If you follow me on Instagram you have seen many photographs or our Westie, McKenzie. McKenzie has been part of our family for twelve years now. I guess it was about one year after we had to put our Akita, Teddy, to sleep that I decided it was time to have a dog again. My husband and daughter knew they wanted another dog after we lost Teddy, but I was the hold out. I just didn’t want the responsibility of owning a pet again. My daughter was getting older and we weren’t home much anymore for a pet. Logical, right? Even though the logical part of my brain knew we really shouldn’t own another dog, the emotional part of me knew the house was lonely and we needed to get a dog. After owning such a large dog (Teddy was 95 pounds) I thought owning a small dog would be so much easier. A co-worker owned a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) and recommended we consider the breed. I went online and found a breeder in NJ and the rest is history. The breeder came to our home with two Westie’s, she wanted to make sure we were a suitable family for her puppies. McKenzie has been a family member ever since she arrived. She was only 3 pounds when we got her, so tiny she fit in the palm of your hand. She was the cutest little ball of white fur I’d ever seen.
As McKenzie began to grow, so did her appetite for chewing things in our home. She chewed many pairs of shoes, my dining room china cabinet and pretty much all of the molding in our downstairs. No matter what I did she just chewed everything, eventually she outgrew it and the molding has long since been replaced. Even through all of her puppy antics, she was part of our family and loved very much!
This past year she has begun to show her age. Not to say she doesn’t play anymore and have spunk still left in her, but she is definitely a senior dog. Most people think she is still a puppy, most likely her size I imagine, but she really is a senior dog in so many ways. She is having trouble jumping up on the couch, trouble walking down the stairs, she has fallen down the stairs several times and hurt her hind leg. She also has bathroom issues and has started wearing a diaper when we are at work or away for any length of time, which saddens me to no end. This past week, it’s been particularly bad and I decided she cannot be left alone anymore. So, next week she begins doggie daycare. We have a wonderful couple who cares for her when we are away for a long weekend or on vacation. Thankfully they offer doggie daycare and they are able to take her in. It will be like having a young child again, dropping off before work and picking up afterwards. No matter the inconvenience, she will be with two wonderful people for the day and I know she be taken care of and not alone all day.
I began to think about the inevitable, it happens to people as well as pets. Aging is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept. It saddens me to think that she is getting older and one day we will either have to put her to sleep or she will pass on her own. People who don’t own a pet most likely won’t understand, but anyone who owns a pet knows they are more than “just a pet” they become part of your family and it truly hurts inside when something happens to them.
With that, if you are a pet owner, hug your fur baby twice as much this week and enjoy the selfless and never ending love they give you.
Thanks for reading and sharing in my life events and views . . .
Until next week ~
Copyright 2021 Debra Nancy photography
A visual storyteller. I use flowers, tea cups, cake plates and various props to tell still life stories. I grew up in the city, but I have lived in the suburbs for over 30 years. Living close to the beach and a local small village has given me the opportunity to tell my story through photographs.