Katie was the housemate of Simon who was a WIN rescue and memorialized here as well. Katie was our first Westie and what a Westie she was! Immensely intelligent – she loved watching TV and finding even the smallest image or even drawing of a beast she deemed to be a home invader. These were dealt with by a volley of barks that sounded like it was coming from a dog three times her size! She also had her designated “shake it” stuffed toy – true to the description, the toy would get through and high-speed shaking!
She could be terrier fierce and within a breath, give sweet Westie kisses. She understood the context completely. She loved her family and took good care of us all. She was truly, an old soul.
In early January, we noticed she had a bloated tummy. An x-ray showed her heart was enlarged; her lungs were "floating". An ultrasound revealed her pericardium was filled with fluid and inhibiting the rhythm of heart. The diagnoses was cardiac hemangiosarcoma; cancer of the heart. The recommendation was euthanasia. We were absolutely gutted.
The attending vet was a cardiac expert – he said he could try a procedure called pericardiocentesis to drain the blood. The procedure was amazingly successful. We brought her home immediately after the procedure and in the next hours, had some very long pees because her normal heartbeat now could remove the accumulated fluids.
We knew we were only buying time and the cancer would eventually take her. We started giving her a twice daily supplement of Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail mushroom) in hopes we could slow the growth of the tumor and maintain her quality of life. And the quality of life was great – she went on walks with Simon, ate her food and really, was living her normal life.
She managed to live another 3 months and the quality of life was good until the last say, 8 days. The tumor was growing, and we think, now physically interfering with her heartbeat. In her last couple days, she bloated again and coughed at night. The most dreaded and hardest decision was upon us.
On April 6 2020, we took her to the vet and released a most wonderful Westie soul to cross the rainbow bridge. It was the last gesture of love – to ease her suffering.
Katie was a truly special being. Her time with us was the most wonderful 11 yr 9 m that anyone could ask for. She was the smartest dog that I have ever known. She had a simply huge personality and the void in our home is immense. As its often said, I believe that sometimes I see her out of the corner of my eye or hear her. Its been difficult to reconcile she is truly gone.
We lost our two Westies within two months of each other. It’s been hard does not come close to explaining what it’s been like. In time the sorrow will fade but their memories most certainly will not.
We have so many happy memories with two loving and tuff little Scottish dogs! To quote the author David Ellsworth, “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever”.
Rest in peace, our sweet Westie girl.