After much agonizing, Cicely decided to have him put to sleep. His illnesses had become more frequent and his quality of life dramatically altered. After watching several loved ones suffer deteriorating terminal illness, she did not want the same fate for the dog we all loved so much. I asked to accompany her when she took Willie to the vet. I owed him that much.
Willie had been with me during a particularly rough patch in my life. I had suffered a severe bout of depression and a small breakdown in my mid-20s. For days when I was trapped by my depression, Willie kept me company and gave me the unconditional affection that only a dog can give. Had it not been for Cicely and Willie, I don’t know if I would have weathered that storm. Willie was also the source of hilarity for Cicely and me. We took to dressing him up in costumes for Halloween and Christmas, which he loved. He played into my less than graceful nature. The misadventures of Anne and Willie are legendary. Cicely has a slew of stories of where Willie and I got into trouble. One of her favorites is from my 27th Birthday, a story which I will recount on another day. All of these memories, I will carry in my heart.
Last night, I stayed up all night. I couldn’t sleep. I spent most of the night with Willie. He sat on the the floor next to me while I edited photos and wrote on my blog. Then, I caressed and petted him until he slept. When he woke from time to time, I told him how much he meant to me. I’d like to think that he already knew it, but I thought it needed to be said.
At 9:30 this morning, Cicely and I drove Willie to the vet. After an insensitive interaction with the receptionist and Vet tech, we were ushered into an exam room. The Vet examined him and began the procedure. We said our goodbyes and left the room. Five minutes later, the Vet emerged and told us that Willie had passed. Just like that, he was gone. Or rather he is physically gone. I believe that those that we love never really die and that in some way they stay with us.
Willie, wherever you are, thanks for being one of the best dogs a girl could have.