This is mine and Willow’s story; A tale in collecting seaglass along the sandy shores of Nova Scotia.
Willow found me on the long weekend of Sept 1 back in 2003 while I was camping. She was on the back of a truck with 9 other black labs pups. Her mother had stopped feeding them at 2 weeks so the humans looking after them were hand feeding them.
To start the story right I have to go back almost a year. I had a very much loved black lab named Shadow that passed away of cancer on Aug 8, 2002 just 2 days shy of her 10 birthday. She was our child that we couldn’t have and very spoiled. After battling cancer for several months, we sat down with the wonderful vets and made a very hard decision. It was a good one but hard one. I knew that while my heart was breaking, Shadow was a peace.
First thing I said was never again would I put my heart in danger of breaking. No more dogs.
Back to Willow story, that weekend, I knew the pups was there but totally avoided them. Until we were packing up and had to go down and ask a friend for help packing up the tent. As I went by the truck, the lady picked up a pup and put her in my arms. At first I got mad because I just didn’t want to deal with it. Within a few seconds I looked down and saw a little black cotton ball with the saddest biggest brown eyes looking back at me. I said nothing, put the pup back on the truck while the woman was telling me that they couldn’t look after them, there was too many to feed every two hours.
I left and started to walk back up the hill where my tent was, made it almost there. I ran back to the truck and grabbed the little cotton ball back as I was scared then that they would give her away before I had a chance to talk to my husband. With my head held low as I was trying not to cry and went to find my husband. I heard one of our friends say to him “yep, she’s got one.” Mike just said is that Willow? I said “how did you know what I was going to name her?” He replied “ don’t you realize that almost daily in the past year, you mentioned that we was never going to get another dog but if we did it would be a black lab female and I was going to name her Willow.”
I panicked about an hour later on the way home, realizing that I had a four week old pup in my arms and didn’t know what to feed her. After stopping to the store and calling my vets who was kind enough to answer his personal phone on a holiday, we had food for Willow.
Recipe for underage dogs – baby pabulum, egg whites, corn syrup. Mix it up until it’s a gooey mess. Now picture a black lab standing in a pie plate with this all over her. She learned to eat by cleaning herself but within a few days she got the hang of it. The next day we also got replacement milk from the pet store.
Wednesday we took her for a checkup to the vets. She weighted in at a whooping 4 lbs and was 4 weeks old. By Christmas she was a healthy 21 lbs and still growing.
Until then she slept in a clothes basket with a teddy bear that had a clock for a heart. I came home from work and Willow met me at the back door , tail a wagging with my motorcycle boot , slightly chewed, looking like she had a great day.
That’s when I started taking her to work with me. With the new experience and loads of people to play with, she snoozed most of the day away, curled up in her blanket. Which was great for a couple of months until one lunch time I discovered that a 6 month old dog can do a lot of chewing in a truck in a couple of hours. Leather does chew really well.
So we started a new program, walk in the morning, headed to the beach lunch time, walk in the evening.
The second time I took her to the beach, I noticed she had something in her mouth. After wildly chasing her around, she and I hadn’t mastered the sit or the come her part yet, I found she had a piece of glass. Yep, I panicked once again as I didn’t know if she had ate any. I had to follow her around for 24 hours to check her poop. Willow had eaten about 1 lbs of sand and no glass.
So when we went back, I immediately threw her ball in the water and I started to pick up the glass to put in the garbage. Which I did for about a week then I found the most amazing smooth piece of cobalt blue laying in the rocks. On the way home, I stopped to a friend’s house to show him what I had found. He took a quick glance at it and said “I see you found beach glass” and then told me the story behind it. I was truly amazed that the ocean, sand along with time could turn out a stunning gem that humans threw away.
That’s how Willow and I started to collect beach glass. Now 5 years later, we are still collecting seaglass and walking the wonderful beaches of Nova Scotia.
That’s our story, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed going back to the past and reliving on how Willow became my best friend and beach glass collecting partner.