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  • Writer's pictureDave Griffith

Piper RIP

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

It has been 5 years since we lost Piper, our second Westie. Several dog friends have asked for a repost of my thoughts on his passing. We love dogs and find people who do have a common bond. I still miss him. Clover would have loved him as a big brother.

For weeks now our 13-year-old Westie, Piper has been acting oddly. Whining at dusk, having a hard time with stairs, having eye and kidney issues. All of which we attributed to him getting old. We have been partners for a long time, and we adjusted our routine as we hope someone, someday, will for us.

Last night late he woke me and I pulled him into bed. He settled between the two of us and slept till late morning, not his usual pattern. I woke him, and he could not walk without buckling, and he declined to eat. I put him out, and he did not move. We took him to his buddies at Holiday House, our long-time vet, and we got in right away.

The doctor examined and by looking at his eyes, that were fluttering, could tell he more than likely had an advanced brain tumor, which explained the last few months’ behaviors and symptoms. She could help us comfort him, but there was nothing more to do.

If you own a dog, you dread this moment. When they are puppies this day is light years away. All the memories, joys, trashed rugs, shared cookies, chased squirrels, flood into tears. And then you do what you know they would want. You decide to end the pain and let them cross over in peace. You realize it can’t be about you, it needs to be about them.

So we did. We both held Piper as he passed. Fittingly, it was a beautiful sunny day.

We drove home with an empty collar. We put away his bed, his food and water bowl, his crate.

We cried. We called the kids.

Few things in life are marked by unconditional love. Living with a dog is filled with unconditional love. Come through the door at night; you could hear him running to jump and give you a lick. Have a bad day, and he would sit on the couch flush to your leg. He would bark at the Cowboys and wag his tail for the Eagles. Move from room to room he would follow. Little people could pull his ears, and they just got kissed. He, like all terriers, was a marker and you had to keep an eye on him when we went to new places. I couldn’t argue with the choice of people he took a leak on.

13 plus years he spent with us. I remember bringing him home from the breeder in Lancaster sitting on my wife’s lap all of us full of love.

Today he went out the same way.

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I have had a diverse career. Starting with IBM, ROLM, and MCI, then moving to The Modern Group, Ltd., and Episcopal Community Services. These days, I serve on several boards, both for-profit and nonpr


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