Our much loved Dally Willow came into our lives in February 2005, just days after my beloved grandma passed away at the ripe old age of 95! Never having had a dog before, everything was new to us but we had finally succumbed to years of pestering from our youngest daughter and it was the best thing we ever did.
I still recall driving from our home in Banbury to Gordano services on M5 where her foster carer handed her over to us. She was very quiet on the drive home and extremely timid when we arrived at the house, being reluctant to move from a spot by the back door. She didn’t like the laminate flooring downstairs, as it was slippy. Being new to dog owning, we naively thought she would sleep in the brand new plastic dog bed supplied! We were also perplexed as to why her other possession was a double duvet cover…….we quickly discovered that Willow liked her creature comforts and was never happier than when snuggled on our bed or curled up on the sofa!!
From day 1 we were smitten and she soon became an integral part of our family and my faithful, best friend for the best part of 10 years. We often asked ourselves why hadn’t we done this years ago? It would be an understatement indeed to say that Willow liked her food and as my husband said she was a stomach on legs. Famous snaffling episodes included a whole frozen Apple pie, my husband’s favourite M&S hickory smoked steak pizza (just as I had turned my back to put another one in the oven) and once, shamelessly, a whole packet of Welsh cakes from a picnic basket on the beach in Wales whilst the owner remained happily oblivious to said theft!
Willow loved sunbathing, holidays on the beach where she insisted on sharing my sun lounger, staying at my parents house where she was spoilt rotten with love and an early morning biscuit whilst my dad made the tea, canal boat trips and even punting in Oxford. She came everywhere with us. She was a big smiler and incredibly intuitive if people were upset. I will never forget one occasion where I was sitting on the bed, crying, Willow was on the floor at my feet and my husband was next to me. At one point he put his hand over mine to comfort me and the next thing I knew there was a paw on top too!
Her best party trick was a rendition of Ruby, by The Killers. Whenever the song came on she would howl in tune with the chorus.
Sadly in February this year Willow passed away peacefully in my arms at the vets, leaving a huge hole in our lives. A big Thank you to the Dalmatian Welfare for letting us give Willow her forever home.