Tillman has been our dog since Buddy and I were students at Clemson. Buddy got him in December 2002, right before I graduated and moved back home. He still had another semester and said he needed a dog so he wouldn't be lonely without me there. So he brought home this cute little minature pinscher puppy. I'll be honest, I was a little mad that he picked a dog without my input, especially since we would be getting married in a few months and the dog would become ours. A few days playing with the puppy before I graduated and I was in "puppy love"! Plus, I got to name him, so I named him Tillman, after the oldest building on Clemson's campus. This happened to be the building where all my classes were held.
You know how they say every dog has its "human" that it seems to love more than the others? Well, for 6 and a half years, that person was me. Maybe it was because I was home more often than Buddy? With my schedule as a teacher, I left for work later, I get home earlier, and I'm home all the time in the summer, so I got to spend more time with Tillman. I was booted from the spot as Tillman's #1 human right around the time a certain boy named Quinn came into our lives!
For the past few weeks, Tillman was having trouble getting around. He started limping and such with his front legs, and it progressed to trouble in his back legs as well. Basically, after discussing with our vet, and attempting some medication, the doctor determined that his problem was some sort of neurological disorder, and without some very expensive tests...think thousands of dollars worth....., we might never know exactly what the problem was. But with it affecting all his limbs, it was a very likely chance that he would lose his ability to walk. Buddy and I both love animals too much to watch them suffer, and for that reason, we made a very hard decision.
If you had told me Sunday morning that I wouldn't have my dog anymore, I would have said you were crazy.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of Tillman.
The Bible doesn't say if dogs go to heaven, but there are some subtle references to animals. In Revelation, John says he saw "heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse..." (Chapter 19, vs 11). In Isaiah chapter 11, there are references to these animals: wolf, lamb, leopard, goat, calf, lion, bear, ox, and a cobra. God created all the animals on earth, and He gives us some of them to be our friends. I can't imagine that He would give us these sweet creatures on earth to be such a part of our lives and not have that same privilege in Heaven. At least, I HOPE that is part of His Plan!
So, sweet Tillman Lee, until I see you again, I hope you know how much we loved you. I'm sorry that you got sick, but I'm glad your legs work again. I hope you are having fun running and playing with brother Brady and Desi. You were our baby before those boys Quinn and Jacob came along. You lived a great 10 years in our family, but you will always be in our hearts. Rest easy, little friend!
2002 - 2012