I would like to dedicate our first blog post to our beloved Don-Don, a West Highland White Terrier full of "westitude." He was the dog that inspired me to go out there and photograph. He made sure we frequented the beach, hiked in the mountains, and explored all the dog-friendly establishments everywhere we lived. He brought us an immense amount of joy, warmth, and laughter. Don-Don was our dog, our little boy, and our best friend. Unfortunately, he left us on March 28, 2015, at the age of thirteen and a half.
Don-Don was diagnosed with GI Lymphoma one month prior and we battled cancer for three weeks with no signs of improvement... We knew it was time to say good-bye to our little champ and scheduled an in-home euthanasia on that unforgettable March evening. Earlier in the day, we boosted him with steroids to help him regain his strength and appetite and took him to our favorite beach one last time. We cried, laughed, and enjoyed every moment we had with him on the beautiful Pacific Coast. When the time came, he was in my arms, chowing down liver treats hand fed by my husband. Even though we like to joke around and say Don-Don ended on a high note, putting him down was the toughest decision my husband and I ever had to make.
Don-Don was an extraordinarily large Westie and lived a full life. He was confident, tenacious, and had an insatiable appetite. He was "the boss" of our dog training gym/canine retail shop and taste tested every single treat we carried in the store. He was compensated very well for his "hard work!" 😉 And we did put him to work! When we dealt with dogs that are fear-reactive to other dogs, Don-Don was our man. His calm and indifferent demeanor showed those dogs there's hope--not all dogs are out there to get them! On his break, he napped for the most part and practiced agility, nose work, tricks, and obedience. My favorite (and his least favorite) trick was to "clean up," where he had to put his toys back in the toy bin. He would grunt as he performed this task, complaining yet complying, just full of character!
The happiest day of his life was when he successfully hunted a wild rabbit. It was a scary day for me, but I will always remember that huge smile and proud look on his face! He had also hunted a baby lizard and a bird, which I am not too proud to mention, but he thrived on hunting. Even though he had never successfully hunted a squirrel, he never quit trying. Don-Don wasn't a sweet lap dog, he was cool, expressive, and independent; proudly adored by our cat-loving friends! But when he sensed I was down and needed some love, he would always provide me with TLC. He was loved by most people that have crossed paths with him. Perhaps I am biased, but to me, he was one special dog.
We feel so blessed to have had this amazing dog. We know this is not the end and he is now our little angel, watching over us from the rainbow bridge. Give your dog (or cat, or any pet) an extra hug today if you're reading this blog. Their time with us is so precious and every moment counts!