Elderly man’s dying wish is for faithful companion to have a good home

Published on: January 8, 2019

Loose Ends

Lilly, a 5-year-old Lab-mix, whose 94-year-old owner recently passed away, needs a loving and lasting home. His owner’s last wishes were for his family to find her a good home and avoid putting her in a kill shelter. If you’d like to meet this gentle, well-behaved canine, call Tom Sexton at 603-860-1260.

I received so many wonderful comments and emails about the column I wrote last week,  “Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment.” I appreciated them all, but one in particular grabbed my attention.   

Linda Sexton, a seasonal resident of Sun City Center, started her message as follows:

“After reading your column in the Jan. 3 edition of The Observer News, I was struck with your compassion for animals. Thus my reason for reaching out to you today is to see if you might be able to assist our family with our (current) dilemma.

Linda went on to tell me her 94-year-old father, Arthur Liebler, had passed away Dec. 26 and left behind his 5-year-old Lab-mix, Lilly. He had rescued the dog early last year from the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.

“She is the sweetest, most loving, well-behaved dog you could ever want,” Linda wrote, adding she is super-friendly with people but shows  aggressiveness to dogs.

Her dad was so taken with Lilly when he met her at the animal shelter, he was willing to give her a chance and took her home. The gamble was worth it. She became his constant companion and paid him back tenfold.

Linda said her father’s last wishes were that the family not put Lilly in a kill shelter, and try to find his dog a good home.

“We have exhausted several avenues with no success,” she added. “After reading your article, we were hoping you, being so involved with animals and their behavior, might be able to give us a suggestion as to what we might do to avoid putting her in a shelter that could ultimately put her down.”

I just had to meet this dog.

So I called and asked Linda and her husband Tom if I could come visit them to learn more about Lilly and to see, in person, how she behaves.

After only minutes, this gal had won my heart. I’d have taken her in a heartbeat, if I didn’t have two small dogs of my own, one of whom also is a bit aggressive with other dogs.

Every member of the Liebler and Sexton families loves Lilly, but no one can take her because they each have dogs. It was heartbreaking to hear this. They all want to honor their father’s wishes and do the right thing for his dog, but their hands are tied.

Lilly is a dream companion for anyone wanting a genuinely affectionate canine, folks. She’s gentle, quiet and obeys commands. She laid motionless at my feet, legs crossed in front of her, as I interviewed the family. Her soft green eyes reveal a kindly soul, one who longs for love and a permanent home.

She is spayed, microchipped, up-to-date on all her shots, and she comes with all her paperwork, bed, kennel, toys and leashes. She requires minimal care, she’s free and ready to go…to the right person.

Anyone willing to have Lilly as an only dog will be adopting a lifetime friend. If you or anyone you know could give her the home she deserves, call Tom Sexton at 603-860-1260 to arrange a meeting. I’m sure she’ll make as big an impression on you as she did on me. I was smitten.

Lois Kindle is a freelance writer and columnist for The Observer News. Contact her at