Updated: Aug 29, 2021
Willow Studios. How did that come about?
Willow was my love-at-first-sight dog. She was my husband's and my first dog together and certainly my baby girl. 'Willow Be Mine' was her AKC name, she lived 10 years.
Love at first sight, love everlasting. Love no matter what was thrown her way.
She was about three when she developed a dog aggression, but only with me around and when on leash. Actually it was certain situations, but keeping a 100-pound dog calm took practice. Oh, and I did. We went to 'school' with a positive reinforcement trainer/behaviorist who taught me how to manage those situations vs. the dog. I loved the training because I loved her. I loved spending that one-on-one time with her knowing it was helping ease any anxiety she and I had.
We found she had hip dysplasia at about four, the vet said it was the most pronounced he'd seen in a dog of her age. We started her with a fantastic chiropractor and swim therapist. She developed allergies at five. We didn't have Apoquel in those days so we went the route of panel testing. She looked like a billboard with the little pricks of stimulus. Dust mites. Like how do you fight dust mites? We started injections.
About that time the Boy-of-my-Dreams came to us, a Golden named Cody (AKC: Heart of Gold). Willow blossomed into a mama bear and best friend. With all her issues the Vet said the puppy wouldn't give her more years, but would give her more life in her years. He was right. The next five years were our best as a couple experiencing two fantastic dogs, and for the dogs who were part of our travels and life. They were bonded as besties. It was a fantastic time.
The stomach issue rose terribly in her eighth year. We could hear the belly 'talking' and knew she would be down with diarrhea and vomiting. There were times she needed fluids from the vet and a specialist. And, yes, there was a mass, but the surgery on a dog her age was more invasive than she could bear. It was her sentence.
She lived ten years. The final months with a fast decline, she was only 70 pounds in the end. She waited for me to come home that final day, home from a week business trip. Her blood pressure dropping as I laid on the floor of the vet office I repeated "I love you" over and over.
I knew this girl touched me and taught me like no other. Love. True unconditional love on my part and hers; a love that had no bounds. A love that would do anything for the girl and spare no cost, no time and no energy.
She taught me to see the world with different eyes. I watched her interest in what I took for granted in nature and saw those spots of beauty too. I laughed as she poked her head out of the car window inhaling strawberry fields, and then I deeply inhaled too. We walked gently on paths in forests and trails, taking our time to look, listen and smell. I stopped as she did, and took it all in. Willow was my guide leading me to look at everything with wonder and beauty. She taught me to simply enjoy being alive.
Our logo is that of a Willow tree and a yellow Lab. Now that you know her story, you know that the logo and name is a tribute to her. There is beauty everywhere and everything is beautiful if you only let yourself see it.