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Goodbye, Miss Lilly
by Janice Hendricks
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Miss Lilly   A Tombstone legend has passed away and while the Tombstone Times is not known for publishing the notices of those who are no longer among us we felt the passing of this young "lady" must not go without mention. For years we have been covering the legend of Miss Lilly, our pistol packin' pooch who strolls the boardwalks and delights the visitors to our fair camp with her adorable ways and eye-catching costuming - from the western leather fringe and gun holsters to the bedazzled and be-feathered dark lady of the night!! Lilly was a pound puppy who found a home, a forever home, with Linda Young and Dr. Jay Clark. Through her beguiling ways of persuasion she was soon enough part of their family. The three of them were wanderers of sorts and found themselves traveling between Florida, New Mexico and of course, Tombstone! It was on one occasion while visiting Tombstone that Lilly found her calling this lifetime. A stray feather from a lady's boa found upon the boardwalk would be the beginning of her fame but most certainly not the entirety of it at all! Linda picked the feather up, placed it in Lilly's locks of dark long hair and within seconds the one-time pound puppy became Miss Lilly, pooch with a cause!! Her demeanor changed. No longer was she just another dog among dogs in Tombstone, she became a star!

   Soon enough Linda was creating costumes for this little actress. Costumes from her pistol packin' garb to the feather adorned glamorous outfits for other fine occasions were created. Miss Lilly even attended a sock-hop in a "person" skirt while her human wore a poodle skirt! It was all such fun, but more than that, it was a perfect way for Miss Lilly to pay it forward and help other pound puppies and kittens find their forever home too!

   While Miss Lilly was in character, and trust me, she absolutely loved being in character, people would want to take a photo of her, often offering to pay for the privilege to do so. Not expecting to receive compensation for just being herself, Miss Lilly encouraged Linda and Dr. Jay to help her with paying it forward and the suggestion was made to help out the local animal shelters with any donations received. She did this everywhere she went and became almost as much of a celebrity as some of the celebrities she posed with. She had a regular column in a New Mexico journal called The Light where tips for the health and well-being of our pets were discussed. In 2005 she became an honorary Cochise County sheriff and received a miniature badge to wear upon her vest. And in the twelve years that she served as a Tombstone Small Animal Shelter Ambassador she collected a total of $22,789 in donations to help support our shelter's needs! Imagine that!

   Sadly, however, on September 19th Miss Lilly's journey came to an end. Her legacy never to be forgotten! The town folk's appreciation for her presence on our boardwalks not to be surpassed by the appreciation that Linda and Dr. Jay have for all those who helped Miss Lilly in her quest to benefit other pound puppies - but most importantly - for the time, love and treats she was rewarded with in all the local shops from one end of the boardwalk to the other!

   When one is so loved and respected in our town it is common to recognize their place in Tombstone's history with a "walk-down" along Allen Street. Miss Lilly will be so honored on November 17th at high noon. This occasion will be in combination with her "grandfather" Gene Clark whose untimely passing will also be recognized.

   Those interested in keeping Miss Lilly's legacy alive can contribute to the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1085 Tombstone, AZ 85638 or by dropping your donations in the Puppy Banks on the counters of many local businesses! Thank You Miss Lilly! Thank you Linda and Dr. Jay! And thank you all for remembering our famous Pistol Packin' Pooch, Miss Lilly!!!

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