Lily the Beagle Fund

This is the special story of Kevin, a food blogger, his husband Will, a psychologist, and their best friend and joy of their lives, Lily the Beagle, to whom they had to say farewell on December 3, 2017:

The morning of July 6, 2008, we heard the incessant, gut-wrenching yelps of a dog. We ran out to the street, only to discover a little beagle had been struck by a car. Blood was everywhere. A small crowd had gathered, and the beagle, who was obviously in shock, bit anyone who tried to touch her. This included the careless motorist who had hit her. While Will crossed the street to investigate, I ran to call my dog-loving friend DeGuerre. DeGuerre, I sensed, would know what to do. Will, being a gentle soul, managed to calm the little dog. She even allowed him to caress her back.

Because it was a Sunday morning, all veterinary offices were closed. That is, except an “emergency” clinic a great distance away. Thus DeGuerre, Will and I drove the beagle to the clinic. There, we were told euthanasia was in order, for the dog had no ID, and would require at the minimum very expensive surgeries, including a leg-amputation. We said “No!” to the idea of ending the dog’s life, and agreed to incur all expenses. The vet carried the dog into another room for examination.

After a long, anxious wait, the vet reappeared. She told us the dog had a microchip, which, when scanned, revealed her history at shelters, and the current owner’s name, address, and telephone number. The beagle, we learned, had been adopted just 30 days prior to the accident, and had been spayed two weeks before. The stitches from the spaying were still in place. The vet called the owner, who, according to the vet, sounded annoyed at being awaken at 12 noon on a Sunday. She told him that his dog had been hit by a car, and that a few “good Samaritans” offered to give it the care it required, but legally could not do so without his permission. The owner said he didn’t want the dog anymore. When I asked the vet for the owner’s name, she refused to give it to me.

Since this clinic was emergency-only, we had to pick the dog up at 7 the following morning. The receptionist handed us the helpless patient, and also gave us a file that included information from the microchip scan. Among other stats in the file was the abominable owner’s name and address. But more about this character later. DeGuerre and I brought the poor dog to the amazing Dr. Cane in Hillsdale, New York.

Dr. Cane took one look at the beagle, now named “Lilybelle,” and said she was in shock, had a fever, and was close to death. Cane, like the previous vet, felt Lily’s hind leg would have to be removed. But after countless surgeries and thousands of stitches, he saved not only Lily’s life, but her leg, too.

Lily stayed at Cane’s clinic for two weeks. During this time I spoke with the previous owner’s neighbors. They told me he kept the dog on a rope in his tiny, fenced yard all day and all night. When he tired of her (perhaps she refused to fetch his slippers), he removed her collar, opened the gate, and just “let her go.”

Lily made a remarkable recovery. Two months after leaving Cane’s care, we watched with joy as she out-ran pit-bulls, golden retrievers, and other dogs three times her size at a local dog-run. She also started sleeping in our bed, contentedly cuddled between us all night long.

Lily's nickname was "The Love Dog" as she used to join Will in his home office to see therapy patients. She was very nurturing to anyone, and particularly to women who seemed upset. She would jump up on the coach to be close to them. She had many favorite patients, some of whom would bring her special treats that she would be very excited about. 

Lily was and is the joy of our lives. We have lived with the sorrow and dread of her terminal cancer since May of 2017. We now have greater appreciation and tenderness for every family that lives with cancer. She has enriched our relationship, our friendships and our work lives for the past ten years. We are still heartbroken about her loss, and setting up this GO FUND ME account will give us meaning in the face of her death. We want to help people afford the treatment their dogs need.

Robert Frost said that he could sum up all he had learned about life in three words, "Life Goes On." We hope so, and we will honor her in every way we can think of, offering that tender loving heart she gave us to the world.

Funds raised through this memorial will be received by the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, a 501(c)3 non-profit animal welfare facility in upstate New York (, FEIN 14-1487056. These donations will be used to assist thousands of other animals in need of veterinary care through their low-cost public veterinary clinic. If you have any questions regarding CGHS/SPCA or their low-cost clinic, you may contact them at (518) [phone redacted] or [email redacted].
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Aaron Clause 
Hudson, NY
Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA 
Registered nonprofit
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