“Changing Lives, One Westie at a Time”6


After a three month struggle, we lost our Clara, champion show dog, mother, family member and big sister to Tilly, her westie sister, to cancer.

Clara came to us when she had had a difficult pregnancy, and her breeder decided that it was time to give her a well deserved "retirement."

When we drove to pick up Clara, she and Tilly, our other westie, shared some water from a small margarine container - we knew the two would get on well. It was a teary farewell, as Clara's breeder cried when we took Clara into our car for the journey to her new home.

Ten minutes after being in our home , Clara decided this was the place she wanted to be and it was a beautiful 11 year relationship. Clara would wake up first every morning, and wait for Tilly, the reluctant "teenager" to get out of bed so the both of them could go out and do their "business." Clara would always wait and never went down the deck stairs without her little "sister."

The antics of two westies wrestling with each other and chasing a ball made for endless hours of pleasure and Clara always got the ball first.

Visitors to our home would always be told "acknowledge Clara, play with her for a minute or two, or she will nip at your ankles and not let you get on with your job." If visitors took that advice, Clara would bring her favourite toy, a stuffed hedgehog, for visitor scrutiny, and all would be well. A number of renovations in our home never phased Clara, as long as all the "visitors" gave Clara the respect she sought.

Dinner parties would see Clara park herself under the dining room table at least an hour before the guests would be seated and regular everyday dinners would see Clara sit very close to whomever had the largest amount of spaghetti left on the plate.

Being a westie, Clara had decided that when either myself or my wife were out of the house, she would park herself on top of the living room sofa to afford herself a better view (and a softer bed). Knowing that that was a no-no, Clara would always retreat back to a more "acceptable" position as soon as our car entered the driveway. So innocent was her demeanor when we came into the house, but the evidence of the squished cushion was always there. "Who me?" always seemed to me the innocent protestations of our Clara.

From rolling in a damp towel after our showers, to wagging her tail so hard, she actually sprained her tail, Clara gave us endless hours of pleasure.

Her little sister Tilly and we will miss her greatly.


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