Gone but NEVER forgotten

Kalchan's Time for Tilley - March 13, 1997 - January 08, 2012

As many of you know we lost our sweet Tilley yesterday.  What can I say about a dog as perfect as she was?    She was as close to perfection as you can come for a dog.  Tilley was my Lassie in poodle clothing; she was gentle, affectionate, intelligent, athletic, mannerly, mothering and beautiful.

I will mourn her loss and then take joy in the memories I shared with her for almost 15 years.  There are many, from the quiet moments sitting simply enjoying each others company to the crazy frisbee days of watching a super athlete in her prime.  Tilley wowed almost everyone she ever met, she had the patent on  "sweet." 

As sweet a girl as she was there was never a doubt in my mind that she would defend her family with her life.  She was an amazing guard dog and took her job seriously.   For most of her life with us she was the caregiver of the pack.  She never fussed about her position and was happy just being one of us.  She was and will always be my Lassie.

Tilley had been steadily declining in the last few weeks; at nearly 15 you expect this knowing that their time left with us is short.  But no matter what age they are taken from us we are never ready to let go.  As I sit and write this mornings blog I am looking at an empty bed on the floor, the unsteady ticking of her nails on the floor has been silenced and I am left with a broken heart.  

Yesterday she took a turn for the worst; we rushed to the emergency.  After many tests it was discovered that she had a mass on her spleen and was bleeding internally.  It was time to let her go; never an easy decision but when you love a dog there is almost always a last horrific decision to be made and it was with great love that we let her go to finally rest.   

My sweet Tilley, she filled a spot in my heart and will rest there forever, memories we help the to mend the sadness.  

I want to give special thanks to Dr. Alex Rousseau at Cornell University for his care and kindness.  The speed and professionalism that they showed upon our arrival is how it should always be for our dogs.  

After many weeks of preparation and a great deal of travel Tilley joined our family.  
Tilley was born in Manilla Canada at Kalchan Standard Poodles.  I can't thank Glenna Mae enough for allowing me to share my life with one of her amazing puppies.  How lucky was I to not only to share all the memorable moments with Tilley but to call her a member of our family?  Thank you once again Glenna Mae.

Tilley joined our pack of two in May of 1997 and blended in as a perfect fit.  From the day she joined us she took Brad (my son) under her wing as her own.  

Tilley accompanied me on many private/group training classes leaving students often say "I just want my dog to be like Tilley."  I could never took the credit for her being so amazing, she came to me as pretty close to perfect.

Our pack soon shifted and Tilley became #2 in our 3 dog pack.  Luke was the new comer and not so nicely welcomed by his older sister Tilley.  It took months for her to adjust to this new boy in town but once they bonded; the rest was history.

I have never in all my life seen such a naturally talented dog; amazing utility dog should have been her middle name.  Give her a task and she was not only on it but excelling at it.

Tilley not only helped other dogs learn how to behave but she also helped several "dog fearful" humans to trust a dog again.  She had about her a special air of neutralness.  

Tilley was an amazing athlete; her drive was off the charts and she loved it, throw and she would catch it.

Tilley appeared on Pet Star twice exhibiting her amazing catching abilities.  If you see the show on television you may be lucky enough to see her in action on the re-runs.  She also appeared in many magazine as she "got air" for her discs.

Always ready to retrieve.

As she aged gracefully she enjoyed the good things in life.

Even as an old lady she could do things that were amazing.

She was a true water retriever

My constant companion.

Luke's partner in life.

She was a very happy girl.

While she was able to, she spent many happy hours on our bed with us.

Even at the age of 14 she was always up for water sports.

Tilley loved the simple things in life.

Big sister and mentor

The apple of her Daddy's eye.  Tilley had a special love for the men in her life. 


  1. My heart goes out to you. She was such a beautiful dog. I can see why you loved her so much, I just want to reach out and hug her. As hard as this is on you I imagine her brother is going to miss her too. She was a true beauty and I thank you for sharing this amazing story about Tilley. Rest assure she is in heaven.

  2. Rest in Peace Sweet Tilley♥♥♥♥♥

  3. I'm so so sorry for your loss Sherri. Tilley was a beautiful, loving, talented companion. As I write this I have a huge lump in my throat - I will miss you writing stories about her...

    RIP sweet girl...

  4. Bless her sweet and loving soul<3

  5. I am so sorry for your loss, I went thru this too last year ( I think I am still going thru it ) with my Brown Standard, I miss her everyday.

  6. so very sorry for your loss. your girl was amazing! that beautiful face and sweet soul.. a life well lived. my heart goes out to you and your family.

  7. What a sweet and beautiful girl. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into the life of Tilley. You all were so blessed to have her and for her to have you for nearly 15 years. My thoughts and prayers are with you during what I know to be a very difficult time.

  8. Sherri...I am so very sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed looking at your pictures of your girl and reading your wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing!

  9. My heart goes out to you, so sorry for your family's loss, Sherri.
    " Every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are" ... author unknown ~ she certainly added a piece to your heart Maureen

  10. What a beautiful, gentle soul. RIP Tilley. Keep catching those frisbees!

  11. Dear Sherri: What a beautiful tribute to wonderful Tilley; My heart aches for you and your family. She was indeed a blessing and one that will always be there. Thank you for sharing her glorious life so well documented through your sadness. I wish you you peace and healing through her memory and love. Love, Teri

  12. God bless you. I know your pain. I had my Laycee for just about as long and it broke my heart to let her go. And I dread the day to come for my Lollee. We love our Spoos and they love us.

  13. What a beautiful tribute to Tilly. I have so enjoyed following your posts, the pictures are such a treasure.

    ... words cannot convey the depth of our sorrow at your loss. It is our prayer that you find peace in the many memories you have made together, they will carry you the rest of your days.

    There is nothing that takes the place of a Spoo in our lives, and I wouldn't trade them for anything else!
    Hugs and puppy nuzzles from Igor's Mom and Dad

    Sandra, Mike and Igor Schwab
    Elkhorn, WI

  14. I, too, have been fortunate enough to have several S.P.s in my life. The first was a female who was the perfect dog in my eyes. Tillie sounds very much like her. I know so well the loss you are feeling. You must, of course, remind yourself what a wonderful life she had; what a fortunate dog she was to live with some one who loved and respected her so. I still miss my girl every day, but it's a small price to pay for having loved her and shared her life......I know you feel the same.

  15. Thank you Sherri, for sharing your beautiful photos of this lovely girl. She has certainly had a wonderful life with you.

  16. Hi,

    I own a Kalchan dog and know of your dog, Tilley. I had read about her years ago. I came across this page today and I just want to say that she was a beautiful dog and I am really sorry for your loss. Standards are such a beautiful dogs, intelligent, excellent jumpers and an excellent personality.

    Thanks for sharing your videos and pictures on her.

  17. We have a Kalchan dog, think Tilley was her Mom. Luci is almost 15.
    hour walk every day. What a wonderful girl.


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