Today is my sweet, Jilly's 12th birthday! It's a special celebration of life because according to her vets, 3 years ago, she was supposed to be dead. But they were so wrong.
Jilly is here. She's alive. She's wagging and barking and sniffing and walking in the park.
Jilly is a wonderful in many ways and she is also a bit of a handful. She is a Guide Dog Career Changer which means, at 14 months, they decided she was not Guide Dog material. They had good reasons, but that doesn't mean she isn't a very good dog. She just had her own mind, her own desires and her own talents that made her more unique. It also made her more of a challenge to train.
When Jilly came to us, she was sweet and lovable but she was also strong-willed and smart. She would not come when called. When approached, she ran away. She jumped when a van door slammed or someone approached from the back or there was a grate in the sidewalk. It took a lot of time, patience and stubbornness on my part to work our way around and through her obstacles. But we made it. Together.
Jilly is my studio partner, side-kick and friend.
Wherever I go, whatever I do, Jilly is right there. When I throw out in the cold garage, Jilly is right there on her dog bed. If I'm glazing inside the studio, Jilly is right outside the door watching. If I go outside, she follows. If I go upstairs, she climbs up right after me.
Lately, Jilly's been very upset because I've been sick with a bad cold and cough. Every time I cough, she jumps up to check on me and pants until I start breathing better. It's been hard on both of us because I realize I've been worried about her, too. You see those dire predictions from the vets all those years ago, have hovered over me like a dark cloud. Until today.
Today, Jilly is twelve years strong. She is my sweetness and light. Now, as always, Jilly, is her strong, exuberant, stubborn self and I wouldn't want her any other way.
Here's to her and her favorite treat: special birthday waffles to celebrate!