Whiskey by The Paesano Family / Lisa

Laura, my mom, and I all first set eyes on Whiskey in October of 1996, at a street fair when I was thirteen and Laura was nine. We saw a booth set up for the Kent Animal Shelter, a shelter nearby. Besides a desk set up for taking donations, they also had a few little cages holding various puppies that they had recently acquired. That was when we first saw him, our pretty Whiskey-Pup, and instantly, we were all in love.

Although the shelter told us originally that he was a German Shepard, we figured out quickly that they were wrong. German Shepherds just don’t get that big! By the time he was six months old, he was already the size of a fully grown dog. That’s when we knew, and there was no mistaking that Irish Wolfhound face. When he reached one year, he could plant his paws on my shoulders, and his head was almost an entire foot higher than mine!

Whiskey had never been just a dog to me, because honestly, he was the best dog on the face of the earth. I know everyone thinks that about their dog, but Whiskey constantly amazed us. He had the best personality; funny, silly, clumsy, mushy, and full of love. We never gave him bad table scraps, only fruits and vegetables…so lettuce, carrots, and grapes became his favorite foods. When he was laying down, he would cross his front paws.

He was the sweetest dog I’d ever known…if you decided to sit on the ground, he would run so that he could lie down next to you. If he happened to knock something over and my dad would yell at him, Whiskey would yawn in his face. He was too big to jump onto the couch, so instead he would just plop his butt down, actually
sitting on it like a human!

And he was so smart. He never ever destroyed anything in the house. He knew somehow that “excuse me” meant that he had to move his butt over, and I don’t remember teaching him that! As a puppy, he had every thing thrown at him down in a week; sit, stay, paw, hell. He was house-trained in less a week. Before my parents split up, if they were fighting, he would try and get them to play with him, trying to distract them so they wouldn’t yell at each other anymore! He fashioned himself as my and Laura’s protector; he slept at the bottom of the stairs, and wouldn’t let anyone too close to us when we went on walks with him. He would go bananas if my boyfriend Chris hugged me, because he thought Chris was hurting me. One of the things I loved the most about him, was how he loved to rest his chin on our laps, and just look into our eyes…telling us he loved us. And we loved him so much. He wasn’t just my dog, I loved him as if he was my own child.

About three weeks ago, I noticed that he was limping, and breathing heavily. I brought him to his regular vet, who ran some tests, all of which came out negative. He meds he was on seemed to be helping him for a while, but eventually his back legs started to bother him too. Unable to get him into my car anymore, I had a mobile vet come to the house just six days ago, who commented immediately on how bad his breathing sounded. He suggested we go to an emergency animal hospital and get his chest x-rays, fearing that he might have pneumonia. Once there, we got the worst news that we could think of: Whiskey had lung cancer. And it had spread so fast, that there was nothing we could do.

After getting two opinions on his condition, we decided to have him put to sleep. We wanted the vet to come to our house to do it, and so we set the appointment for a week from the day that we found out. We watched Whiskey get weaker and weaker over the next few days; he couldn’t stand anymore, he stopped wanting to eat. He wasn’t himself anymore, and it was so hard to see him like that. The vet was supposed to come tomorrow, but Whiskey couldn’t wait. He passed away this morning.

This week has been the worst of my entire life. My only solace is that I was told that Whiskey was not sick for very long, probably only a few weeks. I still feel guilty, but I guess I always will. The love of my life is dead, and will never rest his chin on my lap ever again. Whiskey gave me the greatest eleven years of my life. I hope he knew that there is nothing in this world that I love more than him. I can’t even put into words how thankful I am for him.

I love you so much, Whiskey Puppy, and I always will.


Love Forever and Ever,
The Paesano Family