The Hattie Blog April 20, 2020 15:39 7 Comments
On Friday we said goodbye to our lovely Hattie, she was 14 years old and had been ill with an inoperable cancer for 9 months, frankly we had expected it to take her much earlier but as a true Cairn Terrier she toughed it out beyond even our Vets expectations. In the end it was too much and when we knew that the quality of life had deteriorated it was time. With the coronavirus restrictions only one of us could go in with her, so Ruth held her in her arms as she drifted away. Much loved and in no more pain.
In 2014 we had lost our beloved 7 year old Cairn Gizmo (also to cancer) and had unfinished Cairn business. We were recommended two girl Cairns, half-sisters Bella and Hattie who were available for adoption. After some work they arrived that summer. We joked that they were second-hand and from St. Helens. They were very different, no really, really different. Bella was and still is a spiky, bustling ball of energy alternatively loving and incredibly naughty. Hattie was serene.
It took a while to get used to this girl. We had always had male Cairns, full of energy and fight and Hattie was so not that. She was her own girl who did her own thing, in her own way, at her own pace. She had one pace - trundle. Hattie had had a litter of 5 pups early in her life but had not the slightest maternal instinct whatsoever when she reached us. Bella fussed around her and Hattie couldn’t have given two hoots about Bella at all, she was just intent on being Hattie. There was not an ounce of malice in her. At first we thought that she was not very clever, but we soon realised that she was a very wise old bird who wanted a cuddle (on her own terms) and snacks. She spent a great deal of time lying on her back on our daughter’s chest just having her tummy tickled. When our son came home to visit she used to wag like crazy and just hold his wrist in her mouth.
She wasn’t madly keen on Ripley when Ripley was a puppy because ’it’ used to jump on her. This was not appreciated and Hattie let her know in no uncertain terms. Even later on if a toy of Ripley’s ended up near Hattie she would crawl and whine to get it back rather than go charging in. Hattie could still chomp her if necessary. We had thought that Hattie would mother the youngster. Wrong! Bella and Ripley get on fine though.
One of her many nicknames was ‘Turn Left’. If we went for a walk on paths through our local woods, Bella would charge around, but we could guarantee that Hattie would lag behind and then just turn left and disappear into the undergrowth. She would always come back when called and then a little later would repeat it. And she loved food, oh how she loved food. She ate with gusto, and cleared up left-overs, and had snacks, and never refused a biscuit until the last week.
Hattie became a bit of a Social Media star, mainly due to her beautiful face and ability to look disinterested in pictures. People loved her and the outpouring of sympathy in the last few days is measured in thousands of comments. Thank you all for loving her.
Hattie became deaf in her latter years and responded well to hand signals when she chose to. She lost the use of one of her front legs due to the cancer, but hopped around gamely and still loved her short walks. We bought her a puppy carriage for when the walking got too much and she used to lie in it and pretend that she was the Queen - she really loved it.
So we have said goodbye for now, until we do meet again. There is a picture developing of Hattie trundling across the Rainbow Bridge to the pearly gates. There to be greeted by our other Cairns Woody, Homer and Gizmo. Being Hattie she ignores them, turns left and trundles off into the clouds in search of sniffs and snacks, returning a little later for a cuddle and a nap. Good girl.