- Brian Chilson
- Meg, in the front office, cast a demure glance at her owner.
Sadly, the sweet Westie we recently photographed for this feature, Meg, passed away shortly after our visit. She was 14. Owner Stephanie Rogers says that she will be sorely missed as Downtown Dogz greeter and friend to all.
Though we'd just met, I was taken by Meg's poise and charm. Despite having just had a bath, she looked a bit scruffy around the edges—which is just the way I like my terriers to look. She was an old lady, but not so old that she didn't still love a roll in the dirt (which she had apparently indulged in after her bath).
This (mostly) white West High Land Terrier sat upright in an office chair, regally presiding over the entryway of her domain. Her sometimes companion, Tornado, an old fellow himself, hung back behind the desk. The two of them together looked like kindly aged proprietors of a canine inn. Tornado, joints aching, briefly ventured out front, until a frisky cat tore by, sending him back behind the counter. Meg probably won't miss those crazy cat antics, but one imagines that she will miss her workplace team, Tornado and Stephanie included.
Stephanie adopted Meg about a year ago, when Meg's family moved away and couldn't keep her. Stephanie, who also trains and fosters dogs, has an ever-rotating cast of animals in her care, but over the past year Meg was a constant. They took to each other instantly and shared a special bond—the kind you make at life's end, when you don't have time for nonsense. "Normally I would have adopted her out," says Stephanie, "but I kept her." As if in gratitude, Meg followed her everywhere, to and from the grooming table, outside and beyond. She was Stephanie's sidekick, and a familiar face to those who visited Downtown Dogz.
Client photos line the walls of the office—here a sturdy Boxer, there a lazy Basset—and Stephanie can name each one. She proceeded to do just that—20 or so in all—and paused when she reached a plucky border terrier named Biscuit, who had since gone on to dog heaven. We didn't know then that Meg would soon join Biscuit and other good dogs who've left this life. Now, one wonders if she's with them now, a younger and spryer version of herself—in a place with greener lawns and shadier resting places.
Following Stephanie from room to room.
Eating everyone else's food but hers.
Sniffing around outside.