Dilly

Dilly’s story is a sure a strange one, but she ended up in the right place!

Dilly is not her original name…. we’re not sure what that was.  She was called “Dilly” because she looked like an armadillo.  When she was rescued, the poor girl had only a few tufts of hair. The rest of her skin was black and wrinkled. The skin on her front legs was so inflamed and swollen, it folded over onto itself.  She was surrendered by people who could not take care of her.  This was certainly evident.  We were told Dilly was 10-12 years old.  

Dilly came my way after she did not fit in with her foster home.  All the attempts, adjustments, and tricks that we know didn’t allow for a peaceful household.  She joined my crew of two male Westies in October 2021.  I’m not going to say she fit right in…. but what female Westie does anything peacefully?  It turns out she was not spayed, and to say she was boy crazy is an understatement.  Luckily, within a month she was healthy enough to have the surgery.  

Dilly had a bad case of atopic dermatitis, along with a heart murmur, fractured teeth, ear and eye infections, and did I mention she was boy crazy?  Our first trip to a vet was very helpful. Within a few days she had stopped her constant scratching, which let her focus more on, well, boys.  

We addressed each ailment in order of severity, all along giving many Nizoral baths and cold laser therapy treatments for her skin issues.  (I love Westie Rescue of Orange County’s skin protocol, it’s worked wonders in the past).  Within a month she was able to receive a rabies vaccine. The vet thought she was so medically compromised a vaccine would not be able to produce an immune response at all during the first visit.  

She is a pistol. She is very smart and ornery. If she is 10-12 years old, she was a handful as a puppy. She is full of Westitude and very affectionate. We’re very grateful to WestieMed for help with her medical bills. Sometimes you don’t know what life will throw at you, but I’m very glad Dilly landed here.

Jen

Update December 14, 2021:

When Dilly was strong enough for surgery, two veterinarians both thought she was not spayed. No scar, no tattoos, (although her skin remained so dark and mottled, it was hard to tell). Spay surgery was a go until the docs found she had already been spayed. That surgery quickly became a dental checkup and Dilly had SEVEN teeth pulled. You would never know from her eating abilities before or after the extractions that anything was amiss. Her skin has settled down which means fewer baths. Throughout all her vet visits, her ears remained flat out “gooey”. We finally had the germs her ears cultured to find out exactly what kind of medicine would be best.

Dilly insists she is no ‘run of the mill’ Westie, and therefore apparently needs ‘special’ everything. As she healed, we moved down the hierarchy of medical needs. Next were her eyes. I knew she had poor vision, as she ran into things, but seemed to adapt quickly to her surroundings. For once, the ophthalmologist said there was hope her eyes would improve! Years of dry eyes had scarred the corneas, but with special drops (again…special) her vision should get better. She is sure patient to get 2 types of eyedrops twice a day. Did I mention special ear drops? And hypoallergenic food? Some would say high maintenance, but Dilly insists she’s just “special”. She sure is!

Jen

Gladys

We first saw this little Westie girl on a Facebook “found dog” post after she was found as a stray on the side of a country road. She was well-groomed, happy, and appeared to be healthy so we were certain her people would come looking for her. The finder had her scanned and she was microchipped but the chip had not been registered. When we reached out to the finder to help, she indicated she was not able to keep the dog so we offered to hold her in one of our volunteer foster homes while continuing to look for her owners. Our volunteer picked her up and called her Gladys. Within a few days, someone reached out to us claiming to be the owner so we requested proof. Then Winter Storm Uri hit the area and our attention was drawn elsewhere.

Once the storm passed, we reached out again to the person who claimed to be Gladys’ owner and she confirmed it was indeed her dog, sending copies of vet records and the microchip number as proof. She told us that she had been giving it more thought and she had decided to rehome the pup. She told us she had a special needs child and it was getting to be too much to have the dog as well. While we were disappointed to not reunite them, we were able to learn more about Gladys’ personality and received all of her medical history so could set about finding the best furever home for her.

Gladys has a unique, spirited personality. She has an opinion on everything – either she loves it or she hates it and there is no real in-between. While that is helpful with things she loves (tennis balls and treats!) it makes things she hates a little more challenging. In one of her foster homes, we noticed that she flinched a lot when approached on the right-hand side. She also hated being petted on the head and being approached from behind. A trip to our veterinarian determined that she had an unusual- shaped oval cataract on her right eye. Gladys was referred to a doggy ophthalmologist where they determined she was an ideal candidate for cataract-removal surgery. While we were happy to have a definite diagnosis, we were also concerned about preparing Gladys for surgery.

If Gladys didn’t like her head touched or being approached from behind and flinched constantly, how were we going to give her all of the needed eyedrops without her snapping out of fear? We knew this was best for her and so the work began. Gladys’ foster mom practiced taking a muzzle and e-collar off and on and practiced administering saline and anti-inflammatory drops. This process took several weeks and once we felt Gladys trusted her foster mom enough, we scheduled her surgery.

Thanks to WestieMed, Gladys had successful cataract-removal surgery on Monday, October 4th. She will continue to get 12-14 eyedrops a day for the next several weeks which requires the muzzle, e-collar, and a lot of patience. Gladys also has at least four additional follow-up appointments to ensure that her eye stays healthy during recovery. Once fully recovered, Gladys will be matched to her furever home, one that understands that trust is gained over time and one that will play ball for hours on end.

Maggie

Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston

Lou Lou

We got Lou Lou, half Westie half Italian Greyhound, a few months ago. She came from an abuse case in Texas. There were more than 30 puppies in a home. When the owner found out that she was going to face charges with running a puppy mill, she locked the doors and took off. For a few weeks these dogs were alone. Most were in very bad shape. Lou Lou was still a baby at the time and her mother took care of her well.

Authorities picked up the dogs and took them to a rescue in Texas. There are so many dogs needing adoption in Texas that they opened a shelter in Minnesota to transfer them too. All 30 of the puppies were loaded up and driven across country. When they were almost to the Minnesota facility, Lou Lou got out of her pen and they could not catch her. For about a week she was on her own in a rural area that is populated with wolves, coyotes, bobcat, bears and eagles. She somehow was found and because of her microchip, she was brought to the facility.

I had contacted the rescue a week or so earlier and told them about myself and how I was looking for a forever friend. We live on a small farm in Northern Minnesota where we raise our four children. My husband, Justin, and I are both disabled Navy veterans. Justin was injured and I have severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder and PTSD. I was just looking for a dog that was needing of some love and comfort as much as I am. A few days after Lou Lou was returned, they called me and explained her situation. She was very nervous and scared. She has high anxiety and won’t eat much. I packed up my car for the two hour trip and went to get her. I know right away we were just made for each other. Right away I noticed that her jaw was crooked. I called my vet and got her in to see her right away.

During that time when she was loose on her own, her jaw and several teeth were broken. By the time I adopted her, parts of the broken jaw were rotten and she could not chew. We didn’t know the severity of her injuries or that she was even injured when we brought her home. A surgery right away that day to try to stop the rotting was necessary. We spent nearly $1,000 that day plus her special milkshake-like food she had to eat through a muzzle (to hold her jaw in place) since then. It would be 8 weeks until she could take her muzzle off for an appointment. They were not convinced that their surgery was a success so we made an appointment with a dental specialist, but it would be a month until we could get in.

Since getting her I have made huge strides in my recovery and my anxiety is almost none when she is with me. Years of insomnia fizzled away as she lays on top of me to sleep. We are the same. I needed her as much as she needed me.

She was not a normal puppy. She didn’t want to play. She just wanted to chew on things like a normal dog. But slowly she came out of her shell and will wag her tail and chase the children as they run playing. She has learned that the sound of the blender means I am making her runny food she can drink. And she goes with me everywhere.
Finally it was time for her appointment. She will still need one more surgery, but she will be just fine. Crocked mouth, but a normal puppy.
I am in the process of worrying with my veterans Association psychiatrist to get her registered as my service animal.

I am grateful for a group of people far away who saw my worth and wanted to help my sweet baby.

Kara

Update October 14, 2021:

Lou Lou can move her jaw. They decided that the risk of the surgery making it worse or not helping at all was not worth the cost of doing it. She will always have a crooked mouth but if they pull her k9s, then her teeth won’t hit the roof of her mouth or her lip. She probably won’t ever be able to have a hard bone to chew on, but they said she can have stuffy toys and will be able to eat normal food and treats. They said to take the muzzle off after her last appointment since it was most just causing sores on the outside of her mouth. She has been crazy happy since then! We think the muzzle was making her depressed. Until they pull the teeth and for a few weeks after, she will still be on the liquid food and then we will be mixing it to get her on normal food. She played with her first toy the other day! It was a unicorn dog stuffy toy. She takes it with her everywhere! There is a possibility she may have arthritis issues in the future but the vet was pretty confident that she should be just fine.

Kara

Update October 28, 2021:

Lou is out of surgery and a little sore and groggy. She will be on pain meds for a week and in two weeks can eat normal puppy food! The Dr. said she did wonderful and there were no issues!

So forever grateful!!

Kara

Update October 30, 2021:

Lou Lou had a rough night. She was sneezing and rearranging her mouth all nigh. They said it would be normal for the runny sneezing nose because of how close the k9 is to her sinus. But that seems to have cleared up today! She doesn’t mind taking her pain meds because she gets to share a small taste of pudding with the kids! It makes her sleepy though. But she seems totally herself other than tired! We even caught her trying to steal my oldest sons slippers! She has a rug in my room that she brings all her treasures too. Her stuffies and other toys and anything of the kids she decides is hers as well as a few socks haha! The vet said by the baby teeth she had left, she was born at the end of February some time. Just a baby! 


We are excited to see what she thinks of “real” dog food in a few weeks! We will let you know! Thanks again! 

Kara

Tinkerbell

We received a text from Tink’s owner asking to surrender her to rescue because they could no longer care for her.  This little girl just turned 5 last week and had been suffering for quite some time.  Her itch is so intense that she received 3 baths in less than 24 hours of receiving her and was whisked off to our vet the very next day.   Tink has a severe case of Malassezia dermatitis which is why her skin resembles elephant’s skin.  Her ears are swollen shut, her nails were considerably overgrown, she has a heart murmur and is in need of a dental.  Poor Tink is not spayed and was bred with the owner’s other dog.  We will spay her once we get her skin under control.   Her initial vet bill was extraordinarily costly and we will incur more cost once she gets her dental and spay.

This little girl is as cute as a button and so sweet and gentle.  She has a long road of recovery and we are so thankful we have her now.  She needed us and with the help from WestieMed, this little nugget will get everything she needs.  We are committed to her health and happiness.

Karen Simondet and Kay DeLoach, WROC

Update October 28, 2021:

Tink has been in rescue for three months now and we’ve made quite a bit of progress. Her fungal and yeast infections have been eradicated, though we are still dealing with three types of bacteria. We’ve pushed out her spay and dental procedures because we do not want to do a surgery with bacteria on the skin. She is still receiving her medicated baths, every other day. The biggest change is in her personality. Though very sweet and quiet from the start, Tink has a bit of a wild side and loves to play! Now that she is feeling so much better, she exudes confidence that every little girl should own!

Karen

Herbert

Herbert

May 2021

Senior and special need dogs are very close to our hearts, so after losing three very special geriatric forever foster dogs within weeks of each other in April 2020, we became aware of Herbert, a 12-year[1]old Westie with chronic skin, back and leg issues and diminished eyesight. Herbert was found roaming the streets by a good Samaritan and Westie & Scottie Rescue of Houston took him in where he remained in rescue for 1 ½ years. They took fantastic care of Herbert, but with no potential adopters willing to take on Herbert’s chronic issues, the cost that goes with it and Herbert’s advanced age, we felt it was in his best interest to come to WROC as a forever foster.

Amid the pandemic, we flew to Houston to pick up Herbert and flew back to California the same day. Herbert is being treated by an ophthalmologist but unfortunately, due to the lack of care before he reached rescue, Herbert’s eyes are permanently damaged, and he will be on four eye medications, three times a day for the rest of his life. He is also being treated by our dermatologist specialist and though he no longer scratches and is comfortable, he has permanent hair loss due to damaged follicles. Along with having compressed discs in his spine, Herbert is now in need of bilateral TLPO surgery to repair his torn meniscus, torn cruciate ligament and luxating patella in both legs.

Herbert will have surgery on both legs at the same time in June with a board-certified orthopedic specialist to the tune of $9300.00. We knew going in that Herbert’s on-going medical issues would be costly, which was the reason we bought Herbert to WROC as a forever foster so that he will always get the care he needs. We can manage the irreversible damage to his eyes and skin due to previous neglect, but with Westie Med’s help, Herbert will receive surgery that will prolong quality of life, a promise we made to Herbert and all our forever fosters before him.

Thank you WestieMed!

Karen Simondet and Kay DeLoach, Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond

Update October 28, 2021:

It has been four months since Herbert had his bilateral TLPO surgery and what a difference it has made with his quality of life!  Herbert no longer limps and moves about very comfortably.  The surgery has also helped ease discomfort with his compressed discs in his spine.  He did gain two pounds which is a lot for a dog his size because he was on strict crate rest but now that he has recently been given the okay to resume his daily walks, we are working on walking off the extra pounds. 

Our little big Texan dog at heart is living the dream!

We owe WestieMed a huge thank you for helping Herbert live his very best life.

Karen

Jaxson

Jaxson

On March 19, 2021 I was out of town visiting a friend. We went for coffee, as we sat in line at the drive-through, a picture popped up on Facebook. Free Pomeranian one-year-old. I had to put down my AKC 15-year-old purebred Cairn Terrier a week before Christmas and a week before his birthday this year due to liver failure, my heart was broken. I had been searching breeds as I have allergies.

That’s when this little angel came to me. I knew exactly what he was when I saw the photo. I immediately messaged the woman she gave me the address and I went straight there. It was a very unsafe unhealthy area. I was told by a friend of mine, a retired state trooper, not to go alone. Needless to say I went. I messaged her when I arrived outside of a rundown house in a bad part of town. A woman came out the door and hollered, come on in nobody’s sick in here, as a cloud of smoke rolled out the door. I put on my mask and I went inside. There were several different nationalities in the house, mainly men.

Then I saw him he saw me, I bent down and he came over immediately and buried his head between my legs. I knew I had to take him out of the situation. There was a lot going on in this home. The woman was kind to me. I had noticed he had a limp, I asked her about it, and she said he did it for attention. I asked her if he had a veterinarian? She replied tractor supply. So, I scooped him up and away we went. She asked me if I wanted his food and bed and I told her no thank you. I immediately took him to Chemung Valley Veterinary in Elmira, New York. They checked him over and said everything looked good except he had an old injury to his leg which would need an x-ray. They said that he was microchipped and gave me the number. When I got back to my home town with him I took him to another veterinary office, Champlain Valley Veterinary Clinic in Plattsburgh, New York. They did an exam and said he had a UTI and hookworm, so we started treatment for that, they also said he would have to have all his shots again because I had no proof that he had ever had any. So we started with a rabies shot. She confirmed that he had luxating patella in his rear hind leg and possibly ACL, both which they require an x-ray. I also started him on NexGard. Over the next week I spoke to the woman on several occasions that I had got him from. She finally admitted that they kept him for breeding purposes and he was kept in a small cage only let out to breed and to go to the bathroom. He has never been walked on a leash which we are learning together now. He is skittish outside but he is getting better.

And thankfully grateful to WestieMed for granting us the money to get the x-rays done so hopefully we can take care of his leg.

Lynn

Update June 2021:

Jaxson’s x-rays revealed he had Legg-Perthes disease, not a ligament tear. He subsequently underwent a Femoral Head Ostectomy funded by WestieMed. Jaxon’s surgery was successful and his recovery uneventful. He is doing extremely well post-op

Update October 28, 2021:

Jaxson is doing great, Using his hind leg 99% of the time, vet says everything looks good. Thanks so much for your help.

Budgie

Budgie

Budgie (aka Angel) had been purchased in New York from a breeder. Her pet parent traveled to Melbourne, FL, when she was approx nine months old, brought her to the local shelter. Budgie is now 9 yrs old. It is unknown how long it was before she was adopted from the shelter or how many families she had been with before living with her last owner before she came to my family.
Her owner had passed away and, along with another terrier breed dog, had been put on a back porch. By whom, it is unknown. A neighbor had been feeding them once a day and ensuring there was water. Another neighbor intervened after learning the two dogs had been abandoned on the porch. After attempts to have local animal control assist, the kind neighbor researched and located Sunshine State Westie Rescue, who immediately sent someone to rescue the dogs. It was thought that her time on the porch was a few months; however, the paperwork I have from the first vet she saw after rescue stated that the owner had passed a year prior. I can only hope the paperwork information is a misprint, and the time being abandoned was, in fact, only a few months.

Budgie was found without any hair, weighing 8 lbs, and as most rescues, suffering from multiple health issues. The foster family (bless their hearts) treated her for an ear infection, UTI, and skin problems. After three months under the foster’s care, Budgie was ready for adoption. We fell in love with her story and applied to Sunshine State Westie Rescue, and after a few weeks of the process, Budgie found her new home consisting of myself, my husband, two 3-year old Westie boys, and our two cats. 

We went to get Budgie on Sept 19, 2020 and she’s been part of our family for about 5 1/2 months now. We’ve cleared up any lingering health issues, including having seven teeth extracted due to receding gums and exposed roots. This medical problem was unknown until my vet suggested a deep root cleaning. What a change in her personality after the pain in her mouth was relieved! She is happy, spunky, and full of Westitude! Her remaining issue is her eyesight from progressive cataracts. Budgie has a hard time following her toys that she wants us to toss around; she can’t keep up or follow her younger brothers when playing in the yard, and she is starting to show signs of not recognizing her surroundings. She is the sweetest girl, loving, and does her best to get around. We know that with restored eyesight, her life would be so much more fulfilling for her and her brothers as she’d be able to play more interactively and keep up!

Her surgery is scheduled for April 27th, and she will still need her pre-op bloodwork completed, and we couldn’t be happier for her. We’ve had the retina testing completed, and the prognosis for full eyesight recovery is excellent. She deserves to see her world around her and enjoy her life. We are looking forward to giving this extraordinary gift to her and will share more after surgery.

We thank WestieMed for the caring and support for Westies in need of medical care and all others who helped make this possible.

Felicia D.

Update May 11, 2021:

Budgie

Budgie is doing great getting a thumbs up at her 2-week checkup today. We expect to remove the cone next week. So fun to to see her interacting with everything around her!

Felicia

Update May 18, 2021:

Budgie

Budgie is now cone free with a new eye drop regimen. She will have another check up next week. She had a bath, finally, but sooo needs a spa day! Pic with the brothers…

Felicia

Update June 16, 2021:

Budgie is doing great! We are down to one set of drops daily, next check-up is in a month, then 3 months, then 6 months, and that annual thereafter.

Once the prescribed after-surgery drops are gone, we can go back to once daily with her forever drops. YAY!

Again, we cannot thank everyone enough for making this possible! Watching her interact, play, chase lizards, etc., is amazing for all of us…the other two crazy ones included.

Felicia

Update October 28, 2021:

Budgie is doing fantastic since her eye surgery! What a treat to watch her enjoying all that is around her. Budgies’ new favorite thing to do..sit in the window, watch for squirrels, lizards, and the people walking by! We could’ve never had this procedure done for Budgie without your organization, we can’t thank you enough!


Felicia & Steve Demon

Bandi

Bandi

The story of Hungarian Bandi 

Bandi is a 14 year old Westie gentleman, who never had the life a Westie supposed to have. 

He was found in 2020 on the streets of Eger, Hungary in a very bad state. The local shelter knew him already, as he was wondering around many times. Previously he had a better life (maybe), but when a newborn came to the family, he was given to the grandmother, who obviously did not gave a damn. This time he was so dirty, so weak and hurt, that they immediately contacted us. Together we achieved that the owners give him to our care. In Hungary, the legal procedures of animal protection are quite complicated, so this was the fastest way to have Bandi and help him. 

We took him to our vet immediately. He had holes in his back area (under the tails), worms were coming out from the wounds, we have never seen anything like it. He had a papilloma on his eyelids, hurting him all the time. He could barely walk due to a previous injury and he was underweight. He was very kind and grateful for the care, he knew that his life will change from now.

First we started to take care of the wounds, he got antibiotics and immune boosters. Obviously it needed time, but they healed very well. When he was strong enough for his first surgery, we had his eye fixed. Thanks to the great care, he took anesthesia without any problems. Then he had a couple of months break before we had the orthopedic surgery to remove a fractured femoral head. He had some complications afterwards, seemed that some nervous problem, but with proper medication we could make his status better. He regularly have physiotherapy treatments since then. The last surgery after a another break was neutering. We did not want to put him through another trauma, but he had a tumor in his testicles and we wanted to make his life as long and as healthy as possible. So he had 3 surgeries within a year, which is quite a lot in his age, but he recovered well. 

Bandi found his furever home with the lady who took care of her during the rehabilitation. He is now living the ideal senior life, having his own bed, yummy food and a mom, who cares for him and will love him until his last heartbeat will come. 

Thank you WestieMed that you made this happen and helped us make Bandi such a happy guy. 

Kind regards,  Viktória

Üdvözlettel,
Hatvani Viktória
Westie Rescue Hungary

Update November 11, 2021:

Bandi was adopted by his foster carer, as they passed so many time together during the rehabilitation, that he became a true family member. We took him regularly to phisiotherapy afterwards as well, so his legs and walking improved a lot. 

He became a real sofa-dog, he enjoyed it a lot and he went regularly for big walks with his boxer-brother. Despite the fact that he was quite aged, he was perfectly housebroken, he learned the daily routines well and was a wonder to all who met him. He was such a lovely boy. And why I am speaking in past time…. After 6 months of happiness he became ill fast, his liver stopped functioning from one day to another. Unfortunately, even he got treatment asap, his little body couldn’t hold on anymore.

We are happy that we could give him this time, see him happy and living without pain. 

Thank you again for your support, it meant a lot to Bandi. 

Kind regards, 

Viktor

Peyton - WestieMed Recipient

Peyton

Peyton and his Westie brother Cooper came into the Preston Cares Network Westie Rescue (PCN) in the summer of 2019.  Their previous owner didn’t have time for them, and left them outside in their backyard all-day, every day, while they went to work.  Being typical westies, they got bored and decided it would be fun to dig under the fence and escape.  The brothers were repeatedly picked up by animal control and the fines to pick them up began to increase.  As a result, the owner decided to surrender the dogs instead of paying the fines. 

Fortunately, the animal control reached out to PCN to take them in.  They needed to be fixed, have dental extractions done, and Peyton needed treatment for chronic dry eyes.  Of course we said we would love to take the brothers into our rescue, and we had all their medical needs taken care of and both brothers were adopted together in December of 2019.  

Unfortunately, after a few months Peyton was losing weight, wasn’t feeling well in general, and just wasn’t happy in his new home. They took him to their local vet who did a Cushing’s disease test which came back negative (among many other tests).  They decided they could not take care of him and they couldn’t afford the mounting medical bills trying to determine what was wrong.  So, with a heavy heart, they decided to return him to PCN in June of 2020.  Once he came back to us, his health continued to degrade and he became lethargic, rapidly lost weight, had very loose stool, and his hair was falling out. Even though Peyton had tested negative for Cushing’s, our vet decided to test him for atypical Cushing’s since he showed all the signs. The test results came back slightly positive.  After starting the treatment protocol, Peyton showed positive results at first, but then he started to lose weight more rapidly and was getting sicker and sicker.  He got to the point where he refused to eat and drink. 

We rushed him to the vet for emergency care and our vet did an EPI test which came back positive. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a syndrome caused by insufficient synthesis and secretion of digestive enzymes in the pancreas. Fortunately, EPI is very treatable. There is special powder (enzymes) you mix into the dog’s food before they eat it which help them digest the food and absorb the nutrients.  

Peyton - WestieMed Recipient
Peyton – WestieMed Recipient


Peyton responded very well and his stool is now back to normal and he has gained all his weight back and then some. One interesting development is that his dry eye problem has resolved on its own, so he no longer needs daily drops in his eyes. Now that he is much healthier, we will soon be retesting him for Cushing’s to see if it still comes back positive. If we can rule out Cushing’s he has a much better chance of being adopted. 


Thank you WestieMed for the grant to help with Peyton’s vet care, the testing for EPI and Cushing’s, and the prescription enzymes so he can digest his food.  This grant will allow him to be adopted and live a happy life in a new adoptive home.  Peyton says woof (thanks so much as well!).

Preston Cares Network

Lilly - WestieMed Recipient

Lily

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.

Tara Wilson