We had adopted four senior westies in the past few years. The rescue we work with knows our love of the older dogs so I wasn’t surprised that they approached us. Lily had come from a medical neglect situation and was a loving little girl. She was having some issues adjusting to other female dogs in her foster home. Since we had two males and a soft spot for the seniors it was a perfect fit. The only catch was we were fostering a five-year-old terrier mix at the time and four dogs are quite the challenge. But the rescue volunteers had a plan! They had a family for our foster and said they could bring Lily to us the same day. Some people might think it’s crazy to “trade” a healthy young dog for an older dog with issues but it always felt natural to us. Lily was funny and independent but didn’t mind telling you when she wanted to be loved or left alone. In our experience seniors tend to adjust faster in their new homes. It’s almost like they just can’t help being themselves right away and aren’t worried about pleasing owners or fitting in. Their age gives them a pass to do as they please and you as the human learn to adapt to what they need, which we did with Lily. She liked to sleep in. She wanted treats when she came inside. She wanted to walk out the door by herself and not be carried and absolutely had to sit in your lap in the car. Being able to work from home due to the COVID restrictions meant I could spend all day with her. I will forever be grateful for our time. Her issues started small. During the months as we tried to get to the root cause, we made sure she was medicated enough to not be in pain but still had a wonderful quality of life. She swam in the ocean and rode in her wagon to the top of a mountain for the sunset. Even after she had to have her eye removed she would turn her head to make sure she could see you when she wanted to beg for whatever food you were eating. We found time for fun even though the vet visits were almost weekly. I hate to think how she would have suffered in her previous home where she wasn’t getting the care she needed. Thankfully she had every opportunity to get better and was surrounded by love, every day. I’m so proud of our strong, brave girl. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Lily last week. We really did try everything we could. In the end, she wasn’t responding to antibiotics and the doctor found a tumor that had grown rapidly behind where her eye had been. She had become a sad little girl in the final three days and it wasn’t fair to make her hold on.