She used to race round the garden until we really had a race track, and trying to keep out of her way was difficult! She brought tremendous happiness to us all, and everyone who met her thought she was lovely.
A tragic accident 4 years ago changed everything for her and us, and yet her personality was always wonderful, despite the initial pain and getting used to having to cope on three legs. Not once did she ever show any sign of anger. As she got better and more able to manage she slowly went back to her old ways of racing round the garden – nerve racking for us, but she enjoyed it so much. Over these last couple of years her walks got shorter and took longer, and in the last few months we could tell how difficult life was becoming for her. But whenever I said “walkies” she would get up and come to me with her funny toothy grin while I put her collar on.
Now she is gone the place is empty. No feet thumping on the bottom step as we come down stairs in the mornings, no face at the window when we come home or excited barking to greet us. No big nose burrowing in my shopping bags. No Willow lying on her back in bed with her legs in the air, grinning at us.
We took her away with us on holidays. Like the first time we took her up to Scotland and let her run loose on the beach. It was fantastic watching her, and laughing at her enjoyment of the freedom. And her racing into the Loch and dashing out and in again.
How she would manage to steal food that I thought was out of her way, the loaves of bread she pinched! Anything at all to do with food had to be put up very high or in a secure cupboard.
Watching her sleeping and dreaming, tail wagging, legs going, little barks and yelps, it all made us laugh so much In the evenings when I would be sitting watching TV, I would become aware of her lying across from me, just watching me. And every evening, she would get up and walk over to lie beside my husband for her evening petting. If he stopped moving his hand she would reach up with her paw and remind him to start again! She greeted everyone who came to the house with a long inspection with her nose, then wander back to bed.
She was quite choosy about which dogs she liked when we were out walking, and took an immediate dislike to any that barked at her. Willow got on well with our son and daughters dogs, quite happy to have them in the house.
The only thing that threw her were our chickens!
She would not go out of the back door if they were on the doorstep! Willow was with us such a short time, but she made such a difference in our lives, and like all pets, she is desperately missed. Now we have none of the restrictions that come with owning a dog, but the ties are still there, and while for a long time I can’t think of having another dog, I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life without one.
Willow – November 2004 – January 2014