Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 13, 2007

Rest in Peace, Sweet Willow

I received an extremely sad email this morning from my bff/sister Michelle, in Maine. They had to put their collie, Willow, down yesterday due to old age and failing fast. I am absolutely heartbroken and fighting tears as I write this. What makes this even harder on my friends is that they had to put down their 19 year old cat, Harpo, last month.

Willow is the reason that we got Pepper back in 2003.

Brian had been lobbying me for years to get a dog. I had not grown up w/ pets and although I liked dogs, I just didn't want one. All I could think about was the extra expense, the dog hair, etc. etc. etc. Michelle had been lobbying her husband, John, for a dog too and he felt the way I did. Finally, he acquiesced and Michelle got Willow, who was already about 6 or 7 when they adopted her.

I was receiving pressure from everyone I know to get a dog. One day I asked Michelle how John felt about having a dog now that they had Willow. She told me that he had grown to love Willow very much. That did it. I told Brian to go ahead and adopt a doggie, and we found little Pepper. Now, I do not know what I would do with both of my sweet little furchildren.

I had the privilege of getting to meet Willow in person in 2005, when I went back east to visit my mom and took her up to Maine. We spent a great day at Michelle's house and it was impossible not to adore Willow. It was especially amusing to see her sitting on Michelle's lap, this big ball of collie fur.

And now she has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to romp happily with Harpo. Sleep well sweet friend.


  1. Anonymous12:15 PM


    Willow is absolutely beautiful and so cute. I am sorry she lost her.

  2. JoJo - Sorry to hear that, boy do I know how you feel. i nominated Willow for entry in AnnMarie's Carnival of the Dogs.

    Tell Willow's owner my Bart will keep an eye out for her.

  3. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Oh my goodness, he looks just like my Shetland Sheedog (miniature collie) who went to the great kennel in the sky in 1985 but has never been replaced and is still sadly missed. He made it to 14 and had a good life, but having to take him to be put to sleep (he couldn't stand up bless up)was one of the worst days of my life. I'd had him since I was 12, so I know how devastating this must be. RIP Willow.

  4. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Sorry, there's a 'p' missing there! He was a sheepdog, not a sheedog *Doh*

  5. pets are members of the family... it's so sad, but really, you have to believe, it is for the best

    poor things...

    lotsa luv ann xxxx

  6. YOur friends have been wonderful "parents" to their pets. I know the hurt doesn't pass, but I wish them well.

  7. I am sorry to hear that Jojo.I know what that pain is like,to lose a furry friend.And it doesn't have to be yours to hurt.

    That choice is never easy,but dignity is deserved.I doubted myself at first,but now,years later,I know I did the best thing for my Old Man (Bud).

    New friends may come to them but those passed on will never be forgotten.

    I prefer to think they wait for us to come Home,being tended by people who love us who have also passed on.Maybe that sounds cheesy,but it seems right in my spirit.I bet they beat the humans to the door to greeting us.....I'll have a farm full.I do now....

  8. I'm so sorry...When I had to make the decision to let my precious 'Cupertino' go, it was heartbreaking.

  9. Michelle8:31 AM

    Thank you all for your kind words for us and loving words for Willow. She was everything we could have ever wanted in a dog. Willow came to us from Collie Rescue when she was 7 and we had her for 5 and a half years. It was so nice to get to know "dog" and especially to get to know Willow. She was a patient teacher.
    It was so very hard to let her go, but it was the right thing to do. It was the same with our first cat, Harpo. He was 19 when we set his spirit free a month before Willow went (he was a stray @ 2 when we got him). They both were my constant companions and there is such emptiness in the rooms where their paws once tred. We have four other kitties, but Harpo and Willow were the center of our lives.
    Thank you again all so much for your words.

    JoJo's kindred spirit and sister friend.

    P.S. We have decided to look for another Collie Rescue collie to help and love.

  10. Big love to Willow...and the great-hearted family that rescued her. I think the animals we love teach us, gently, about not wasting time, and loving the moment. She looked like a great teacher.