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Miles's Memorial
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A donation was made in Miles's memory by Doctors and Staff of the Elliott Bay Animal Hospital. His memorial was created on 8/9/2012.
Miles came to live with me in October of 2009. He was rescued from a family that was splitting up and the dog belonged to the couple’s daughter. Miles had lived in Portland, Oregon from birth in September 2000 until I adopted him. From the WHWTOPS web site I could read about Miles and knew that he had severe cataracts. Westies have always been one of my favorite breeds but this little one really needed me.

Now at the time the opportunity came my way I was 69 and really had not envisioned owning a dog in my retirement. Several of us were involved in the transaction to get Miles from Portland to Seattle and on the selected day my daughter, Sarah, along with her 5 year old twins, and myself met the transporter, Alyson, at a dog park in Chehalis, WA. He was so happy to meet us and seemed very comfortable right away. On the drive home, he slept most of the drive.

Since I knew Miles was blind, I prepared my home with the fewest barriers possible. He seemed to adjust and was able to manage ten steps to the back yard after I stayed with him for the first few trips down. Miles loved to go for walks around the neighborhood and the rain or cold did not bother him. All my neighbors would pet him and he would roll over on his back to have his tummy scratched. There are several small children that live near me and Miles was always very good with them.

In the first few months, Miles needed a lot of grooming and he had a constant itch. After a lot of eliminating what ever was causing the problem, I determined he just was sensitive to wheat products so the diet was changed and all the skin issues went away. In April of 2011 Miles developed Addison ’s disease. He shook something terrible and was not eating and the vet said he needed to be on a steroid and injections of Precorten on a monthly basis. That seemed to control the Addison’s. In the spring of 2012 Miles started having a huge thirst and the appetite was again declining so my vet, Dr. Myhre diagnosed what she thought was Diabetes.

Now I had to learn to give injections and neither of us really enjoyed the experience but we got through it. Dr. Myhre would run more tests and those began to be inconclusive. Miles spent 4 days at the clinic and he was loosing weight and always thirsty. More tests were suggested but Miles was almost twelve and I did not want him to suffer anymore so I chose to have him put to sleep July 6, 2012. His bladder was not holding fluids, he hated the shots, his sleeping pattern was crazy and the appetite was getting selective. I think it was the right decision to end his life.

Miles was the sweetest little pet. He went everywhere with me in the car. He loved to go for walks and was always very close to me. Twice he went to California to visit my other daughter, Meggins. He was a great traveler going in the cabin in his carrier. I had two beds for Miles and in the evening he would curl up in one then come to the living room, tilt his head as if to say “are we going to bed yet?”. Of course, I broke the rules and he did sleep on my bed until the last few days. Miles managed the blindness very well. Dr. Tom Sullivan was his eye vet and said Miles could only see light and dark but I think he could see a tiny bit. The family told me Miles had pink eye as a puppy.

So I took in a little dog that was blind, with skin problems and later developed Addison’s disease and on to possibly Diabetes. Miles was such a sweet little dog and I do miss him a lot. He is in a beautiful mahogany container on my mantel and I saved a hunk if his fur. West Highland White Terriers of Puget Sound is a great group of Westie owners. When Miles developed Addison’s Disease they set up a Go Fund Me Account and covered the $3200 vet bill. I was astounded that total strangers would help us. This will never be forgotten.

Dr. Myhre and her staff were so gracious to me. I will miss their concern for Miles but not the bills!

Margaret M.

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