It’s heart-breaking and more difficult than you can imagine to share that Willow, our beloved Bernese Mountain Dog whom you’ve all grown to know and love, has passed away unexpectedly this week. She was a large part (in every sense) of our family, and a bigger part of our hearts. And right now, they’re quite broken. Willow, 7, came into our lives to mend our bruised hearts from our previous dog, Charly, who helped get us through many years of infertility, and she brought us joy and comfort EVERY DAY over the last few years. We buried Charly’s ashes with Willow in our pasture and are comforted to know they are together and still watching out for us, their people, from the other side.
Willow was selfless and sweet. We’ll miss her polite morning sneezes when she was ready to go outside. Instead of barking, she sneezed–sometimes three times in a row! Then you knew it was an emergency.
We’ll miss the click of her nails on the floor, followed by a lazy slump into a corner of cold tile.
We’ll miss her warm body leaning into us as if to give a long hug.
We’ll miss petting her and they way she’d put her paws on us afterward as if to say, “not enough! keep going!” or the way she would insert herself into every photo or movie. She loved the camera and smiling at the camera so much.
I’ll miss the way she’d try to synchronize her steps with mine and occasionally step on my heals from walking too close.
I’ll miss pulling up in the driveway and seeing Willow ready to greet us and welcome us home.
She was loved my everyone. Family, kids, contractors, strangers, delivery people, even other animals! I never worried that she would hurt anybody. She loved so deeply and genuinely just wanted to make people smile. And that’s what she did for us. Day in and day out. She could sense when it was a hard day and come lay quietly by my feet, “I’m here for you.” She knew when we were celebrating and the energy was there. She knew when the girls needed a friend and she’d give up her tile floor for the night and volunteer to sleep in their room.
Can a dog be thoughtful? Because Willow was.
Although it feels heavy and hard right now, When I think about everything that Willow has experienced with us–I can see clearly that she came to us for a season. A very important season of growth to comfort us and help us not only see the joy, but experience joy. And that joy is something she has left with us, even now that she’s gone.
I’ll miss you, my shadow.
Thank you for allowing us to take some time away as a family to process and grieve.