Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Willoughby Lord Cowell 2004-2014

It is with much sadness and heavy hearts that today Peter and I said good bye to our little hound, Willoughby. He had been battling lung cancer for the past few months and finally breathed his last this afternoon, passing away peacefully in Peter's arms at home.

W.L.C. 22 March 2004 - 19 November 2014

We first knew he had cancer of the right lower lung a few months ago when he started to have coughing fits. Peter took him to the hospital where they did some imaging to confirm the diagnosis. We were told that he wouldn't see another Christmas. 

The Story of Willoughby

Willoughby, born Timbavati Krugerrand , was whelped on the 22nd of March 2004.

The runt of the litter, he was the only one left when we picked him up aged 5 months old. He was a neurotic little puppy, being scared of going up and down steps he could see through, hot air balloons, chandeliers, almost anything which floated. But we soon found that the answer to almost everything was ham. Yes, his motivation was his stomach and there was almost nothing he wouldn't do for a slice of ham. That is how we taught him to swim, and that is how we coaxed him out from under the house every year during the annual Hamilton International Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Above: Willoughby the day we brought him home. 

He used to howl for hours when I left the house, and always be waiting by the front door for me when I got home. I didn't believe Peter when he told me that Willoughby made such a racket upon my departure, until Peter took a video to prove it. But this runt slowly became rehabilitated in the lifestyle to which all hounds aspire to become accustomed.

Below: His first hike into the mountains.

Eventually he grew into a confident, handsome teenaged hound, not scared to cross even a wobbly hanging bridge...

 Above and Below: Willoughby sunning himself in the garden.

Being a beagle, he wouldn't always stay in the garden. Oh no, he discovered how to climb trees and jump fences. At least he used to follow my scent, and come to the hospital (a 15 minute walk away). Everyone there got to know him, and one kindly matron used to hide him in her office until I had finished my shift (let's not contemplate the infection control issues, just the smiles he brought to the children bed-bound in the paediatric orthopaedic ward).

Such handsome profiles!

When he was about '30' we got him a brother, Spencer...
You can tell which brother was the laid back one and which was trouble!

The two were inseparable most of the time, although Willoughby, being older, had grown out of exploring. He was happy to stay in the yard if Spencer escaped. Spencer's escapades were to be his ultimate downfall, and so it became just the three of us again.

 Willoughby was an inquisitive hound...

 always eager to make new friends...

Not high maintenance, just happy to relax under dads' hats...

Always around, a faithful friend, whether you were covering the citrus in frost cloth...

 ... or trimming the hedges... 

 or reading in the study... 

We were so looking forward to Willoughby padding around the manor, it seems cruel that he will never lie in his basket by the hearth in the new study, or bound down the stairs when the door bell rings. We won't know if the pasta's al dente without our chief pasta tester, and we will have to vacuum the floor if we drop cake on it. Life will just not be the same for our little family, now there are just two of us for the first time in over a decade. But you will never be far from our memory, our faithful companion...

I think that this is how I shall remember you. Happy and warm, waiting for your tummy to be rubbed...

 Goodbye my friend.


  1. Time does not heal this type of loss.

    You merely learn to live without them, knowing you'll meet again.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  2. Rest in peace, darling little hound. You all looked to be a lovely family.

  3. Beautiful dog, and beautiful story of your love. RIP, Willoughby.

  4. I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved Willoughby. What a beautiful testament to your life together.

    This hits me hard as my darling Sous Chef, Lucy was diagnosed with bladder cancer a couple of months ago. Like Willoughby, she is only 10 years old. She is my life and I love her as much as I love my two legged children. They know it and accept it gracefully. With help from friends in Singapore who have a Scottie with the same cancer and are treating her now with holistic medicine we are managing better. We shall see. Cancer now seems to be an epidemic with dogs.

    I know time takes care of everything but you never forget your beloved companions. They give us so much, and expect so little.

    Take care, Julieta

  5. So many wonderful memories of your furry friend Willoughby. May he rest in peace. He looks to have been quite the character and has obviously led a contented life in your care.

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. It is never easy to say good-bye to a beloved pet, and even though I've been there myself many times, and always swear it will be my last, I always end up with another down the road. I just can't live without the joy they bring into my life.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your handsome little man! Your loss is great, but time will be your best friend to help heal this open wound. My husband and I are truly sorry for your loss!

  7. So sorry for your loss. So great you have all of these great images to remember him by.

  8. I'm so sorry, guys.
    What a terrible loss. Your tribute was beautiful.
    Best wishes to you both

  9. So sorry to hear about Willoughby. A relief to hear he was able to pass away in loving company. Such a lovely tribute to him and beautiful photographs with which to remember him.

  10. Oh dear,after reading this beautiful tribute at lunchtime, I'll need to fix my soggy mascara before seeing my next client. He had a truly wonderful life as your Numero Uno. Rest peacefully in puppy Heaven dear Willoughby.
    M xx

  11. Thank you for all your kind condolences. Peter and I are most touched. David.x

  12. Willoughby has to be one of the most beautiful and cutest dogs I've ever seen. So sorry for your loss and hope that everyday is a little easier for you. We had to put our beloved pug, Rennie down earlier this year and it was absolutely devastating for us. So we can imagine how you feel. Sending my best.


  13. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Willoughby. It does leave a hole in one's heart. Thoughts and prayers.
    The Arts by Karena

  14. Adolescent children can be rude, elderly parents needy and students don't always do their reading. But dogs are always loyal and companionable. You will miss him.


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