We Don’t Deserve Dogs



There is never enough time. It doesn’t matter if it’s 87 years, 94 years, 38 years, or six. I have lost loved ones at all of these ages. Sebastian came into my life when I had just lost my very first dog who was solely mine, Max. Max was a rescue and was a great dog to have around Dakota when he was toddler. He was protective, loving, and regal. I lost him to cancer. I begged him to guide me to another dog when the time was right, and I found my Bassy a week later.

I had no idea at the time how much I would come to depend on him. I had no idea the devastation that was ahead of me and how his spirit would sustain me when my world was pitch black. He always knew how I felt and what I needed.

I discovered early on that he had Epilepsy. I felt assured when the vet told me this was common in full blood Labradors and that it could be maintained with daily medication. And it did just that, for a long time. Every month or so, he would have one but we could manage them.

But on the Sunday of the week he passed, he was having grand mal seizures in rapid succession. Dakota and I rushed him to the veterinary ER and he was admitted and the plan was to put him on a strong I.V. drip of Phenobarbital and Kepra in an attempt to break the cycle. I went to sleep that night missing him but believing he would be okay because we’d had to do this before.

But it didn’t work this time, and he had suffered severe brain damage from the seizures. As with Max, I laid with him while he crossed over, telling him in his ear how much I love him.

Everyone tells me I’m strong, but I certainly don’t always feel that’s true. There are days when I can barely manage to stand up, and losing Bassy who had essentially become my therapy dog, was yet another crippling loss in the past three years.

Again, I asked Bassy to guide me to another dog who needed me and who could help me cope with losing him. Rescuing a dog after losing one is absolutely not an attempt to replace the passed dog. When I got Max, I needed his youthful exuberance to help me be a mama to little Dakota; when I got Bassy I initially needed him to mend my broken heart and then that turned into an even deeper connection as he nurtured and loved me through the loss of Amanda, and my cancer diagnosis.

And now, Finn is here. Finny. A Border Collie/Hound mix rescued from the SPCA, he is calm and grounding, lovable and funny. He shows me that Bassy is here with me still by giving me his paw, standing by the door in the same posture Bassy used when he had to go outside, and his eyes, his eyes. He has Bassy’s eyes. He is so content and is right by my side at all times. I’m so glad we found one another. I am so grateful for all three of my boys.

Bassy, you were the canine love of my life. I will miss you forever. I miss your Frito feet, how you’d bark like a maniac at the church-goers, how you would give me the best hugs whenever I asked for them, how you would stay in bed with me all day if I couldn’t manage to face anything, how you guarded our family with your ferocious exuberance, how you would hold my hand while we slept, our morning cuddles, your precious heart, your pure soul. I will never get over you. You will never be replaced. Wait for me.