my parents eldest dog, Sally, was put down yesterday. I found out at work, mid afternoon, via email, from my parents. We knew she was really ill – she had a shadow on her lung, which they weren’t sure was cancer, or just the Westie Lung Disease, something that Westies seem to get around the age of 10 or 11, which she was. She’d been having lots of tests, had antibiotics, and was on steroids to help her breathe. It was so unfair to see it – it just got her one day, and she had big problems breathing.
The last time we went back to York, on the last August Bank Holiday weekend, we knew it might be the last time we get to spend time with Sally. Poppy, the younger dog, had a touch of bronchitis, and at one stage, we were worried both of them could die by the end of the year (Poppy is only about five or six). Poppy made a full recovery though.. thank goodness. Sallys diagnosis wasn’t so good…
When I left York, I cried my eyes out, saying bye to Sally. I’ve not cried like that in a long time. I just kept telling her what a brave little girl she was, and how she just has to know when to stop, and that we all love her. Course, what a dog understands, I don’t know. But she looked, and rolled over, and let me rub her tum, which she only ever lets you do, if she’s comfortable with you.
She was a funny little dog. When my parents first got her, they came to visit me in Bristol, and brought sally – she was so tiny, she couldn’t yet go for proper walks, it was raining, so I tucked her inside my jacket, and we all went for a walk. She kept chewing on my plaits.. funny dog. I don’t know what it is about westies, but they like chewing hair. Especially if it’s easy for them in two plaits.
She was a great little dog. I know when I’ve been upset, and had sally around, in a similar way to our previous dog, Rusty, she’d just rest her head on your hand, give you a little lick on the hand, to say “it’s okay” and just let you know she’s there. Maybe all dogs do that. I don’t know.
We took the dogs on one last long walk, last time we were in York. I hung back, while mum and Shaun went on ahead with Poppy, and walked with Sally, at her own pace. It really perked her up, and she seemed almost better the next day – until she tried to do something, and she’d have to stop, and take a breath, get her lung power back. Sometimes you couldn’t pick her up, because of it. Sometimes if you did pick her up, she’d be unable to breathe.
So I dunno, much as I’m incredibly sad to see her gone, I’m glad she’s no longer in pain.
Dad emailed, telling me that when she was being put to sleep, that Poppy was involved, as it must be strange to have no “sister” there any more. She was around when Sally had the injections, and they nudged noses afterwards.
Last time in York, I took a photo of Poppy, and showed her it on the digital camera. (yes, that probably sounds stupid, but I did). Pops looked, and Sally, who is usually quite shy about getting her photo taken, came up to me, sat down, and posed, for photos. She never does that. Maybe she knew it might be the last time I’d see her. So I’ve attached the photo to this message.
RIP Sally. As dad said “Lots of happy memories, she was a timid little dog but had a good life.”