"How can that be?" I objected. "When Lily first came I left her in the plastic shopping bag in the second drawer of the bedside table. She waited for you."
"Mom, Lily wants to stay right here with you."
So, the littlest (7-year-old) daughter makes the big gift. Takes my gift to her and hands it back. Names the soft stuffed carmel pug Lily, hand letters a collar for the dog from hospital supplies and writes our Washington Island telephone number on the band in case of loss.
Scratch behind the ears. Nose to nose. My hand on Lily's soft fur. We sleep in the locked down ward when lights go out.