Tilly Tot’s Story – Part 1

Volume 14-3.4
[ March 29, 2014 ]

I have noted in previous blog posts anecdotes about Tilly Tot, our elderly rescue dog, and the severe trauma she went through before we got her settled in and integrated as part of the family.  For those who haven’t read those earlier stories, my husband and I already had two beloved Shih Tzus for a couple of years before coming upon Tilly Tot and her plight.  However, before we get to the Tilly Tot Story, we have the back-story of Corky, which is interesting and relevant to Tilly’s tale.

The Advent of Corky

Right from the outset when we first got Ling Ling, and then again when we got Oreo, I was adamant that I didn’t want another dog.  Two were quite enough, thank you very much.


Tammy, a JR Terrier-Chihuahua X –same colour as Corky

Then, one day we noticed a cute, smallish dog wandering around the neighbourhood.  He looked to be a cross between a JR terrier and coarse-haired breed of some kind, with a sandy brown coat.  He had been hanging around for about a week, and we were certain that he would be hit by a car.  We couldn’t stand the uncertainty anymore and finally took him in.

He was obedient, quiet, and much subdued.  We checked around the neighbourhood and at the Town Office to see if anyone was missing a pet.  He had a collar on but no dog tag, and we had no luck finding an owner.  If ever a dog cried for someone to love him and vice versa, it was this one.  For no good reason, I named him Corky…it just seemed to suit him.

Falling in Love with Corky

We took him to the vet to get his shots and arranged to have him neutered the following week.  The vet bill for the shots was around $70, and the neutering would be even more, but we were willing to go for it because, guess what?  I had fallen totally in love with the gentle, loveable Corky.

He got along with Ling Ling and Oreo just fine, although he was bigger.  Almost as importantly, he fit okay through the doggie door system we have going into the back yard.  I vowed that the sadness I sensed in him would succumb to the love we showered upon him, and he would just have to be joyous again.


Jack Russell Terrier-Poodle cross – has a face similar to Corky’s

Jack Russell Terrier-Poodle cross – has a face similar to Corky’s

The day before we were to take Corky to the vet for the big snip, a man and a boy came to the door.  The man had heard that we had taken in his son’s dog and wanted the dog back.  My husband talked to him, then came back into the house and told me about it.  I began to cry.  I knew that we had lost Corky.  Ernest took Corky into the garage.  He described the scene to me later.

The dog followed him obediently into the garage.  Suddenly he exploded into a furry ball of energy and silently hurled himself at the boy.  The boy cried out, “Cricket!” which turned out to be the dog’s real name—note the similarity of sound between the two names—fell to both knees and hugged the dog fiercely.  Corky…er, Cricket was crying doggy tears and licking the boy’s face as fast as his little tongue would go.  I probably would have bawled harder if I had witnessed their reunion.

Cricket/Corky walked out of the house with the man and the boy and out of our lives.


I cried for three days.  I had never bonded with a dog so quickly and thoroughly.  I told Ernest sorrowfully that we were not ever going to pick up any more strays.  It hurt too much when the owners came to collect them.

Tilly Tot:  “I doesn’t feel good, Mommy.”

Tilly Tot: “I doesn’t feel good, Mommy.”

Enter Tilly Tot

Two weeks later, Tilly Tot came into our lives via our neighbour across the street.  He had seen our Shih Tzus and thought perhaps this little dog was one of ours.  Watch next week’s column for the tale of Tilly Tot’s trauma, rescue, and resurrection.


How about you?  Have you ever taken in a stray dog or cat?
Did you keep it or turn it into a pet shelter?
Did the rightful owner come to collect the pet?  How did you feel?
Just enter a comment at the bottom of this post
where it obligingly says, “Leave a Comment.”


 (Next week watch for Part 2 of “Tilly Tot’s Story”)


Copyright © 2013 by
Sandra Bell Kirchman
All rights reserved.



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  1. Pingback: Puppy Dog Tales

Oreo, Tilly & Ling Ling will wag their tales...er tails if you reply :)

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