Feeding Miss Lilly, revised edition: Foreword

I’m in the process of revising my book, Feeding Miss Lilly (on feeding dogs a great, nature-inspired diet), published in 2014. As I complete each section, I’ll upload it here until the revision is ready for publication (hopefully in the next month or so).

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FOREWORD

The Splendid Miss Tiger Lilly — ‘Miss Lilly’ to her friends — was my own beloved mutt, and this book is about how I fed her and the reasons behind my decisions. Miss Lilly died naturally in the spring of 2017, somewhere between 16 and 17 years of age. She was a stray when I got her, so I don’t know her exact age. I was told she was about 3 years old when I adopted her from an animal shelter, but I don’t think she was quite that old; if she had been, then she was coming up on 18 years of age when she died.

I published the first edition in late 2014, when Miss Lilly was in her early ‘teens. I knew that, at some point, I’d want to write an updated version which included the final years of her life, but it’s taken awhile for me to fully absorb the lessons I’ve learned from her, and from my mum, about the fine art of living and dying.

One thing is clear to me: how we live, including how we eat, during the main part of our life affects how we spend the final years and months of our life. Dying is inevitable; disease is not.

But the more important lesson came as a surprise to me, and it comes from Miss Lilly herself: nothing is more important to a dog’s health and well-being than the sense of being loved. Good diet matters; feeling loved and cherished matters more.

I wrote the first edition of Feeding Miss Lilly while she was still alive, so it was written in the present tense. In this revised edition I write about her in the past tense as I incorporate some things I’ve since learned about feeding and caring for the dogs we love. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I’ve enjoyed living it and writing about it. Four years on, I still miss that stripey dog, but it’s an absolute joy to write about our life together.

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Next post: Introduction