Saturday, July 13, 2013

R.I.P. Big Willie

It is hard to believe it's been over ten years since Jim and I adopted Big Willie. After visiting the Green Acres Boxer Rescue website we stumbled across across the handsome face of Willie and knew we had to make the drive to West Bend to meet him and visit with his foster mom, Kathy.

I am not going to lie...Willie was a bit intimidating at first, his deep bark and size was a lot for this first time dog person, but his big brown eyes and his beautiful black and white coloring won us over. Jim and I knew before we pulled out of her neighborhood that there was no need to visit the puppies in Madison, Willie needed us. Little did I know at the time how much I needed him. It took a while, and another four legged friend named Lexa, but Willie warmed up in our safe and caring home.

Willie touched the hearts of so many people- some not even dog lovers. He was a gentle giant and always protective of our family. He moved into our first apartment and later our first home. He watched Jim and I get married and he welcomed Lexa and then Cole into the family. He has been there for us every minute of every day.

His black face turned to grey, he was diagnosed with cancer, and his legs started to fail him, but he remained loyal and committed, never blinking an eye when Cole squeezed his neck or raced cars across his back.

It is with a VERY heavy heart that yesterday we had to say our goodbyes. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge and although it THE HARDEST thing I've ever done in my life, I know he's running at top speed, chasing squirrels and pee-mailing every tree he meets. Jim and I said goodbye to a loyal companion and our best friend, but we will always cherish the memories we have made over the last ten years...

I knew he was ready, even if we were not...if was a peaceful passing and although I ache inside more than I ever thought I would, I have to remember his dignity remained in tact. Thank you, Willie for teaching me about love, loyalty, companionship and so much more. You were the best dog ever. I will remember you forever. I promise.

We have hundreds of pictures of Willie over the last ten years, but these are from his last two can tell he was still smiling and enjoying his time with our family. That is what we loved about him!

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