Today's blog is all about Tilley, yep Kalchan's Time for Tilley.  It is her 14th birthday and one that we are celebrating bigtime because I wasn't sure that we were going to have a 14th.  But let's start way back in the very beginning.  Tilley was born on March 13, 1997 in Manilla, Ontario, Canada.  I first met her when she was only 3 weeks old.  I was only allowed a quick peek through the crack of an open door as she nursed with her brothers and sisters.  Manilla was a four hour drive, I'd made it to meet Tilley's family.  And I met a lot of them that day, Tilley's Grandmother, her aunt, uncle and a sister from a previous litter.  I was impressed with every single one of them and hit it off with the breeder.  It was on that day that I decided to add one of these little black guinea pig looking puppies to our home.

It seemed forever, I had to wait four more weeks before I could go and pick her out.  But the weeks passed and I was soon off to Manilla again.  The drive is beautiful with scenic lakes scattered almost the whole way there.  Once there it was nearly impossible to visually see a difference in the puppies, they were all various shades of black.  So with much decision making and the help of Tilley's breeder she was chosen.

Tilley came to join our family in May 1997.  Tilley has had an amazing life and she is one fabulous dog.  I call her our Lassie in poodle clothing as she is pretty much as perfect as they come.  Tilley was a water dog right off and loved nothing more than diving off the end of a dock to retrieve whatever happened to be thrown in.  Soon she was learning and excelling at diving underwater and pulling up whatever she could find down under.  She was my star obedience demonstrator for all of my group obedience classes and helped with any aggressive or fearful dogs in the class.  Tilley has  always been a very neutral dog which is very non threatening.  She once helped a little girl begin to conquer her fear of dogs.

Tilley started into Frisbee in her prime and was soon an airborne flying disc dog.  She has chase drive off the charts and it shows in her drive to retrieve.  Yet she turns it off quickly and easily and is just as happy in your lap on the couch.  Tilley has appeared on Pet Star twice and if you watch reruns on tv you are bound to see her sooner or later.  She has been the rock in our pack for 14 years.

After being stricken with Vestibular disease early in January 2010 she showed what a fighter is.  She got through the worst of it and has thrived now over a year in a crooked world.  She now retrieves her ball again, runs and generally loves life.  We had another set back in the spring, she was completely paralyzed in the front and could not even stand.  With her on the examining table at the veterinarians he explained that with this severe level of paralysis she had a 50-50 chance of recovering.   I took a bottle of prednisone, carried her back to the car and lay her down.  I told her through a heavy stream of tears that it was now all up to her.  I would help her by carrying her from point A to point B but she had to fight.   And fight she did, she was up on her feet, not steady but on her feet the next day.  And as they say "the rest is history."

So here we are today, March 13th 2011 and my girl is 14 years old.  Tilley is spending the day or at least an hour at the beach.  We will take our time walking there and bring a blanket for her to sit and take in the scene.  No doubt she will want to be up and playing in the water, and being that it is her birthday we will indulge her a small bit.  Happy Birthday my old girl.