RIP Lily Occleshaw

This is Lily Occleshaw Lopez and we are a family with three daughters 10, 12 and 14-year-old, grandparents, and a 13 years old dog and a 3-year-old cat. Two months ago sadly we had to say goodbye to our beloved pet Mopy who was almost 16 years old (maybe older because she was rescued from the streets of Mexico many years ago). She had cancer and all my family and me (including my pets) were very sad. I think Mopy would love to give a chance to another dog to have a family, so we decided to adopt another dog to love.

We adopted Lily because when we met her all the family fell in love with her. When we arrived at her foster mum's house, Lily was the first dog to say hello and she licked our hands, all of us melted in love. What a special and unforgettable moment! My three daughters, my husband, my parents and my other dog fell in love with Lily immediately. We walked the two dogs together for a while and my dog, Zucarin, started to smell her, I think he liked her. So, one week later, we picked up Lily to come home forever. It was one of the longest weeks we have had to wait! Once the weekend arrived, we went to the vet to meet Lily and I put her the new harness we bought for her. We went to meet the vet at VicDRG request and they explained to us that she had a tumour in her liver, but he was not sure it was cancer or not, and a decision had been made not to do a risky biopsy at her age. It didn't matter to us, we loved her unconditionally.

When we finished with the vet, Lily said goodbye to her foster mum, Deb. It is always sad to say goodbye, but Deb knew she would be fine and happy with us. Lily was happy in the car with my daughters but a bit nervous.

When we arrived at our house, my dog, Zucarin said hello to her by moving his tail and my cat Dory smelled her and hissed her. It was a matter of a few days for my cat to fell in love with Lily. Lily smelt every corner of the house. My parents live next door, we have a gate in our backyards to connect both houses, so she went next door moving her tail and went to smell my parent’s house as well.

She loved to stay at the couch with us, she barked when she wanted to get on the couch or get off, to go upstairs and to come down. It seems she learned Spanish because she answered me when I spoke with her. Two days later, my dog and Lily became closer friends and little by little with my cat. Lily loved to sleep in our bed with us, with Zucarin and Dory. Finally, my cat discovered she loved her, so she kissed and hugged her with her body. The three became inseparable. Lily loved to stay at my girls’ side when they were doing their homework and she looked after them when they were sick. She walked with Zucarin and that helped him because he is blind and deaf, so he felt confident walking at her side. She loved to chew the rawhide treats in her bed as well. Everything was perfect, she felt loved and part of our family. At the time she didn't show any health issue. But suddenly, Lily seemed tired, she didn't want to eat, and she had fever. We went to our vet and he told us the saddest thing a pet owner could ever hear: she had liver cancer and she was in pain. The vet injected her a pain killer and we came back home waiting for the pain killer to make some effect. She felt hotter than my other dog at night, so we put a cold wet towel on her all the night to maintain the temperature down. She usually slept between my husband and me next to my other dog and cat, but that night we kept her closer to us.

Next day, we went to the vet as well and he told us there was nothing to be done, as the pain killer hadn’t really brought her temperature down. We called Trisha from Victorian Dog Rescue for help. She did all the arrangements to help us and we went to the Animal Emergency Centre where the vet told us that Lily was really suffering in pain and the best for her was to put her to sleep. We couldn't believe that, she seemed happy and with lots of energy a few days before. But at the same time, we knew that it could be something bad with her liver. We drive back home so my three daughters and my parents could say goodbye to her. All of us put holy water on her and kissed and hug her a lot. It was a very sad moment. Trisha coordinated between the emergency vet and Victorian Dog Rescue’s vet to be sure it was the right decision. We came back to the emergency vet at midnight and she spent the night with medication in the vet. We had a bit of hope. We wanted to stay with her all the night, but it was not possible.

At 5:30 am, we called the vet and they told us that she didn’t have fever anymore and that she was with a painkiller medication, but the vet told us that without the medication she would be back to suffering so the best for her was to let her go. I dropped my girls at school and came to see Lily, Trisha called me to confirm the diagnosis of the vet, it was cancer. I snuggled with her for more than one hour in the living room of the vet while I waited for my husband to arrive and say goodbye to her. When my husband arrived, we spent more time with her, we gave her a bit of ham, she took it and chewed it, but she couldn't eat. We told her how much we love her. She licked my hand and my husband's hand like a way to say thank you and goodbye, we understood that it was time to let her go. She went to sleep peacefully listening to our voices and smelling our scent, she was sleeping in my arms and feeling sad as I gave her kisses. She kept a piece of ham in her mouth, as a gift from us that she will carry to heaven.

It seems that she was just waiting to have a family to rest in peace. My baby Lily finally felt being part of the family, full of love, even though she waited more than 14 years before that as an outside dog. . Even if we spent very little time with her, it was worth every minute we spent with her. In this short time, we had a lovely time with her. More than sad, we are grateful to her and we feel peace in our hearts to see her happy at the end. Now she is resting in her forever home. Thank you, Lily, for all the love you gave us. We love you Lily, you'll be in our hearts forever.

Special thanks to Victorian Dog Rescue, specially to Deb, who took care of Lily as her foster carer and VicDRG who helped us with everything. Thank you for your support, you really look after the pets.

These are some words of my daughters to Lily:

Love you Lily forever and ever even though you are far away in heaven.

Hello Lily even though you are crossing the rainbow bridge I will never forget you. With love,

Lily, I love you and I will always remember you.

  • Lily,
  • Lilly,
  • Lilly,
  • Lily,
  • Lily,
  • Lily,