2021 Foster Photos


Darby came to us in January.  She was 16 years old.  Her mom and dad had moved a year prior.  She was left behind and was being cared for by their daughter for the last year.  As with many older Westies, Darby had a bit of an incontinence issue.   She also had a very large fatty tumor on her tummy which she had had for many years.  Fatty tumors are often left alone because they are not a health threat.  She also had a lot of tearing which may have been dry eye which isn’t uncommon and requires eye drops.  And she had a large wart above one eye which was bleeding.

When she came in, she was badly in need of grooming.  She was fine with the resident dog and did not seem to have any “accidents” but was taken outside many times.  She was given a vegie dental stick but she licked it rather than eating it. She went to the vet in the morning.  Unfortunately the vet found some very serious issues.    An ultrasound revealed a mass on her liver.  The vet felt she could live with that for 6 months to a year.  But the larger issue was an enlarged heart that was beating very irregularly.  When they put her on her back for the ultrasound, she immediately began to cough because the heart was so large it was compressing her windpipe.  The beat was rapid, slow, and then missed several beats, and then faster, etc.  We were advised that she would not live much longer with it.  Overall she wasn’t going to be very adoptable.  Her dental disease was severe and she had a shot of antibiotic to help with that.

We took her home to give her a good last night.  She had a special dinner with meat included with her kibble.  She was happy to eat all of her dinner.  During the evening, she chose to wander and roam the house for a couple of hours and then put herself to bed.    While she walked around we noticed she always had her mouth open and her tongue out.  The vet felt that was her attempting to breath due to the heart condition.  The dental issues are probably why she wouldn’t chew anything hard.   She slept 14 hours until we finally woke her for breakfast.

We believe she was quietly suffering.  And it wasn’t likely that she would live long enough to adapt to a new home even if we were able to find one for her.  In her best interest, we took her to the vet the next day and held her while she went to be with her mom who had recently pre-deceased her.

We were glad to be able to meet Darby and give her this last gift of release.  Rescue isn’t always easy.