Last updated on December 3rd, 2017
Our beloved beagle, Lily, is not well. She had to spend the night in a crate at the veterinary clinic, hooked up to an IV-drip. Because I’m awaiting a call from the vet, and feeling very anxious, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you how this little bundle of joy entered our lives.
The morning of July 6, 2008, Mr. Fox and I heard the incessant, gut-wrenching yelps of a dog. We ran out to the street, only to discover a little beagle had been struck by a car. Blood was everywhere. A small crowd had gathered, and the beagle, who was obviously in shock, bit anyone who tried to touch her. This included the careless motorist who had hit her. While Mr. Fox crossed the street to investigate, I ran to call my dog-loving friend DeGuerre. DeGuerre, I sensed, would know what to do. Mr. Fox, being a gentle soul, managed to calm the little dog. She even allowed him to caress her back.
Because it was a Sunday morning, all veterinary clinics were closed. That is, except an “emergency” one a great distance away. Thus DeGuerre, Mr. Fox and I drove the beagle to the clinic. There, we were told euthanasia was in order, for the dog had no ID, and would require at the minimum very expensive surgeries, including a leg-amputation. We said “No!” to the idea of ending the dog’s life, and agreed to incur all expenses. The vet carried the dog into another room for examination.
After a long, anxious wait, the vet reappeared. She told us the dog had a microchip, which, when scanned, revealed her history at shelters, and the current owner’s name, address, and telephone number. The beagle, we learned, had been adopted just 30 days prior to the accident, and had been spayed two weeks before. The stitches from the spaying were still in place. The vet called the owner, who, according to the vet, sounded annoyed at being awaken at 12 noon on a Sunday. She told him that his dog had been hit by a car, and that a few “good Samaritans” offered to give it the care it required, but legally could not do so without his permission. The owner said he didn’t want the dog anymore. When I asked the vet for the owner’s name, she refused to give it to me.
Since this clinic was emergency-only, we had to pick the dog up at 7 the following morning. The receptionist handed us the helpless patient, and also gave us a file that included information from the microchip scan. Among other stats in the file was the abominable owner’s name and address. But more about this character later. DeGuerre and I brought the poor dog to the amazing Dr. Cane in Hillsdale, New York.
Dr. Cane took one look at the beagle, now named “Lilybelle,” and said she was in shock, had a fever, and was close to death. Cane, like the previous vet, felt Lily’s hind leg would have to be removed. But after countless surgeries and thousands of stitches, he saved not only Lily’s life, but her leg, too.
Lily stayed at Cane’s clinic for two weeks. During this time I spoke with the previous owner’s neighbors. They told me he kept the dog on a rope in his tiny, fenced yard all day and all night. When he tired of her (perhaps she refused to fetch his slippers), he removed her collar, opened the gate, and just “let her go.”
Lily made a remarkable recovery. Two months after leaving Cane’s care, we watched with joy as she out-ran pit-bulls, golden retrievers, and other dogs three times her size at a local dog-run. She also started sleeping in our bed, contentedly cuddled by Mr. Fox and me all night long. Does your dog sleep with you, too? It’s a wonderful feeling.
I’m telling you this Lilybelle story because I’m very concerned for her now. I have no idea what the nature of her injury might be. Dr. Cane said it could be a dislocated joint, or maybe Lyme-disease or some other serious issue. But we will do whatever we can to make her well again. Prior to finding us, she had a very rough life. But she is our little child now, and we love her to pieces.
Update 3/05/10: Dr. Cane called and said Lily is up and “perky.” He said, “Kevin, I know I’ll have to release this dog tonight, or endure your wrath. And frankly I’m not that strong.” Thus, after two nights in hospital, our girl is on her way home!!!
Kevin, I'm sending warm thoughts your and Lily's way. Our dogs mean the world to us and it sounds like that's true for you too. I hope the mystery gets solved and Lily can get on the mend. Do be sure to update us, ok?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Tammy – thank you. I spoke with Dr. Cane a short time ago. He tried to x-ray Lily last night, but she was in too much pain. He'll do the x-ray today. In the meantime he has her on doxycyclene, however that's spelled, just in case it's Lyme disease.
And yes, Lily means the world to me. So glad you feel the same way about your dogs, too.
Kevin, hope she is OK. Let us know.
Oh Kevin, As the tears are running down my face, You and Lily are in my thoughts and heart. I sure hope she will make a full, quick recovery. And you are such wonderful person for rescuing such a lovely sweet puppy. Actually, Lily is the lucky one to have found you….
Here's hoping your dog will be home soon.
BTW, What happened to her?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Yolanda – During our walk yesterday morning, Lily suddenly stopped and whimpered. I picked her up, and carried her indoors. She trembled with every breath, and yelped whenever she tried to move. Her whole body seemed to be in pain.
Kevin, I wish your sweet Lily a speedy recovery. It's so sad that dogs and cats can't tell us where they hurt.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Eric & Erin – thank you so much. DeGuerre had to see Dr. Cane this afternoon to pick up her own dog, so my partner Will went along. To say the least, Lily was very happy to see him. In fact, she must have caught a whiff of him as he entered the office, as she started barking. A very good sign. Also a good sign: she was able to stand up and wag her tail.
X-rays and blood work results will come in tomorrow, so hopefully we shall have an answer then. And, hopefully she can come home tomorrow. How I miss her.
Brigid O'Brien says
I'm sorry to hear Lily has not been feeling well. When I read your story above, I gave my Lana an extra hug. She sleeps with me every night and you are right, it's a great feeling.
I'm saying a little prayer for Lily right now and will keep your family in my prayers until she is better.
I know she means the world to you.
i hope she feels better
I'll be praying for Lily's speedy recovering. Kudos to you for helping this poor girl to begin with and making certain she has a wonderful caring life. I won't say what I would like to do to her previous “person”. My dog Barrett died in September and I still miss him and his “sister” who died 2 years before. I do, however, have 3 cats who sleep with me and well as 6 rats, who have their own room, and a horse who has his own place.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Adele, Brigid & Anna – thank you. Lily was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She is on doxycycline, and slowly returning to her happy old self.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Katreader – So sorry to hear about your dog Barrett. I still miss my dog Gemini, and cat Eddie, who died many years ago. Your cats, rats and horse sound like marvelous companions!
About Lily's previous owner: your thoughts and mine are the same.
It's a shame some people are so cruel to these beautiful animals that only want to be with us that we had to create laws to punish them for actions like the previous owner did to your little Lily. I too hugged my dog after reading your story.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Charlotte – Yes. At my vet's office there is a big sign that says “Abuse an animal, go to jail.”
Kevin, I'm wondering how Lily's doing now? I hope the antibiotic has helped her feel far better in fighting the Lyme disease. We almost lost our newfie mix about 8 years ago to tick paralysis (not Lyme, but a tick emitting a neurotoxin) — those suckers leave awful calling cards!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Tammy – Lily seemed to be on the mend, but today suffered a setback. This morning, she yelped while descending the stairs. When I announced “walkies” in a falsetto voice, she showed no enthusiasm. Not like her at all. She is on two doxy pills a day, plus a baby aspirin for pain.
Thanks for asking about Lily. And, I'm glad your newfie survived. Ticks really are horrid things.
ANNE SCHOMAKER says
HAVING HAD LYME MYSELF, IT'S EVEN WORSE FOR AN ANIMAL WHICH CANNOT DESCRIBE IT'S PAIN AND SUFFERING. KNOWING LILYBELLE AND HER OWNERS, SHE IS GETTING THE BEST CARE AND LOVE POSSIBLE.
Kevin, I love reading about people who rescue animals, and owning a rescue beagle myself I know one can never overestimate the love of a dog (especially a beagle!) All our dogs have been rescues and losing my Labrador of 15yrs 2 years ago broke my heart. I still cry when I think of her. Our beagle Maxwell ended up having a ruptured disc in his neck last spring that paralyzed him in all but 1 leg. An emergency 7hr drive to Minneapolis, an MRI, spinal Sx and $4500 later he is happy, pain free and walking just fine! It was a long few months of recovery but there is no way I could imagine our lives without him. Even being a veterinary technician, I had no idea Beagles were prone to cervical vertebrae issues. I hope you have many many long and happy years with Lily.
Tonight I’ll wish upon a star for Lily’s health – stay strong, pretty girl.
susan sexton says
Kevin, I sure wish there were more folks like you on this earth. May the power that guides us all wrap you in warmth.
Pam H says
Your loving Lily story made me cry and then smile 🙂 As animal lovers ourselves…my husband and I have rescued a number of animals over the last 40 some years…there is no greater joy than to see a sick…hungry..sad…forlorn animal thrive after getting something usually as simple as some TLC. Your Lily is precious…what a beautiful family you all make 🙂 The heartless person who abandoned her should be punished…but I believe karma will take care of that someday. Thank you for sharing this story…makes me have faith that there are still a lot of ppl left in this world that have compassion towards animals 🙂 Feel better Lilybelle!
P.S. we sleep with all three of our dogs :))
Beth Thomerson says
Bless you for adding lovely Lily to your family and giving her the love and care that made her blossom! As for the previous owner? Wish we could treat him EXACTLY like he treated Lily. What a jerk!
myrtle miller says
She could very well have arthritis from her injuries in the past and you should not be happy until an MRI is done. Not an X-ray but a test that will show clearly what she is dealing with. Beagles already are predisposed to neurological issues so in addition to her past issues no telling what she might be dealing with. Something else you should notice is when Lily jumps off of your bed if she winces. I have spinal stenosis and arthritis in my spine and hip and simple things like stairs cause me a lot of grief. Also try to recollect if there has been any change in her urinating or defecating patterns this could also be a sign of spine issues. And if she does have arthritis you need to start thinking about foods in addition to whatever is prescribed that will work at reducing inflammation. Our second to oldest cat was hit by a car when she was a feral cat and two clinics thought she would have to be euthanized the third clinic did their best and she has made a complete recovery. Hopefully Lily will be all right and live to be old. Lily Belle is a beautiful name. Something else you need to start noticing is her facial expressions when she is not in pain this will clue you in as to when she is in pain. Hope your future Lily Belle is full of good things and that you make a speedy recovery.
Lily is an icon for all of us !! What a life she has. Luckily she has great parents !!!! LOL !!!!
Linda King Pruitt says
I am so glad Lily was diagnosed correctly and is on her way back to health. Here in Capistrano Beac, CA we don’t have to worry about ticks but we had a bout with fleas. Comfortis tablets killed the little buggers within an hour. Lily’s story is touching and I love you and your dear partner for being such compassionate caring people! The Sheltie Boys, Seamus and Fionn send doggie love and good thoughts for continued recovery.
myrtle miller says
Also if she does have spinal issues thing of ways that can give her spine a rest. I have spinal stenosis so a lot of exercise is not good for me so I purchased a mobility scooter and although I don’t use it all of the time I use it sometimes this gives my back a rest if you really want to help her with pain issues another thing that is excellent check with her doctor first though is whirlpools. Water therapy is excellent for pain and is also a good way for her to get exercise. If she has any type of serious spine issue she probably shouldn’t even be climbing stairs which is why if it’s not too much for you and DeGuerra to handle you should think about getting another animal this would get Lily’s mind off of her pain and if you make a good choice a buddy for Lily might even encourage her spirit which is a vital part of the healing process. Should you decide to do this it would probably be a good idea to let Lily make the choice.
myrtle miller says
Sorry about that that’s what I get for skimming. It should read you and your partner Will.
I am thinking of all of you and hoping she will heal soon ..
Oh, beautiful Lily, I hope you’re better soon. It must be good to be back in your loving home and healing.
Sending good thoughts and love out to you all. Our dogs are very special and Lilybelle is a lucky lady go have you guys.
Kevin Lee, here it is the end of October. Please tell me that Lily is on the mend and asking for cheese again? We went on a long cruise and this is my first time to check in with your posts. Just gave our two best friends, Bailey & Jaejar a hug-just because-you know. So, will now be checking more often to see if she is, in truth, all better? Please say yes. Sending only good thoughts and prayers for her and you guys.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Bj – I can report that Lily is doing GREAT right now, and that she sends her very best to Baily & Jaejar!
Just tonite read Lily’s story. People being kind to animals is the sort of Christmas Eve story to make me smile. In answer to your question – of three years ago – yes, our dogs sleep in bed with us: the Cardigon Corgi sleeps vertically (in line with Momma and Poppa) and the Newfoundland waits until we’re asleep and climbs up to sleep where he can. Usually that’s in between assorted cats as well.
Thank you both for being kind to Lily and rescuing her from death and from her horrible owner as well. Merry Christmas to you both and I hope your various pieces of heating equipment can be mended without too great a cost – and without cases of frostbite, as well.
Aw. This post brought tears to my eyes. What a lucky girl to have found you two.
Great story. We rescued our “Pooch” also. It’s a great honor to have a dog love you.
Lynda Failla says
Hi Kevin, Your story made me cry. I have gad many animals in my 76 yrs. I’m down to 2 wonderful cats now, but still miss the others and hope they are all waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. Hope Lily Belle is still with her loved ones. Bless you for being a caring person.
My girl was sold as a weaned, seven week old, miniature Yorkshire, but was actually a standard size. She was actually only three weeks of age as part of the ruse and consequently almost died. She has chronic digestive problems, but I’ve learned over the years how to manage her condition. I’ve come close to losing her too many times, mainly from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. She just turned 12 last month! I can’t imagine life without her…she’s my baby.
I’m pleased that kismet brought a circle of love and kindness to Lily, you, and Will. Life is strange, eh?!
Julie R says
Kevin, the story of how you got Lily, brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it with us. I don’t understand how anyone who doesn’t really love animals, would even think to get one, if they do not want to take care of it and give it the love that they deserve. I’m glad that Lily ended up with you. It was as if it was meant to be. I enjoy it when Lily shows up during your recipe blogs = )
We have a little dachshund, named Snickers. I had wanted to get a rescue dog, but my hubby didn’t want to go that route. So we ended up getting her from a breeder when she was about 7 months old. Now she is 11, and so full of personality for such a little dog. She brings so much joy and laughter to our lives. We also have parakeets, Charlie and Sunny, who I love very much. Sunny used to be my mom’s until she could no longer take care of it, due to her health. So I gladly took him. Where would we be without pets ? They are the best !
Kevin, thank you for sharing about Lily!~
What a sweet, special person you are.
I hope you keep Lily in your recipe pictures
cuz I always look for her. I have one dog
presently, Miss Sophia, and I have to agree,
they our special gifts to us.
Happy Christmas to you and yours,
always, LindaMarie and Miss Sophia
There is a special place in Hell for people who are cruel to animals. And Lily’s previous owner has a new spot already picked out for him.
On behalf of animal lovers everywhere, thank you for saving Lily and letting her save you. Anytime we welcome animals into our lives, we become better people.
Sam – who happily sleeps with her fuzzies, but wishes they’d stop trying to sleeping on her face.
Peggy M says
So sorry to hear Lilly has passed on, and especially sad at this time of year. I loved seeing her in your blog over the years. She had a wonderful life with you and Mr. Fox and I’ll bet she’s nearby in spirit trying to cheer you up.
Diane H. Hinkle says
Lilly has gone on to dog heaven. But Lilly would say it was heaven being there with you and Mr. Fox. I have said goodbye to so many furry friends over the years, both canine and feline. Each time I am so sad that I swear I will never place myself back in that position again. But eventually I see another little pup or kitty and I become a pet owner again. I hope you will, too. Many sweet animals fill shelters and one would love to make your home hers/his. Thoughts are with you!
I am so saddened to hear about Lilybelle. It’s the worst feeling in the world. I too have a Lily-Belle, but she’s a 14 yr old Cocker. She has her challenges but every day is a blessing. I will be thinking of you Thank God you were in her life to make it such a happy one. XO
Elaine R says
So sorry to hear about Lily. We lost our lovely Walker hound several years ago at about 15 yrs old. she had similar markings to Lily so I enjoyed Lily’s appearances in your blog. Our Pinto was often mistaken for a “giant beagle”. Last year we adopted another rescue Walker hound and couldn’t be more pleased .
Carol Ann says
Kevin and Mr. Fox, I am so sorry for your loss. I know from what my daughters went through this year with theirs, that’s is a profound and heartbreaking sorrow. Hopefully, you will find peace in her passing and in the memories. God bless.
Miki Holden says
Oh Kevin I am so sorry! Lily is such a happy presence in your posts—we will all miss her but our hearts go out to you and Mr. Fox. The price we pay for our loving (and loved). companions.
Dear Kevin ,
Sweet, gentle,kind man- You brought as much if not more joy to Lily as she did you! What a lucky friend you had in her that she was so loved and cherished! To have shared such joy is a very special gift. Remember, all dogs DO go to heaven, so she’ll be waiting for you with plenty of wags and kisses! I am so sorry for your pain… she has left you with beautiful memories to comfort you until you meet again.
Michelle A. says
I am sincerely sorry for your loss. These beautiful creatures bring such joy into our lives. The loss of them can be profound. May your memories of Lilly keep you laughing and smiling for many years to come, and may little Lilly’s love for you open your hearts to love again. Feeling you, from Ga.
Kevin I am so very sorry to hear your news about Lily. I have a dog and I don’t know how I would ever do without her. I so enjoyed seeing Lily in many of your photos and I can understand that you and your spouse must be just devastated by your loss. No one can ever take away your memories.
Sad for you, trying to be happy for Lily now that she is no longer in pain. .That is my fallback position for loved ones who have already suffered more than enough. You guys sure gave her a nice life . . . I know she was grateful and showed it . . . ..sigh ….. time to feel your feelings .and be of comfort to each other.
We had to let our min pin- go back to Creator a year ago and still we miss her. She was 20!
Deb B says
I’m so sorry to hear of Lily’s passing. I always enjoyed seeing her in your photos – she was just so darn cute! I had no idea how you came about getting her until I read your story. She knew from the start how much you cared for her and you gave her a wonderful life! She’s no longer in pain and probably wandering around beautiful gardens in doggie heaven. My heartfelt sympathy to you and the Fox…
Mike, aka the Veggivet says
Thoughts and condolences are with you during this time of mourning. Lily will be missed by all those lucky enough to have known her…
Dorothy Loose says
I am so sorry to hear of Lily’s passing. She was so cute and loveable. Thank you so much for sharing the story of how Lily came into the lives of you and Mr. Fox. I think sometimes animals find us. I know what it is like to lose an animal as I have lost my pets as well. I am so happy that you gave her such a wonderful life and love after what that poor little beagle had suffered at the hands of the previous owner. My sincere sympathy to you and Mr. Fox.
I, too thought Lily had passed at first. But I READ and discovered she’s fighting a good fight. I hope she continues to improve…fingers crossed, and prayers said. We lost our beloved rescue German Shepherd to Lyme disease. We swore off dogs for awhile. When our son was going into the Army we kept telling him to find his beagle, Dixie, a good home in MS. She came home to MD instead. She was a challenge, but we grew to love her. We lost her to cancer. Now we love and babysit our black lab grand dog. Dogs fill an already full heart to overflowing. Hoping to hear that Lily continues to improve and return to her perky self.
Grammie Pam says
Dear Kevin and Mr. Fox,
I know how hard it is to lose a part of your family. How lucky all of you are to have shared such a great love.
I hope all of your memories bring you comfort.
Dear Kevin and Mr. Fox,
Lily received and gave so much love, comfort. and very wonderful memories. Given time you will have wonderful memories to treasure and cherish.
Am sending my condolences, as they are part of our families. much like a child.
Had to put my Australian Shepherd/Border C0llie mx down. She couldn’t use her hind legs and vet explained if the course continued, she would be paralyzed. I did not want that to happen. She was so intelligent, lovable.
Am sure Lily was great, just be thankful for the time you both had with her, as I you both are.
My heart goes out to you both, and remember Lily is looking down on you from Heaven
Kathleen Hussey says
I am so sad to hear beautiful Lily Belle has passed on she probably was in pain.Lyme disease is so brutal and it affects the rythmn so maybe she just fell asleep. I have lost many fur babies over the years and as the pain lessens I am sure Lilly Belle will send another friend for you to love. God bless you Kevin and your family .Hope you holidays and New Year bring many blessings to you and heals your broken heart.Sincerely ,The Hussey Family.
Kevin, we are dog lovers too and have had 5 Havanese over the last 29 years. Each time one of ours has died, it’s just so awful. Tears and sobs and great heart aches ensue as you so well know. We send hugs and prayers to you both and other folks who loved your darling too. What a thrill it is to know that you two found her and took such loving care of Lily giving you all joy beyond words and beyond any expectations. Her life of course was the very best with you. Thank you for that. I hope you feel like getting another rescue sooner rather than later both for your sad hearts and for the miracle you’ll be working in another pup’s life. PS We always have two because they have so much fun together too.