Tilly by Barbara Irlbeck / Mama

To my dear little Tilly,
my sweet forever 3-year old,
and my best buddy,

You came into our lives as a petite, glamorous, black cocker spaniel show-girl when you were 18 months old. You were supposed to be the companion to our 11 year old Susan when she came home from school, and you were, but somehow you bonded with me, the mama, rather than with Susan, though you loved Susan very much too.

When you first came to our home we had sooo much to learn. Cockers have lots of energy! And lots of hair! And lots of love to give! Little by little we adapted to each other until it was impossible to think of ever not having you. You followed my every step, and were far more than just a companion animal. You were our child, our forever 3-year old; a little bright spot that was always there, no matter what. When you ran, your ears flew out like airplane wings!

When I cooked, you were absolutely rivited to my activity and were my most faithful fan! When we went on outings, you never doubted that you would be included too. After all, weren’t you one of the girls?! When I had to leave you alone in the house it made you sad … but you always forgave me instantly when I returned … and showed your glee by racing circles around the kitchen table … at least 10 times and up to 50 if we encouraged you! Or you would bounce and almost do a flip to show your happiness at our return. What a friend! You knew when I was blue and
you snuggled up to give comfort.

You stayed by my side no matter what. It was like you were my guardian angel. You smiled when you knew we understood each other. You lost first your hearing, and then your vision, but you never let that get you down. You kept trying to be the best friend there could be. Even when you began to experience kidney failure, you kept doing your best to not let your poor health get in the way of your love. When we had to infuse you with fluids to force the kidneys to work, you lay still and relaxed and cooperated probably better than most humans would have. You were just the BEST!

I feel such a loss now that you are gone. I have to believe that we will be reunited … that heaven certainly includes you. How else could it be heaven?!

To dear, darling, little Tilly, my sweetie pie, who was a family member that happened to be a cocker spaniel, and who gave a totally unconditional kind of love, I will never forget you and I will love you forever.


Please meet me at the Rainbow Bridge.

20, July 2006
Barbara Irlbeck