Willow came into rescue with her sister in 2010, at about 3 months of age. I fostered the 2 of them and we took a couple months to get them healthy and evaluate whether they would be best placed together or apart. It was pretty clear they had different personalities and would be best apart. Willow suffered from some pretty severe anxieties – afraid of most everything and everyone – so I worked with her, taking her to multiple training class to build up her confidence. It became clear to me and the rescue that to make her start over with a different family would not be in her best interest, so a foster fail I became and I was overjoyed.

The 2 of us went through many challenges together – both of us supporting each other. She never did warm up to strangers – but that was fine with me, because truth be told, I’m the same way. She was my dog equal. And then came Finley into our home. For those of you who have been to a rescue event in the LA area, you have probably met Finely. He became Willow’s protector and somehow he taught her not to sweat the small stuff, to just live life one day at time and to love people. She came out of her shell and learned to love life.

Unfortunately, today she became the latest victim of cancer. As is the golden’s stoic nature, she never showed pain or discomfort until she couldn’t hide it anymore. I was given just 5 days from diagnosis to today, when she could hardly breath because her lungs were full of cancerous lesions. My heart is broken and the loss is unimaginable.

Hug your fur babies in memory of my sweet, little Willow, and I will hug Finley as he endures losing his buddy. Now, if only the tears would stop.

Pam Davey