In early December 1998, Jan and I brought home a wee Westie girl we named Brodie. Brodie fit nicely into a tea cosey for her first naps and after graduating with high honors from her crate, forever after shared our bed. Brodie was all Westie, all the time. Her loyalty, playfulness, her terrier instincts to hunt and to maintain her independence - all were seen by us every day in every way.
She would bark at unknown noises, at knocks at the door. The moment we answered the barking would stop, she'd greet the visitor with tail wagging and then promptly walk away and lie down, conserving her strength for the next challenge.
She sharpened her hunting skills with her renowned "sneaky walk" - a toy placed on the floor would be silently, slowly crept up on - each step carefully measured. And then, when the unsuspecting object least expected it - the POUNCE!! A fierce shaking and Brodie had once again proved her worth.
Thunder and lightning were her sworn enemies - she would bark at the sky for disrupting her sleep and want to run outside to teach the heaven's a lesson.
At the age of nine, she developed a serious problem called Pemphigus Foliaceous which is an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibody production and the subsequent development of pustules in the superficial layers of the skin. Amongst other drugs, prednisone was prescribed which ultimately lead to diabetes.
During this time she suffered two ACL tears one year apart. A year ago an ultrasound showed a growth acting on her pancreas and vena cava. And then blindness came in August of 2010.
Through all of this, Brodie never seemed to complain. Our frequent visits to the Vet would find her straining at the lead to enter the clinic and see her friends. Grand River Vet in Caledonia showed such care and compassion
.. It's difficult to put into words how Jan and I feel/felt about Brodie. She was so gentle and loving, so even tempered and forgiving. Never in the 13 years we were blessed to have her in our lives did she ever become angry, snarl, bite - not once. Squirrels and toys may have lived in fear, but we knew what a kind soul she was. We called her our Westie Ambassador - even self-proclaimed dog haters succumbed to her charms and would have taken her for their own.
Finally and inevitably, Brodie's health issues took their toll. On September 25. 2010 she had her last bites of supper, walked away on unsteady legs with her head down. Jan picked her up and a moment later her wee head lay to the side and she passed on.
Brodie, Jan and I were so happy to find Westies in Need and Corrie Yeoman. From the first year of the Westie Walk, we attended and simply felt a kinship with the other Westies and their humans.
Jan and I have now been accepted as the forever family for a sweet Westie girl rescued from an Ohio puppy mill. Skye (Liberty) is the beginning of a new joyful adventure. Brodie will always and forever be in our memories and our hearts.
Rest in Peace little white dog. Today I heard an Italian phrase sometimes used on grave markers.
Sinceramente Lacrimate. Sincerely we cry.