Willow was named after Alyson Hannigan's character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is mostly black with some white and grey. We suspect she has some retriever, labrador, and possibly spaniel in her.
Willow was adopted on March 4, 2000 at approximately 8 weeks of age. She was being shown by Austin's Mixed Breed Rescue group at the Petco where we usually buy our supplies. Rox spotted her when she presented herself for petting by rolling over on her back and sticking her nose through the cage, instead of bothering to get up. We knew she would adapt well to our lifestyle.
Willow had been fostered under the name Cassie. We decided to change that because it sounded too much like our nicknames for Caspian, one of our cats. One evening we were talking about it with our friend Mindy, while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She asked if we had considered the name Willow. When the name was spoken "Cassie" turned, looked at her, and yipped. After that it seemed obvious.
Chelsea adopted Willow. Chelsea groomed her, played with her, and defended her. The cats have decided that Willow is mostly harmless. As long as she can contain her excitement they enjoy cautious play with her. Hecate has even been known to lie down next to Willow and nap. Kita just treats her like a kitten and mothers her.
Willow is absolutely Roxanne's dog. Rox is always the focus of her attention, her preferred playmate, and her pillow. At night she curls up on the bed next to Rox and snuggles. Even at around 20kg (45lb) Willow spends plenty of time on Rox's lap.
In 2006 Willow became Roxanne's medical alert Service Dog. Rox has a long-standing medical condition that can sometimes cause her to faint. Willow figured out on her own how to detect that and started alerting her in advance. She can generally give half-an-hour of warning, which is more than enough time for preventive medication to take effect.
Willow passed away on January 19, 2016 in Roxanne's arms. Despite living several years past any reasonable expectation for her size and breed, she was healthy and active up until her last month.