“Home is where my Westie is”10


Hamish Higgins-Puddicombe, Feb - 1997 - Dec (15), 2011. 14years 10 months. He left us with the same dignity with which he entered our lives. He is now frolicking in the heather of his homeland.

Here are our two favourite pictures of Hamish (above)- enjoying the lavender in the garden and at his first Westie Walk in 2007 (below) wearing his infamous kilt from Harrod's.

But let me tell you a little about this wonderful wee boy. Hamish was born in Ayr, Scotland and was most definitely the FIRST and probably the LAST on board pet on Air Canada to travel from Glasgow to Toronto.
AC 843/23 May, 1997 which happened to be his Mom's (me) birthday. At each contact point; check-in, security, gate boarding and on-board , we received the rules and regulations lecture of how he must be in his container under the seat at all times. During each encounter we nodded, agreed and promised.

At security everything came to a complete halt - they had definitely NEVER experienced the on board pet process - even though we assured everyone that we had a ticket for the bonny wee boy!! Never the less - they would have to CALL SOMEONE!! Which they did. This encounter developed into one of the best cocktail/dinner party stories I could hope for - with sufficient wine I could provide the appropriate accent and anecdotes of the day.
Eventually we proceeded to the gate (lecture) and on board (lecture). After take off the purser (earlier on board lecture) came back and asked to see our wee man. She then asked if she could show him to the Captain. Of course we agreed. After about 30 minutes, feeling parched and concerned about Hamish, I approached the galley to find 3 flight attendants and a uniformed pilot all on the galley floor enamoured of this charming little fellow.

Upon arrival in Toronto - we were expecting forms and questions - all we had to do was pay $35.00 to Agriculture Canada and Hamish was a landed immigrant.

He was a healthy Westie until about age 13 when he experienced some issues. At the Referral Clinic he had an Internist (Dr. Hanselman) an Eye Specialist (Dr. Zeigler) and a whole team of care givers with the specialists and his regular vet - Park Animal Hospital - Dr. Hainish, Dr. Fenger, Dr. Ball, Pat and the rest of the staff.

In October 2010 he was diagnosed with Dementia which was devastating for all of us. There was support with medication but eventually in December 2011 he began to fail badly and we had to say goodbye.

He was so well known in the neighbourhood, such a character bringing joy to everyone. I still have to tell so many of his passing.

Hamish was the best and will ALWAYS be in our hearts.


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