Write | Inspire | Dream
I always tell people that Tilly was the first love of my life. She was the first companion I had who was truly my own; in all our years together, Tilly and I had been through and gone on many adventures. When I knew what I wanted the La.Rue brand to be, I knew that one of the first blogs I would have to publish would be about Tilly because she was such a big part of my life and a reason I am the person I am today. I knew it would be important to share with the people who don’t know me, the most important parts of my life that made me who I am; Tilly is one of those parts.
Tilly came to us when I was about 12 with her brother Banjo. My brother and I had been asking my parents for our own dogs for a while, and when a colleague of my mom’s reached out to the office to say these two dogs needed a home, we jumped at the chance to rescue the pups. I should mention to you that Tilly’s name is actually Sophie. For years I have had this thing for making up weird nicknames, and as I get to know someone or something, eventually, a nickname slips out and completely sticks. Sophie’s was Tilly. I honestly don’t even know how to begin writing about her. She impacted my life in the most amazing way, and I know that throughout my life I’ll have many amazing dogs that I will love so much, but I know there will never be another like her.
When I left for college and lived in the dorms, I obviously had to leave Sophie behind. When my brother passed away in March of my freshman year, I moved into an apartment shortly after where I immediately brought her up from Florida to live with me in New York. I’m sure you can imagine that living on your own, at 18, away from family, after losing a sibling and still going to college was nearly impossible to do. I genuinely believe that I could not have finished that semester had Tilly not been in New York with me.
I changed as a person after my brother died; Tilly brought me back to life. Coming home to her every day is what gave me hope, a sense of closeness and love that I thought I had lost. Over the next several years, from boyfriends to friendships, to new apartments, and graduating, Tilly was by my side every step of the way. Of course, you can imagine that Tilly thrived in New York, living her best life with picnics in Central Park, walks along the East River, and a room with a view. She had a spirit that was so infectious, her smile made you smile, her sleeping made you want to snuggle, and her love made you love. Sophie made my life in New York, so far away from family, better. She kept me close to my brother, that even though we had lost him, I could feel his spirit and his life from her.
After I graduated, Tilly and I moved back home to Florida where I would have my knee surgery. At this point, Sophie was already 12, and I knew her time was beginning to come to an end. We had already lost her brother that year and my concerns and complete fear of losing her were beginning to sink in. In February of 2020, she started to have a cough, the same symptoms her brother first showed from lung cancer. We took her to the doctor immediately and found out Sophie was suffering from the same lung cancer Banjo had. I knew it was happening, and emotions of losing her overwhelmed me.
It seemed to happen fast, the end of it all. We lost Sophie on May 19th. Putting her down was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew it was time and I didn’t want to see her suffering anymore, but I wanted so much to be selfish and keep her because I needed her. Sophie wasn’t just a dog to me; Tilly was my best friend, my snuggle bug, and all my love encompassed in one beautiful creature. Sophie was my guardian angel, and I love and miss her so much. She brought me endless joy and laughter, she brought me comfort and love in my times of need, and most importantly, she brought me solace and light, when all I felt was darkness.
To my Tilly, I will love you forever and always.