Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Our Dog, Our Friend

Willow.  Six years ago this baby girl was tied to a fence with a coat hanger waiting for the "dog disposer" to pick her up.  Who could imagine the rejection this gentle creature must have felt?  It was obvious she had been abused.

It was Easter four years ago.  Rochelle was visiting us when she got the call from her hubby who was working in the Arctic North.  "Now, please don't be angry with me but I got us another dog."  I watched Rochelle's mouth tighten and the air was tense.  She had three dogs and a cat and certainly did not need another one.  They argued about it for a few minutes.  When she got off the phone, it was clear she lost the battle.

@BatteredHope #Husky needs to cool off

Great way for a Husky to cool off

When Thomas arrived home with their new pet, Willow took one look at Rochelle, walked up to her with the softest look in her eyes and laid her head on Rochelle's lap.  She was smart enough to realize, she had to win Rochelle's heart.  She did.  Instantly.

@BatteredHope Willow and Rochelle in love at first sight

Rochelle realized how great it would be to have a large 'guard' dog, as she was home alone most of the time and the three little dogs weren't much protection - just noisy.  She asked one of their friends to break into their kitchen window when they weren't home to see how Willow reacted, hoping she would scare off the intruder.

As Willow watched the 'intruder' break in,  she quickly found her favorite teddy bear to present to him, along with showering him with many wet kisses.  That was Willow.  She loved people.

In time, she became extremely protective of Rochelle and if Thomas and her ever argued, she would stand between them and bark as a referee; it would immediately change the mood to laughter.  
Willow - A Beloved Family Member

Willow became Thomas' hiking partner and their bond, although different than the one Rochelle shared with her, was very strong.  She was obedient, loving, loyal and did not need to beg for attention, she demanded it.  One look into those eyes, one blue - one black, and you were instantly in love. 


She loved all the family members
Two years ago, Willow had eaten her dinner and almost immediately was in utter distress.  Assessing the situation, Thomas had a pretty good idea what was wrong.  Sometimes, when large, deep chested dogs eat too fast, it can cause a food bloat from the large amount of air they take in during eating.  The chance of the stomach twisting while they are bloated is possible and this cuts off blood supply to the stomach.  It is life-threatening and must be treated immediately.  The pain is beyond anything you could imagine.

Willow required emergency surgery if there was any hope of saving her but the chances of her pulling through would not be determined for seven days.  SHE MADE IT!  You can read that story here.

If you have a large chested dog that has a tendency to eat too fast, check out the dishes designed to slow them down, as pictured here.  It could save a life.  The dishes have small compartments and the dog has to 'dig' for his dinner. 

Two weeks ago,  without warning, Willow showed signs of severe distress.  She was obviously in extreme pain and it was evident her time had come.  Thomas had been up with her all night and early in the morning, drove her to the vet, knowing he would have to say good-bye to his loyal, gentle buddy; his hiking partner; his friend.  It would be difficult.  

The vet examined her and  suggested surgery.  Thomas was shocked.  This dog had gone through more trauma than any dog should have to in a lifetime and now, at seventeen years of age, the vet wanted to perform SURGERY to save her life and put her through more stress.  Thomas made it clear.  He wanted Willow put to rest with dignity, and an argument ensued.  The vet accused him of wanting to take the easy way out without spending money to save her life.  At this point, Thomas lost it.  He was emotionally spent and told the vet he could not put Willow through any more suffering.

He should not be allowed to practice medicine
This arrogant, greedy vet would not agree to end her misery.  He insisted upon X-rays and medication.  Several hundred dollars later, it was determined that Willow had ruptured a tumor on her spleen and the pain was incredible.  She was given pain killers and Thomas was to take her home.  Eight hours later, when a different vet was on duty, Thomas took Willow back.  This vet started to cry.  She felt deep compassion for both Willow and what her 'parents' had to endure that day.

Gently, Thomas removed her collar, and held her head in his hands as he kissed her and watched her slip peacefully away.

The new vet wrote a letter to the controlling board of veterinarians as she had little respect for what her colleague had done.  Hopefully, there will be repercussions for the first doctor, who called himself a veterinarian!

There will never be another Willow.  

@BatteredHope Willow, you will be missed

Rest in peace, Sweet Willow
You will forever be in our hearts
We love you

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