Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where is Willow

She answered to many names...
Puppy Girl...

My daughter grew up with her.
Caroline, at ten years old, scanned the pets for sale section of the Sunday paper for months.
She had her heart set on a West Highland Terrier and would not be swayed.   She had saved one hundred dollars as a show of good faith and investment.  Somewhere there are polaroid pictures of the day we brought her home, her little, triangle ears too puppy soft to stand up.

That first year she used my antique wash stand's legs for her teething.
Her tenacious terrier tendencies were not understood or appreciated...we'd only had big dogs.
But she became a family member.

When Willow was five or six, the father left.
The children grew and moved away from home. 
Willow was my friend and at times my consoler, her sturdy little body my respirator
at times I could not breathe, for grief.

She suffered in her mature years, with a slippery knee joint and food allergies that caused her to have skin lesions.  My Richard, who came to love her well, would buy her ground lamb to cook with rice and vegetables.  But her personality remained unflappable and her sturdy little heart still wanted to explore, chase squirrels, be with her people.

At 13 and a half years, the day before my daughter's birthday, Willow had a fall that caused a traumatic break in her thigh bone.  Xray showed a cancerous lesion.  We let her go.

Last week was the second anniversary of her passing. 
I have never considered another dog, as several cats have come into my life and it seems a cat suits my life well.  And there can never be another Willow.

My favorite photo of her is this one, just before sunset, doing what a white terrier does best.

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