My recent discovery is that my ultimate gift is not a pair of Manolo Blahnik skyscraper-heeled shoes. Nor is it a box of Godiva chocolate.

It’s a Lily.

Not the flower, but a fluffy Bichon/Poodle puppy my grandsons named Lily. Her first few weeks in her new home were very hard. Weighing in at two pounds, she was hypoglycemic and had a respiratory infection. But after a trip to the vet, Lily and I bond over Nutri-Cal, antibiotic doses and numerous feedings out of a child’s medicine dropper.

Now she’s a real scrapper. In fact, she’s so active I had to put on lipstick and get in the picture just to hold her still.

She fits perfectly into my daily routine. My husband’s job often takes him away from home. Lily makes a great companion. She sits at my feet while I write. When she’s restless she starts wandering my office. This immediately catches my attention because she’s not fully housetrained yet. So up I jump and outside we go.

My biggest challenge is keeping her off the bottom shelves of my bookcases. Teething, she loves to nibble on the pages and seems obsessed with the printed word. During edits of AFTER GLOW, my erotic paranormal story now available at, she often sat on my lap while I made final edits.

“Which sentence sounds better?” I ask out loud. “Her hand rested on his hard chest,” or “She rested her hand on his hard, muscular chest.”

Lily looks up at me with those dark eyes and barks twice, letting me know she likes the second one better. Just kidding, but she does listen intently to every word I say.

She didn’t enter my life in the best of health, but she’s become a blessing to my family. Her love is unconditional. Her spirit is contagious. Her companionship is priceless. She’s truly my ultimate gift.

What’s yours?

Until later,

Pamela Varnado, AKA: Pamela Vee
AFTER GLOW available now (


  1. Autumn Jordon // August 27, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

    Nice post. I understand about the bond you have with your Lily. Right now, Harry, a Yorky, is at my feet. He came with the husband. He is seventeen and is legally blind and deaf to everything except a potato chip bag opening, but every morning after his breakfast he finds me in my office and stays by my side until my DH comes home.

    He hasn't helped me write a word though. But he does remind to get up and go outside.

    Pets are so special, aren't they.

  2. Barbara Monajem // August 27, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

    Oh, what a sweetie! I spend a lot of time with my daughter's dog. He puts himself in danger by lying right behind my rolling office chair. I keep forgetting he's there, but fortunately he's quick on his feet, so I haven't rolled over him yet.

    LOL. He makes me go outside frequently, too, and we take at least one long walk every day.

  3. Judy // August 27, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

    Loved your post, Pam. My Lily is a a long-haired dachshund named Winston, who is the very affectionate, very kind ruler of his kingdom, which includes paeons like my husband and me. He's three years old now and we love him dearly. He stays in the office with me most of the time (unless my husband is working in his office, then he sleeps between the two doorways)and he tells us when it is time for a break! And, of course, he sleeps with us! Something we never did with our other dachshunds.

  4. Pamela Vee // August 27, 2010 at 9:05 AM  

    Autumn, finding the right pet can sometimes be a challenge, especially one with special needs. But I think that's what makes them special. Now reach down and give Harry a pat from me.

  5. Pamela Vee // August 27, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

    Barbara, I've stumbled over Lily too many times to count. She has more energy than a two year old toddler. Running from room to room, turning round and round as she chases her tail, on the sofa-off the sofa-on the sofa...Whew! I'm getting tired just thinking about all the things she cramps into a day.

  6. Pamela Vee // August 27, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

    Judy, Lily is the queen of her castle also. She bounds from room to room, leaving all her squeaky toys behind. The only room she seems hesitant to enter is my bedroom. Why? It leads into my master bath, which Lily equates to "bath time," something she hates. As for sleeping with me and my husband, well, we haven't taken that step yet because Lily isn't fully housetrained.

  7. Nightingale // August 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

    Lily looks adorable in the picture. It's a great photo of the author too. I miss having pets and this post brought home how much. My treasure I suppose is my piano because it brings me a great deal of pleasure.

  8. Mary Marvella // August 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM  


    My 2 granddogs think I'm wonderful. I love them but I can't get anything done around them. The act like they never get petted or fed, which I know is wrong. You should see the toys and goodies my daughter keeps in huge supply. They think they should herd me around, especially when they want me to go to bed.

    I tried tricking them into following me to their mama's bed to sleep, so I could sneak back to work.

    It doesn't work.

    My special friends are blessing to me. I don't have to feed them or take them outside to potty or rub their bellies like I do the mutts.

    The hugs and long phone calls and IM's keep my in good spirits!

  9. Pamela Varnado // August 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

    Linda, I wish I could play the piano. Growing up, I didn't have the opportunity to play any musical instrument, but if I had it would definitely have been the piano. There's nothing more relaxing than sitting back and listening to a CD of a classical piano sonata.

    A lot of musicians play numerous instruments. Is piano the only one you’re interested in playing?

  10. Pamela Varnado // August 27, 2010 at 11:03 AM  

    Mary, I just came back from checking on Lily. She was in the other room and it got way too quiet. The kind of quiet that makes you get up to see what a young child is doing. And what was Lily up to? Well, she was ripping toliet paper to shreds. It's all over my living room. She's lucky I love her, because if not, she'd be in the doghouse right now.

  11. Connie Gillam // August 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

    Hey, Pamela,

    I didn't know you'd gotten your dog. She's so cute.

    My ultimate gift are my kids and grandchildren. They (my grandkids) keep me on my toes. I've jumped out of giant inflatable slides, raced down the street (oh, my knees) and attempted cartwheels. My granddaughter, Kyla tells me "Grandma you're too old to do that."
    Which means I have to do it.
    Those sweet faces watching me as I attempt to be seven years old again, is a delight.

  12. Patrice // August 27, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

    Lily has obviously brough much joy into your life, and you into hers. I miss my sweet Sandy that I had for a great many years. She traveled the world with us, and brought me comfort during my divorce. I remember her licking my hand or face while I cried on the couch. They know when you're hurting and their love is unconditional. I hope you have many wonderful years with Lily.

  13. Pamela Varnado // August 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

    Connie, kids do keep you feeling younger. When I cared for Triston and Ivan I was wore out by five o'clock. But the joy they gave me and the time I spent with them was priceless.

  14. Pamela Varnado // August 27, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

    Patrice, I'm sorry to hear about Sandy. Pets are intuitive. They know when you need a lick or snuggle. Lily has brightened my day and mood many times. She has become such a part of my family I can't imagine life without her in it.

  15. Mona Risk // August 27, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

    What a cute doggie. Your Lily is adorable. My Lily was a rusty-colored cat, Wendy. We had her for nine years and then had to put her for adoption when we moved to apartment. I still feel guilty about abandoning her although she landed in a very nice family.

  16. Pamela Varnado // August 27, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

    Mona, I know how hard it is to give up a pet because you're moving. After it happened to me because of a military deployment, I didn't consider getting another pet until my husband retired. You become so attached that it's hard to let go.

  17. Mary Ricksen // August 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

    Hi Pam you look wonderful! The puppy is adorable too. I have a new German Shepherd puppy, maybe I should tell everyone about her too!
    She has little teeth as sharp as needles!! She is 2 and a half months old and getting huge. And she don't want me to write, she wants my undivided attention. And she wakes me up much too early.
    My sister has the same type dog but white. She got it because it was good for her daughters allergies, very, very, cute doggies! Love this post. Whoops pee time!

  18. Mary Marvella // August 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM  

    Good job, Pam.

  19. Toni V.S. // August 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

    Lily is a darling. Reminds me of the little poodle someone here at the Apts owns, and of my mother's Andrew.

  20. Beth Trissel // August 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

    I loved this post, Pam. Lily is darling and reminds me of my tiny pom-poo Sadie. I have four big dogs but not all in the house. Two are outside farm dogs, but Sadie bosses them around, and the cats. She too is my constant companion. Ultimate gifts should be life's loyal companions, I agree. You look good in the pic too. :)

  21. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

    Pam, my little bundle is named Coco Chanel and is a Pomeranian. She sticks to me like glue while I am home and greets me at the door when I get home. She was lonely when I was away at national, so she bonded with the DH. She is really my daughter's baby, but she loves me too. I understand how easily they can capture and hold your heart.

  22. Joanne // August 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM  

    What a beautiful bond you have with your new puppy, Pam. Precious and a wonderful companion for you.

  23. Your Wonderful Daughter... // August 29, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

    First I will start by saying I love that picture Momma....but I am EXTREMLY jealous of Lily!!! J/K I love your post, like always that are wonnderful. I am happy that you have Lily there to take care of you when Daddy is away. I cant wait till November when we come homa nd get to visit this famous Lily that you are always talking about. I love you and the boys miss you tremendously! I will be emailing you pictures of Tristons first day of 2nd grade so look out!

    I love you and miss you....

    Your Tina

  24. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:22 AM  

    Mary, caring for a puppy is like caring for a young child. They wake you up way too early and want your attention when you have something to do. Good thing, we love both child and dog.

  25. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:24 AM  

    Toni, it's funny, Lily is a Bichon/Poodle, but I see a lot more poodle in her in her after a haircut. Before the haircut she looks more like a bichon. Figure that!

  26. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:26 AM  

    Beth, thanks for the photo encouragement. I hate taking pictures and keep waiting until I lose 50 pounds before I take another media snapshot. Hope I'm not waiting too long.

  27. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:28 AM  

    Scarlett, my neighbor has a little brown and white pom. She's real fiesty and full of energy. And like Lily she's a licker.

  28. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

    Joanne, Lily has become a wonderful companion to me. I don't know what I'd do if she wasn't around. She fills my day with love and affection.

  29. Pamela Varnado // August 31, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

    Tina, I can't wait to see you. I love and miss you dearly. Give the boys a kiss.