripe old age of 10. Your Lily sounds very much like her. Thanks for sharing... I feel all bittersweet thinking about how much I loved that wonderful dog.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Jill says…
    02/03/2011

    I loved reading this post, Ali :) I grew up with dogs. First, a male black lab. My dad has been a big bird hunter his whole life, so Corky was a hunting dog. He was a BIG wanderer (most male labs are - that's why Humane Societies are filled with lab mixes :( ) and he wasn't car smart so he was killed when I was around 8. Then we went a few years w/o a dog - then got a Brittany Spaniel and now my parents have an English Setter. They are SO much a part of my family - and my story from a baby on to an adult. I don't have my own dog and I'll miss Chance when he's gone. They've all been a source of true joy - for all of us in different ways :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Michelle D. says…
    02/03/2011

    I've loved seeing Lily off and on over the years, and I love this fully captured story. :) I have to ask...how long did it take you to find all these photos? Are you photos tagged "Lily" in Aperture? After our first dog German-Shep mix named Beau died at age 12, I started hunting and tagging him in pics. But I am, of course, not current on tagging at all (use Lightroom). Great story--can't wait to see the page. ;)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      02/04/2011

      Hi Michelle - it didn't take too long. I scanned 2010 for some photos and then I have binders with DVD's of burned images. For each DVD I have a contact sheet(s) printed so I can see what images are on the disk. I have binders like that for 2004 and 2005. I really need to do that again - print out and burn for 2006 and beyond. It's a really easy way to see what I have.

      I have not taken advantage of the tagging features in Aperture. Keep thinking I will start and keep getting distracted with other things :).

  5. Michele H. says…
    02/03/2011

    I was hoping you would do a post about your dog.

    I had a black lab - King - when I was growing up. Reminds me so much of Lily. I always thought we'd end up adopting a lab but my oldest is so afraid of bigger dogs. So we went with a little one instead. It'll be almost a year when we adopted and I have to say I can't imagine life without him:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Marianne says…
    02/03/2011

    Thanks for your Lily story. It's so heartwarming to see her intertwined in your family stories!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. RobynS says…
    02/03/2011

    This is a great post. Just the other day I was wondering if you still had Lily because she ad not been in a blog post in a long time. We are dog people too. I got my first black lab in 1985. My husband had a beagle. Completely different character. We then had a White Shephard that bridged the gap while our first two aged and passed. The Shephard helped raise a Chocolate Lab that belongs to my son. (She is seven now) And a Chihauhau that belongs to my daughter. Our old white dog has passed. It is hard when they leave but hey are such a wonderful part of the family. Great for raising children. Our lab talks when ever we have pizza. It is her and my son's favorite food I think. And yes they sleep i the bed with the kids and yes I do a lot of laundry because of it. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Jennifer says…
    02/03/2011

    Loved hearing about Lily, I have noticed her in many of your photos. I have always had dogs, couldn't even think about being without them. We have a gold lab, though he is more white, who just earlier this week celebrated his 13th birthday, he like Lily is always just a few feet away from me at any given time. Sebastian has arthritis and has hassles getting about some days, but in his nature he still thinks he is a puppy. Our children have all grown now and left home, but when other family comes he loves being with kids, that is the only time he leaves me is to sleep in their room or in the hallway so he can 'stand guard' over everyone. He is big even for a lab, but a gentle giant, just looks at me when the cat smooches him, with that 'things I put up with' look, all my nieces and nephews used to climb all over him as babies. Our daughter brings her dogs over every day when she is at work for them to stay with 'Nan', so with thoses two, our two, the lab and a fox terrier (Sebastian thinks Fletcher is his) I often feel like the pied piper with the four following me everywhere.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. ethnic scrapbooking says…
    02/03/2011

    I have over 70+ scrapbook albums and never scrapbooked a page about the dogs in my life, I know "gasp". I love our current dog, a Portuguese Water Dog, (breed was selected by my husband, who has never had a dog) like Lily she's at my feet all day as I work, she's overly affectionate and has quite a personality, she goes on all of our trips with us, I've got much to scrapbook about. You've given me some ideas, instead of blogging about her, I'll have to reserve a few pages in the family album about her...Sierra Leone.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Tweets that mention Yes, We Have A Dog And Her Name Is Lily | Ali Edwards -- Topsy.com says…
    02/04/2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ali Edwards, TM_Erin. TM_Erin said: Nothing sweeter than a good dog. RT @aliedwards: Yes, We Have A Dog And Her Name Is Lily http://bit.ly/fFsClT [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. michelle says…
    02/04/2011

    We have Max and Smalls. Two yellow Labs. Max is a bit neurotic. He was on doggie Xanax. His big brother Fenway died and he now has a little brother, Smalls. Smalls is all puppy, all mischief, all destruction, but we love him to pieces. Labs rock. I know Max looks at me like, "are you serious?" when Smalls starts running around, but when we are gone, he has a friend. Max will lay in my arms and cuddle....he let's Smalls know that's his spot. Dogs are seriously a huge part of our family and our house would not be the same without them.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Liz says…
    02/04/2011

    For some reason your comments about part of her being in lots of photos brought me to tears. That's how they are isn't it? Especially after the birth of one or two children, they are not the focus, but always in the picture. I love Lily and all parts of her.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      02/04/2011

      Yes, that's exactly how they are. Love you Liz.

  13. sarah says…
    02/04/2011

    loved learning more about lily! when my mom married my stepdad 13 years ago he arrived to our family with his one year old black lab/chesapeake bay mix, zoey. sadly zoey's no longer with us, but i had to smile when you said lily barks and then wiggles and wiggles. i know that wiggle - we use to say zoey wagged her tail with her whole body she wiggled so much when happy! once my parents house sells, and they are settled in a new one they'll get another black lab puppy. i cannot wait (and i've already named her!) :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      02/04/2011

      I think I have a name for our next one too - just have to get Chris to agree :).

  14. amy tangerine says…
    02/04/2011

    awww lily!
    we had a yellow lab mix named addison who we adopted at 3 yrs while i was in high school. he lived a super happy life but at 15 was diagnosed with liver cancer. he met my jack russell terrier, buster about six months before passing. and i never thought is was possible, but i believe addison was part lab part jack russell terrier!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Tere says…
    02/04/2011

    nice to meet you lily.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. marilou says…
    02/04/2011

    I have a black dog. Didn't realize how hard she'd be to photograph, or maybe I'd have picked a brown one. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Christy says…
    02/04/2011

    I'm a huge lab person too. Highly recommend the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain."

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Nancy says…
      02/04/2011

      That is an awesome book, even if you aren't a dog lover. Very moving.

    2. Kim H. says…
      02/04/2011

      That is the book we are reading for my book club this month. :)

    3. Sue says…
      02/06/2011

      Loved that book! I couldn't put it down!

  18. Rebekah Pontow says…
    02/04/2011

    Loved meeting Lilly - we have a wonderful dog as well and it's so special to have a companion who is part of the family!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Michelle W says…
    02/04/2011

    Thank you for sharing Lily. :)

    My yellow lab-mix will be 5 this week. She was a terror as a puppy. I often marvel that we managed to survive her first 8 months. She does the wiggle thing, too. We tease her that she wags her entire body. Have mercy if you are behind her when she gets excited, that tail hurts!

    We also have an almost 2 year old Pomeranian. He wasn't planned. LOL! He was the EASIEST puppy!

    They are a joy. Happiness truly is a warm puppy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Kristie H says…
    02/04/2011

    She's cute! We have a 2yr old lab/sharpei mix. He's a handful but brings a certain depth to our life that we miss when we leave him!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Elaine Millar says…
    02/04/2011

    Reminds me of my black lab, Buddy. He lived to be 15 1/2, followed me around the house all day and was a people dog as well. He rarely barked but was totally fond of blondes (yellow labs) and Belle, a neighbors black lab. I sure do miss hem.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Alida says…
    02/04/2011

    Such a great post, and potential layout. I just wanted to make my photo OTD of my Cocker Spaniel who follows me around. We had a pair of huskies before her. They were awesome. I love how you enrich Lily's life with excursions. And your Dad, he just sounds amazing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Brooke says…
    02/04/2011

    I love that your parents are the perfect Grandparents, even for your dog. I'm (quite obviously) not a dog but the appeal of Grandma and Grandpa camp sounds pretty awesome.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Heather Smithson says…
      02/04/2011

      I was thinking the same thing!

  24. dawn says…
    02/04/2011

    Thank you for this post on Lily. I knew you had her just not the story about her. What a great dog she is to everyone. My kids have begged for years to get a puppy but I'm not much of a dog person. Last fall while out at a garden center for fall activities there were 8 puppies in a pen "FOR FREE" of course and this little guy stole my heart along with the kids. I couldn't say no this time. So we've had him almost 4 months and he is a people person for sure. He loves loves having the kids home and cries/whines/barks on Monday mornings when they go back to school. He follows me around all day, at my feet of course. Everyone is very attached to him and he's part of the family. He is also a mix of black lab and maybe german shepard we think. Thanks for sharing this story and about your grandparent camp, so funny.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Kathleen says…
    02/04/2011

    We adopted a lab 8 years ago---LOVE her....but, don't love the hair! I know you're not a house cleaning site, ;D but how do you solve that in your home!?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      02/04/2011

      No love for the hair here either. I think I've just gotten used to it and accepted it as part of life :). For some reason it feels not as bad in this house...even though I'm sure she sheds the same amount. Having hardwoods in much of the downstairs makes it a bit easier to see to sweep + clean.

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