You can hear the affection in his voice as Tom Mitson talks about Lilly. An English mastiff, Lilly came into Tom’s life when she was just over a year old. Shortly thereafter, Lilly and the 75-year-old retiree became inseparable. “I boarded her once when I was away,” Tom says, “but her nose was rubbed raw when I came back and I never boarded
Tom thought of breeding Lilly because she was a gentle dog and he thought her pups would make great family pets. But then he’d worry that he wouldn’t really know if the puppies were going to good homes. The years went by and he didn’t breed her and he didn’t spay her.
Lilly is 12 years old, 160 pounds and, Tom says, loves water. So when Tom had to leave the house one day, he cleaned Lilly’s water dish and filled it to the brim. When he returned, the water dish was empty and he noticed something disturbing—he’d been painting when he was called away and had put the brush in water so the paint wouldn’t harden on the brush. The water in that container was lower than he remembered.
Over the next few days, Lilly’s urine had a red tinge. Tom thought it was the paint working its way through Lilly’s body. Then the urine turned gray—and Tom called his niece for help. She suggested a veterinary practice not too far away, but when Tom arrived there with Lilly, he learned that she had pyometra—a life threatening infection in the uterus—and the cure was surgery he couldn’t afford. The alternative, it seemed, was to euthanize Lilly. But then, someone at the veterinarian’s office called the Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic. The PIN clinic told him to come immediately.
Tom says he arrived at 2:30, Lilly went straight into surgery, and everyone at the clinic was “truly dedicated. They close at 3 but it was 6:30 or 7 by the time we got out. They went well beyond the call of duty. They even helped me get her into the car.”
Every day for the next four days, the PIN clinic called Tom to check on Lilly’s progress. In three days, “her ears perked up” and not long after, she got “a spring in her step like I haven’t seen since she was about 7 years old.”
Today, Lilly and Tom are still inseparable. Lilly is well, and Tom can’t say enough about the people at the Pets in Need Veterinary Clinic. They gave him more than a healthy and happy companion, he says. “They gave me faith again in human kind.”