On Wednesday, October 26 our family suffered a huge loss.
Our pretty princess, Willow, spent her last day in the best way we could have hoped. Heather gave her a few of her much-loved pig’s ears and a bowl of Frosty Paws dog ice cream. She spent her afternoon on the couch napping. When I got home from work, I took her to the ACCES clinic where she was given much love and attention. I stood by her as she leaned her head first against me, then laid it down on the table and quietly left us.
Willow was with us for 16 months. Not long in the big picture, but in that year-and-a-half, she made herself a big part of our lives.
She came to us from a tough situation, overweight and unable to walk. We took her on walks in her wheelchair, sometimes with neighbors cheering her on as she marched up and down the block. She lost weight and we saw amazing progress as she began to bounce around the house on her three legs. We kept hoping she would finally get up on her one remaining back leg but it did not happen. Gradually, she began losing strength in that back leg. She was less able to move around the house, less able to take care of her business without soiling herself and less able to use her back half. There were times I would notice her sitting with her one leg or tail twisted at what looked like a horribly painful angle but she did not seem to notice it. She had some bad days. She had worse days. While we loved her and brushed her and bathed her as much as we could, she was not happy.
Making the final decision for a pet is incredibly hard. You must weigh the quality of life against your desire to keep your family member with you. I don’t think anyone can make the decision in a totally rational way as emotion plays such a huge part. In the end, I think, I believe, we made the right choice for Willow. She was with someone who loved her, surrounded by people who gave her incredible amount of kindness and care.
Goodbye, Willow. You will always be with us in our hearts.