Loss of a great four legged friend

It is a sad day at the nursery, our Viszla 'West' has come to the end of a long and happy life with us at Abriachan.
He was over 120 dog years and while he tried his best to stay with us a little longer, his poor wee heart could no longer cope.
We will miss him very much, he is part of the fabric of the nursery and part of the Davidson family.
He was always to be found somewhere, guiding visitors round the garden, excavating holes to try; unsuccessfully; to catch mice, pathetically shivering by the heater, even in the height of summer, burying today's lunch, searching for yesterdays lunch, chasing deer and endearing himself to all.

He made us laugh, he kept us company while weeding, he drove us mad with his door scratching skills. He was great.
We got 'West' as our second nursery rescue Vizsla, our first was 'Blue' and I think there are many visitors who didn't notice the change and may think we have had the same dog for 25 years.  They had very different personalities, yet both loved the limelight and the attention of the nursery visitors. (Especially the women)
They would eat like horses and never gain a pound, West's ribs were always on display and on occasion we would get looks from people that suggested they were about to phone the RSPCA, unaware of the huge haunch of venison that he had inhaled that morning. I know, I know, venison! - he was spoilt rotten, turning his nose up at meat that other dogs would give their left leg for a sniff of.
Our lovely neighbour also has several beautiful vizslas and West would make frequent solo adventures through the woodland, somehow through/over/under??? the deer fencing, over the stream and once there, position himself under the window and cry piteously until allowed in to play with his girlfriends.  If they were not at home, he would reappear 5 minutes later back on the nursery looking nonchalant, and would stroll insouciantly past you, as though he had been very busy helping in the polytunnels the whole time.
We have film crews come by the garden every few years and both Blue and West would pull out all the stops to get screen time.  They would stand casually on top of a rock looking out over the loch, with the middle distance stare of a catalogue model, pretending not to notice as the cameraman lined them up for a tracking shot, or they would develop an overwhelming devotion to whoever was being filmed talking to the presenter, coming in with the trademark vizla-lean, where they stand very close and then gradually put all their weight on your legs until you buckle under the strain.
We hope you had a chance to meet him if you visited Abriachan, and thank you for all the attention and love you gave him over the years, it made him very happy.
He was a bouncing puppy one moment, a grave elder statesman the next. A companion, a watchdog, a ladies man, a hunter, a poser, a neurotic mess, a friend. 
We will miss you West.


  1. Westie you old slipper thief. May the great wild woodland in the sky be full of venison bones and friendly legs to lean on

  2. We'll always remember West as he was back in August when we stayed: looking as if he was about to cark it any second, then bounding out of the car and frisking along the hill paths like a puppy.

    Sorry for your loss, folks.

    Niki and Ewan

  3. We met your lovely dog on several visits to Abriachan. I'm sure he'll be missed by all your visitors as well as yourselves.

  4. What sad news. West was a beautiful dog and we were introduced during our visit to Abriachan in August. So sorry to hear this.

  5. You can always take comfort that he was well loved and he has given you all lots of lovely memories. We never had the chance to meet him but thanks for sharing his lovely photos.

  6. Thank you all for your kind words of comfort, we have planted a beautiful camellia for West and he lies at rest under the big oak in the garden.

  7. How hard it is to lose a pet that has been in the family for such a long time. Sounds like West was a great character and had a wonderful life.

  8. I'm sorry, it is very sad to loose a much loved pet. Your post is lovely and makes me feel like I knew West

  9. I am very sorry - I love dogs and I know how they get under the marrow of your spine, become part of you. by the way I am really commenting from Catharine Howard's Garden Blog but seem to have transmogrified into The Dog Blog........appropriate in this circumstance.


Thank you for leaving a comment - it is always great to hear about other peoples gardens and lives. If you ever drop by the nursery, make sure you say hello. (Margaret & Donald)

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