Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rest In Peace, Aunt Gillian

Gillian was the beloved furry aunt of Teagan, Quinn, Riley and Finn. We had to put her down last night at the age of 12 because she was in acute renal failure. She hadn't eaten in days so my Mom took her to the emergency vet yesterday. He said that she was in quite a lot of pain. At 12 1/4, no one wanted her to suffer. Her bravery and strength was incredible.

Gillian was my family's third Wheaten Terrier. My parents got her at the age of one, after she had been a show dog for a year. I was already at university at the time. Both of our previous Wheatens passed away when I was at school. I remember coming home to my new "sister." I was still grieving the loss of Kimmee and Romeo and wasn't ready to accept Gillee just yet. But, she lay on my bed and looked at me with those big eyes and easily won her way into my heart.

Aunt Gillian wasn't like most dogs. In fact, she despised other dogs (except for Romeo and eventually her nephews). Going for walks with her was a careful art of avoiding all dogs in our path. She was small but fierce. Both Riley and Finn crossed Gillee in the early days and quickly learned that she was the boss. They clearly had tremendous respect and even love for her. This summer, I spent a week at the cottage on my own. Gillee stayed up there with me (and the girls and boys). It was obvious that a mutual respect between Gillee and the boys had developed. They were her pack and seemed to bring her some comfort. She was even able to eat dinner right next to them, a huge change from the dog who used to eat 100 feet away from anyone. She also seemed to develop love for her young nieces. While at the cottage, Teagan had become reliant on someone patting her to sleep. It was taking longer and longer so we decided one night that we were going to have to let her cry and learn to soothe herself again. Gillee lay in front of their door and refused to move until all was quiet.

She loved her family. She was my Mom's dog without a doubt; an absolute Mommy Suck. She adored my brothers and would happily sit in their arms or on the chair next to them at the dining room table! I quickly became her walk ticket. Before the girls were born, I would pick up Gillee and take her for walks with her nephews. While she could be standoffish to some, she would be happy and almost puppy-like around her family. We will miss her terribly.

Rest in peace, Gillee. Say hello to Kimmee, Romeo and Sunnee for us (from a distance, if you would prefer!).

Baby Finn, Riley (top), Aunt Gillian (right)
Gillian, Finn, Riley
Gillee gets some love from Teagan at the cottage

Playing horse with Quinn


  1. My heartfelt sympathy for you and your mom. Gillian was lovely and regal. My wife's family lost their beloved golden retriever Ellie yesterday, at the ripe age of 11 1/2. We are struggling with how to help Little Monster to understand as he was very attached. I know they are younger, but have you noticed if the girls are aware of what is going on?

    PS- Baby Finn (first picture) is ADORABLE!!!

    1. I'm sorry for the loss of Ellie as well. I don't think the girls understood Gillee's passing, but we could definitely tell that they seemed to understand my granmother's passing on some level.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about Gillian. It looks like she was a very loving aunt to the girls. Thank goodness you have pictures to look back on when they get older. :)

    1. Exactly :) I feel like I'm constantly snapping pictures but it is so worth it!