Lily and the Three Amazing Things

nametagThis post has nothing to do with photography and everything to do with dogs, love, fate, coincidence, angels, devotion, and, quite possibly, answered prayers.  Here’s my story of Lily and the Three Amazing Things.

One year ago tomorrow I lost my nine-year-old golden retriever, Molly. As my friends know, 2012 really sucked as far as years go, with the divorce and all, but the thing that makes me emotional has been thinking about Molly.  She filled my life with unconditional love, and even though she was ailing and I didn’t know it, she always seemed to put my needs and happiness first.  Anyone who has had a dog knows what I’m talking about.  I think her loss embodies all the losses of last year, but I have to say I’ve missed her more than my ex.

I knew this anniversary was coming and last weekend I was pretty down about it.  I spent lots of time sitting outside under the stars, asking for something that would make it easier to see the date of 3/22 on the calendar.  Also last weekend, I was talking to a friend on the phone and she was asking me if I was considering dating yet, and my response was something to the effect that no, I wasn’t, and I wished Prince Charming would just show up at my doorstep and bring me eternal happiness.  We both laughed, AS IF that would happen!

Okay, here comes Amazing Thing Number One.  Sunday afternoon I walked out my front door and found an envelope sitting there on the ground, held down on this windy day by one of Molly’s old rocks.  Handwritten on the outside was a note from a beautiful young woman who said she met me once last year and remembered that I’d lost my golden.  It took me a while to get up the courage to open the envelope, and when I did I found her beautifully composed note. She said that due to her having a baby next month and their small living space, she had made the difficult decision to find another home for her 2-year-old female golden named Lily.  Of course, she included a photo of Lily, which just melted my heart.  How could I not say yes?  It wasn’t Prince Charming at my doorstep but maybe a step better, as far as that unconditional love goes!  I cried tears of joy (seriously) and wrote her a long e-mail and our communication began.

Amazing Thing Number Two.  I do remember meeting this young woman.  It was actually a year ago, the week after Molly died, so I was feeling pretty raw then.  I happened to look out my kitchen window and she and Lily were playing in a spot across the street where Molly used to play on her walks.  I felt like I was looking at a ghost.  I’d never seen a golden walking on our street before, and certainly not in Molly’s play yard!  I needed my golden fix so I went out, introduced myself, told her that I’d just lost my golden, and petted her dog a few minutes, and then went back inside.  I’ve thought about her often this past year, feeling it was so odd that they showed up that week, and that I never saw them again.  Well, I related this story to her in my e-mail and she also said that she’d not forgotten me either.  Was Molly pulling a matchmaking stunt from the other side, introducing me to my future companion, but only when the time was right?

Here are several other amazing things, but not Number Three.  A few weeks ago I decided I might be ready for a pet and I started searching the Humane Society and Golden Retriever Rescue sites for a young female dog, about two years old.  Nothing hit me.  I even considered getting a cat (my Facebook friends will remember my picture of a cat in a shopping bag with a man’s body).  But the cat didn’t pan out.  About a month ago, I saw a small golden outside the Apple store, and I went up and told the man that if I were to get another golden, I’d want it to look just like his dog (and of course Lily looks just like that).  So I was putting the word out to myself and the universe that I was open to the idea of getting a pet.

Well, this young woman decided that I could provide Lily with a good home and she agreed to let me have her.  She dropped her off Tuesday night and I have been on Cloud Nine ever since.  It must have been difficult for her to give up this fur baby, but as she’s having a real baby in a few weeks, I’m sure she will be over-the-moon happy.

So were my weekend prayers answered?  Do dreams come true?  I absolutely believe it.  The timing was right for me be ready to have another heart beating in my home again, and the timing was right for her to find Lily a new home.  In fact, she said she’d been selfishly putting it off, wanting to have more time with her, but in retrospect, maybe she was just waiting for me to be ready and she didn’t know it.

body shot

Oh, and Amazing Thing Number Three?  This young woman’s name was Angelina, as in beautiful Angel, and the dog’s name is Lily (which kind of sounds like Molly, actually).  Lily is the flower of Easter, and Easter is all about resurrection and rebirth.  I absolutely believe Lily came into my life to rescue me and make me happy again.  So far it’s working.  She is everything I could ask for, and then some, and I think tomorrow’s anniversary will be a little easier to handle.  In fact, Molly’s probably out there somewhere, on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, with a big doggie smile on her face, and that makes me happy.

tongue out


22 thoughts on “Lily and the Three Amazing Things

  1. Hi Diane! What a beautiful pup Lily is! I am so happy for you and pray that you’ll have many wonderful experiences with her in the years to come! My doggie Maddie makes me smile all of the time… We also have a new cat living with us. His name is Ninja and he’s all black. My niece had him but he needed a rescue home since she moved and can’t have pets .He acclimated well with Maddie and Toby, my older cat. And he reminds me so much of my late kitty, Amanda, who was very special to me. I think our beloved pets are in heaven arranging these deals just for us! There are no boundaries to unconditional love, eh? 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more about Lily!

    • Thanks, Jan. I loved looking at your photos of Ninja and she seems to have settled into the MacDougall household quite nicely. I know Amanda Cat was very special to you. Yes, she probably brokered this deal from afar!

  2. Does she sleep with you yet? I have tears in my eyes. I really think Molly sent Lilly to you because she wants you to be happy again. It was meant to be. So happy for you my friend. Love, Susie H.J.

  3. I remember when you lost Molly. I rember my heart breaking for you. I am so glad you secret is out. You can now join the “I Post a Zillion Photos of my Dog Club” on face book with me. Beene says lick lick sniff & can’t wait to play at the beach this summer with her new cousin. I am so happy for your new family ❤

  4. Diane: Congrats on the new arrival! She’s really beautiful. Think you have the making of a children’s book here, using photos of Lily for the illustration. GayleNigro

  5. This is a fabulous story Diane, I can only image how happy you are, and how much joy Lily is going to bring into your life. She was certainly made to come into your life, right now.

  6. Dianne – your post is making me cry. Sniff sniff. I am raw. I am hurting. And this has nothing to do with photography, either. I lost my boy – my Hash Brown – last Saturday. He was hit by a car doing what he loved: playing fetch and meeting people. He crossed the street but didn’t look both ways. That dog was such a big part of my life. I keep staring at the couch he’d taken over wishing that he was there, and my kitties sleeping on top of him like they all would do. He was only six. I miss him so, so much. I don’t have kids – it was like he was my son. He was a yellow lab and so full of life and laughter and would drive me crazy and I loved him so, so much. He was a country dog and never had a pen – he just ran free. I wouldn’t change that, either. He always came home and went to play with the kids over the mountain and would go on little adventures. He’d been to Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, the beach, the sand dunes, the mountains…the whole backseat was his spot in the car; he’d even go grocery shopping with me.
    But, despite the tears, your post gives me Hope. I hope that perhaps sometime, somewhere a special dog will come along again. Right now, I’m just too dumbfounded and hurt. At least I was able to say good-bye to my boy.
    I hope this year shapes up to be better than last year; it’s been a rough road. I had a dream of starting a writing and photography and art business. Right now it’s a struggle.
    So seeing this, I’ll just keep putting my intentions out to the universe and I’ll keep on keeping on.
    I just need a little Hope. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this. I am so glad you have a new canine daughter. They fill our hearts with such love that makes your life so full….

    • Cyndi, I’ve got tears in my eyes from reading your post as well. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Hash Brown. I know today is the one-week anniversary and you are feeling incredibly raw. It sounds like Hash Brown, with all of the travels and love that he shared with you, had an incredibly full life. I would say that in the short time he spent on this earth, he had more fun and joy and love than some people or animals experience in their lifetime. I also don’t have children so pets have always been my kids, and I agree that when they leave you there is such an incredibly huge hole in your life.

      Try not to let your loss derail you from pursuing your writing, photography, and art. Having a creative outlet can be quite healing. Have you read “The Artist’s Way” by Julie Cameron? She recommends writing Morning Pages and I can tell you, that exercise has really helped me. Also, keep your eyes open for butterflies. I’ll tell you a story. About several weeks after my first golden passed, I was sitting outside having lunch, really missing him. I had always given him the last bite of my turkey sandwich, and there it sat on my plate, waiting for him. Well, about then a little butterfly came along, fluttered around a bit, then landed on my plate, right on the turkey! I sat there in amazement. As if this wasn’t incredible enough, he returned the next two days and did the same thing, also landing on my hand as well as the food! I felt a strange connection to this butterfly, and of course I was a blubbering mess, but I researched online later and found that there is the belief that the deceased come back in the form of birds or butterflies, just to let their loved ones know that they’re “okay.”

      Stay strong, Cyndi, and keep yourself open to what’s out there that you can’t see. Put your intentions out to the universe, tell your angels what you need and how they can help you (read Doreen Virtue) and one day another wonderful companion will come along to share your life. That companion will never replace Hash Brown, but will hopefully fill the hole in your heart that he left behind. Much love to you.

  7. Oh Dianne,
    What a beautiful verification that God hears our prayers and works His wonders on His timetable. Your story is beautifully written and I hope it spreads wide and far. Happy Easter, Happy Lilly, and Happy new start. The worst is over and the best is yet to come.
    Much love,
    Adora and Alan

  8. Oh Diane,
    There’s no two ways about it. It was obviously meant to be. Are you familiar with “The Secret”? Reminds me so much of it! I’m so very happy for your both!

  9. so happy that you have a new friend lily in a way she is related to me
    matthew lily past owener in my grand son
    mathew had a golden retriever his name was samba
    when I would vist him
    I would aways brush him
    and take him for a walks
    he is long gone but never forgotten
    I know lily will make you happy
    god bless you
    yes great child is due any day
    we can,t wait

    • So nice to meet you, Bernice, part of Lily’s extended family! Yes, Lily makes me happy every day. Matt and Angelina did a wonderful job raising her to be the wonderful, well-trained dog that she is. I will forever be grateful to them.

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