I never thought that I would be writing this tribute to Fraser so soon. In fact, I never thought that I would be writing it all. When Fraser came to us from Westie Rescue of Canada on February 24, 2007, he was so full of the very best that life offers – energy, playfulness, curiosity and a gusto for everything. I couldn’t believe that the dog I saw in front of me playing with Geordie, our twelve week old Westie like he was a puppy himself, had been taken in to be euthanized a few weeks previously. Obviously the vet who convinced Fraser’s family to let him try to re-home him instead of euthanizing him also must have known that this dog still had some living to do, and Fraser didn’t disappoint anyone in that regard.
Although beset by a series of serious, unrelenting medical issues, Fraser simply refused to let them get in his way. Each and every day, including the day of his passing, Fraser enjoyed himself as much as his physical abilities allowed him to and then some. When he could still go for walks, he loved taking a dip in the beach near our home, terrorizing every Golden Retriever he came across on the trails at Lighthouse Park, charging full speed ahead at the hapless neighbourhood squirrels and scouting around for the just the right bush to neatly back his cute little bum into to deposit his daily offerings.
Upon our return home from walkies, Fraser contented himself with a cookie or two or three, before engaging his pal Geordie in a bit of play, followed by a snooze and then waking up to see what else life had on offer for him. This usually meant a trip to the toy box, retrieving his favourite “baby” then parading it if front of Geordie, enticing him to try to steal it away, hence sparking a new round of play.
And so it went. Despite two cancer surgeries, Fraser enjoyed a full year of relative good health, predominately pain free and always full of mirth, adventure and love. During what was to be the final three months of his life when he could no longer go for walks, Fraser enjoyed going to the cottage and lying in front of the fireplace, endless tummy rubs and watching television commercials featuring dogs. Although life was increasingly becoming a struggle for him, not a day went by that he didn’t give me as many kisses as I asked for, savoured his favourite treat of all treats – a chicken liver brownie – or find enough energy to propel his tail around like a whirly gig just because he was happy to be. I’ve never seen a dog twirl his tail like that before, rapidly in a complete circle. That’s why I called him my whirly gig boy, in addition to sweet pea, chunky monkey, crazy beastie boy and nut bar.
Although Fraser preferred the comfy coziness of his own bed, he always wanted to cuddle with me in mine until I put the lights out. He snored, walked like Charlie Chaplin, never thought twice about hiding his stinky chew bones in his freshly laundered bed, stole Geordie’s equally stinky chew bones on a regular basis, loved my home cooking, enjoyed Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on CBC Radio, always waited for me by the front door to come home and stole my heart the moment I saw him.
Thank you to Westie Rescue of Canada for entrusting me with this most precious little guy who taught me more than I could have imagined about living life to the fullest. My eternal gratitude to the vet who just seemed to know that Fraser still had a life to live. And thank you to Fraser’s original family. Without a doubt, the kindness, gentleness and love they were able to give Fraser for the first nine years of his life showed in his endless cheerfulness.
At times I feel my grief will suffocate me, but if asked if I would have Fraser again, knowing what terrible pain his loss would bring, I wouldn’t hesitate to make sure there were plenty of chicken liver brownies on hand, waiting for my whirly gig boy. I love you “big time”, my Fraser. So does Geordie and dad. At least now, you’ll never be tired again.
Loved by Conny Filletti and Ken Bagshaw