In Memoriam: Mr. Basset

posted at 6:19 pm on May 11, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Warning: Non-political content.

A long expected and dreaded day came to our household today with the loss of our oldest dog, Mr. Basset. He was approximately nineteen years old. His proper name on his papers was Rascal, and we still called him that from time to time, but mostly he answered to and was known to the world as just Mr. Basset. I would also frequently just refer to him as “Sir” when speaking to him, as he was quite the gentleman. As I’ve done at similar times in the past, I find it somewhat cathartic to share his life story and some pictures with the rest of the world so that, in some small way, he lives on in the memory of others and out on the web. Thanks to his background and records we know a lot more about his entire story than some other shelter rescues we have welcomed into our family.

The following picture is one of my all time favorites of Mr. Basset, taken up at the family camp in the mountains by the lake. He really loved it there, and the profile makes him look, I think, extremely noble. And that he was.
Mr. Basset at the lake

Mr. Basset wasn’t with us as long as some of our other furry friends, coming to us from a breed rescue service when he was already past ten years old. An A.K.C. registered Basset Hound, he was a show dog in his youth, but like so many in that “industry” he lost his place around the age of seven when he was considered “too old” to compete any more and was rather unceremoniously dumped. He was more fortunate than some, in that he quickly found a new home with an elderly, retired gentleman who also had a miniature dachshund. The two dogs quickly became inseparable friends and, by all accounts, had a great time together, traveling around and sleeping with their new owner. It was during that time that Mr. Basset was first diagnosed with cancer, had to have an operation and some follow-up treatment, but was showing tremendous signs of recovery.

Unfortunately, that wonderful owner, who saved many pictures of the pair and got rave reviews from the rescue groups, passed away less than three years later, leaving both dogs in search of yet another home. Sadly, they couldn’t be placed together, as a younger and healthier “wiener dog” was much more adoptable, and the dachshund was off to a new family, leaving Mr. Basset in the care of the Basset rescue group. That’s when he crossed paths with us and came to his permanent home.

Mr. Basset’s medical records were something of a mess and our doctor was afraid that the cancer had returned in his face and behind his eye. Surgery was under consideration, but thought to be risky as the dog was already ten years old. It was decided that we would “monitor the situation” to see what developed. Amazingly, in the first six months, all symptoms effectively disappeared as he settled into his new domain. The vet was rather amazed, though saying that it did *sometimes* just happen. I found it miraculous.

When we once again became a single dog household upon the passing of our last dog, Kenya, the basset was very distraught, which led us to acquire Max, our miniature Schnauzer. (Also an abuse rescue case.) The two bonded immediately and became the best of friends. (A photo of Rascal and Max together up at our camp on the lake.)

The dogs went for a walk each and every morning that the weather would allow with my wife and I, and I think that the one sentence I said to her more often than any other was, “Everyone loves the basset.” And they did. It seemed to be almost impossible for anyone, male or female, old or young, to not immediately be drawn to Mr. Basset. I still remember one walk just recently when we were out strolling with them and two cars pulled up at the corner and stopped, with each driver pausing to stare and to smile. That’s probably what I will remember most about Mr. Basset. He brought a smile to the face of everyone he met. He was a fat old hound dog, so the guys always seemed to like him. And while he weighed nearly 80 pounds, he was low to the ground with those big floppy ears, watery eyes and short legs, so ladies and children did not find him threatening.

(A picture of the basset with some of my nieces and nephews up at camp. )

One elderly grandmother up the street from us did not even own a dog, but took to buying boxes of dog biscuits and knew when we went for walks, and would hurry out to give him a treat and pet him. I’ve long since lost count of how many people I’ve met in this town simply because they would approach to ask questions about Mr. Basset and pet him.

We’ve had some other dogs who came from abusive backgrounds and tended to be a bit overprotective and snappish. Some could not be trusted around children. Not the basset, though. He simply didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Kids could run up and hug him, stroke his ears, and the smallest could even try to ride him, and he bore it all with dignity and without complaint. I can say without reservation that Mr. Basset was the most gentle animal it has ever been my pleasure to know. And, as I said, everyone who saw him smiled. He brightened the days of many people who never came into his life again.

Perhaps more than any of our other pets, Mr. Basset really loved going up to the mountains to the family camp on the lake. He didn’t care all that much for the car ride, but once there, he loved riding in the boat with his long ears flapping in the breeze and wandering around by the lake, napping on the rocks in the summer sun. He actually got to go twice last year, and I’m now very, very happy that we made the extra trip with him. A rare photo of the basset and I lounging around.
Jazz and Mr. Basset

After coming to live with us, Mr. Basset’s fortunes changed for the better and his fame grew far beyond the neighborhood. We were worried that he had “gone Hollywood” on us when he landed a starring role in a short horror film as a police dog who helped officers hunt zombies. Sadly, that career was cut short when he turned up passed out drunk at the cast Christmas party.
Mr. Basset as Bad Santa

Later, Mr. Basset briefly flirted with a career in politics when Liz Mair and I pushed a short lived, but very popular Twitter campaign to get him elected as the next Chairman of the RNC. Unfortunately, we came up a few votes short in the third round and Mr. Basset had to withdraw.

Mr. Basset for RNC Chairman

Rascal had a long road and, I think, a very full life. Upon arriving here my wife sewed and crafted two large dog beds for him with thick cushions and a pillow – one in the living room and one in our bedroom where he slept each night. He always ate well… sometimes too well, living up to his original name of “Rascal” by stealing snacks or even slices of pizza if they were left unattended.

Mr. Basset in his bed

But perhaps the most unexpected and humorous reminder I will have of him comes in the form of our little schnauzer, Max. He came from a badly abused background, seized by the police from a puppy mill. Apparently the abusive operator would punish the animals for making noise and they had virtually no human contact. As a result, when he came to live with us, he never barked at all. I didn’t even know if he had vocal chords. It’s as if he was afraid to raise his voice. But the basset had no such restrictions. When it was time for his daily walk, both before and after, he was very excited and would let out that stereotypical and somewhat unique basset bay. BAAROOOOOOOO! And then one day, when we returned home from the walk, he broke into that same song and suddenly little Max rose up on his back legs and bayed in a thin, high pitched sound! (baaroooooooooo!) We’ve dealt with many dogs over the years and I’ve never heard such a sound from one of these little ones who typically yip and yap. Since then he’s had a lot more practice, doing it every day at walk time. And in the future, whenever I hear Max rise up and bay, I will think of Mr. Basset, who taught the little dog how to sing.

We had our first serious health scare with Mr. Basset in 2009. While out for his morning walk, he suddenly began coughing, wheezing, hacking and then collapsed on the sidewalk with foam coming out of his mouth. It was a major seizure. It was also a Sunday and we had to load his mostly inert frame into the truck and rush him to a veterinary emergency clinic, as our doctor’s office was close. He looked like a goner, but by the time we got there and the vet finished an initial exam, Mr. Basset suddenly woke up, got up, and began sniffing around the office. It was as if nothing had happened. The vet scheduled a follow-up with our normal office and said to keep an eye on him.

Later that same year, another seizure came, but this one was even worse. By the time Mr. Basset awoke, he could not get up on his own, walk or even stand for more than a minute or so. He was effectively paralyzed. Being already nearly 17 years old and far beyond the point where any further surgery could be risked, the doctors were suggesting that he had lived a long, full life, and it might be time to let go. My wife and I discussed it not only with each other, but with Mr. Basset as well. Yes, at this point, I will confess in public that I always talk to the dogs in an audible voice. I think they understand most of what I say and I’m frequently home alone, so they are great conversational companions.

In as close as it could possibly come to being in an audible voice, as God is my witness, I swear the basset gave me a clear message. “Not yet,” he said. “I’m not done.”

My wife and I agreed that Mr. Basset would indeed let us know when he was done and we took him home. For a couple of days I had to carry Mr. Basset everywhere… up the stairs to the bedroom at night, down the stairs in the morning, outside and down the steps to the lawn for his bathroom time. Weighing in at over 70 pounds at the time this was no mean feat, but he always remained a gentleman and waited until I took him outside to tend to “his business.” He never made a mess inside. We had to move his food and water dishes next to his bed. By the time the second night rolled around and I had lugged Mr. Basset’s fat frame up to bed, my wife and I began discussing the possibility that perhaps we had overestimated the heroic hound’s amazing powers of recovery and, just perhaps, the doctors had been right about throwing in the towel.

On the morning of the third day, Mr. Basset stood up.

Within hours he was walking, albeit with a bizarre, ungainly, rolling shuffle which I don’t think any basset had ever used before. He was learning to walk all over again, all by himself, and teaching himself to use his remaining functional muscles in new ways. He fell down a lot (and continued to do so occasionally to the end of his days) but, damn it, HE WAS WALKING. He returned to his normal routine within a week.

Over the last two years, Mr. Basset had several more seizures, though none as bad as the one that paralyzed him. Each time he was up and around again within the day, back to his usual rounds, patrolling the neighborhood and keeping it safe, inspecting every phone pole, fire hydrant and street sign for scents of intruding canines.

Which brings us to today.

Mr. Basset got up as usual, but around 7 o’clock I found him standing in the kitchen, his head hanging down with his nose touching the floor, eyes close and breathing erratically. He could only walk slowly, with difficulty, and could not manage the steps going outside. He would slowly make his way back and forth between water dishes, lapping up a small amount of liquid and would not eat anything. I even made his favorite breakfast food, eggs over easy in butter, and he wouldn’t touch it. We had to consult with the Vet and the news was not good.

My wife and I had a tearful discussion and it became clear that, at long last, after roughly 19 years, Mr. Basset was letting us know that he was, indeed, done.

We took him back over to the office. Our Vet is a remarkable woman, a consummate professional, but also a very caring human being. As they did with our last dog, Kenya, it was agreed that they would take Mr. Basset inside for prep work and getting an IV put in his arm, but then, given the excellent weather, they would bring Mr. Basset back outside on to the small hill by their office. He would end his days on his favorite blanket, laid out on the grass in the warm sunshine, and not on some cold metal table in an office he did not recognize as home. She first gave him a general anesthetic and medicine to have him fall asleep on his blanket. Then in the second stage of the procedure, just as with Kenya before him, he was sent on his way to whatever eternal reward good dogs have waiting for them. And he was a very, very, very good dog.

So there you have it… the story of Rascal, a.k.a. Mr. Basset. He was a gentle soul in a world too often cruel to his kind. He will be missed, but also always remembered with love. And by launching this story out into the web, perhaps it will live on far beyond both me and the hound in question, and people will know of his goodness and the amazing life he lived. And just maybe that bastard, the original breeder, who dumped him at the age of seven for being “too old” will one day become curious as to what happened to his charge and, searching, stumble upon this story. And he’ll find that he abandoned that magnificent creature when he wasn’t even half way through his life, and how much joy and wonder he brought to so many people in the many years to come.

And that’s the story of Mr. Basset. A couple more photos follow for you to enjoy as I say goodbye to my very good friend.

Mr. Basset as Judge Dread
Mr. Basset as Judge Dread

Mr. Basset with a heating pad and a squishy pillow in his final days.
Basset with pillow and heating pad

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Wonderful piece, Jazz. My condolences.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 6:20 PM

God Bless, Jazz.

You two will meet again. Have no doubt. He’s probably playing ball with St. Francis of Assisi as I write this. Waiting for you to eventually (God-willing, long from now) join him. Then he’ll run across the heavenly field and you two will embrace.

This time never to part again.

amerpundit on May 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Conservatives have a heart, the Left will be shocked to learn.

Paul-Cincy on May 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Beautiful piece Jazz..My condolences..

Dire Straits on May 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

My cat is named Rascal. My condolences.

keep the change on May 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Sad stuff. No. No sad stuff.

andy85719 on May 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

It was nice to read something ‘non-political’ for a change. I enjoyed your adorable photos, too.He was something of the Alfred Hitchcock of dogs, I think. I’m glad you had so much time together, 19 is a very admirable age for a hound dog.

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

A wonderful friend. RIP Mr. Basset.

KSgop on May 11, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Funny how people get so attached to what is really, just an animal.

But we do and when they pass, it tears our guts out.

Sorry for your loss.

catmman on May 11, 2011 at 6:26 PM

beautifully written Jazz, very sorry for your loss

thank you for sharing

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 6:26 PM

My heart aches for you and your family. I don’t know how they do it but dogs make us better people.

Mr. Basset, if you see a big hairy black mutt in heaven with as big of heart as you had, his name is Sparky.

Fallon on May 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Beautiful. Mr. Basset was obviously a dog of great warmth and dignity. I often Marvell about the dignity of dogs.

Mason on May 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM

That was a great story about a great dog. I’m sorry for your loss.

Living4Him5534 on May 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Jazz, you made tears come to my eyes.

Hubby and I (Hubby rescued him before we were married) a chocolate lab/basset hound mix. We called him our chocolate basset hound, names Wyatt. But we called him “What”.

Our old guy What, had horrible allergies that even shots wouldn’t help. He also died of a brain tumor behind his eye in his last days. It was so bad that it made his eye pop out of his head. The day we decided to put him down he passed away due to a seizure. :*(

I miss him, he was a great rescue dog. I hope you find your next friend, like we did ours.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Thanks for sharing Jazz. I feel for your loss, they really do become members of the family, don’t they?

JamesLee on May 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM

:’(

Sorry to hear, Jazz. You gave him a great life I’m sure.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Sorry for your loss.

Nobody loves you unconditionally like a pet.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Some of the finest folks I have ever met in my half-century life have been involved in Dog Rescue.

I feel the pain of your loss, but at the same time, you have my admiration and respect for taking in and loving “somebody else’s” dog.

BigAlSouth on May 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Nobody loves you unconditionally like a pet.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

especially a rescued pet.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Jazz, that is exceptionally old for a Basset–what a tremendous dog and a true part of your family. My sincerest condolences. Our Beagle Louie is 14 and our Basset-mix Annie-Girl is 13. Both are in remarkably good health, but my wife and I are starting to worry as the months go by. I’m not sure how we’ll react to their passing. We don’t have any kids–just nine hounds.

robblefarian on May 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I lost my furbuddy, geez, 10 years ago this month, and it still seems like I expect him to meet me at the door. When he died, a friend passed this on to me. It helped a bit, and I hope it helps you.

sorry for your loss

================================================

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

Lonevoice on May 11, 2011 at 6:34 PM

My condolences Jazz. There is no more noble creature on God’s green Earth than that of the sagacious basset hound.

Take comfort, small though it may be, that if he had the intelligence of the average basset, he had probably completed the Grand Unified Field Theory (which I have it on good authority is what basset hounds spend their free time on).

Oh, but for the want of an opposable thumb, with which to write it down.

JohnGalt23 on May 11, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Thank you for sharing.

myrenovations on May 11, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Rest In Peace Mr. Basset.

Bubba Redneck on May 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Lonevoice on May 11, 2011 at 6:34 PM

nice….thanks!

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I smiled. I wept. I smiled even more! You are indeed a blessed man for having such a great dog.

BoSox_or_Bust on May 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM

especially a rescued pet.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:31 PM

True. I rescued a cat, and she was a sweetheart. We lost her last February. She was 15 years old. I cried like a child at the vets office, and wasn’t ashamed a bit.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Damn you for making me cry.

I don’t even shed tears, most of the time, for human tragedy. But animals, especially dogs, get me. Every. Damn. Time.

Vyce on May 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I’m crying. Mr Basset was such a gift to you and others. dogs truly are Man’s Best Friend. thanks for sharing.

Conservalicious on May 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Cheers to that. My Buddy doggie is getting a couple extra “cookies” for dessert tonight. He, like my two kitties, I adopted from the local shelter. Heck, even the cats get some extra treats.

They’re never with us long enough.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

oops…that was aimed at uppy.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

But animals, especially dogs, get me. Every. Damn. Time.

Vyce on May 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM

you’re not alone buddy…

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

But animals, especially dogs, get me. Every. Damn. Time.

Vyce on May 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM

you’re not alone buddy…

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Thank you for allowing Mr. Basset to live on in our family’s memories, too.

sisterchristian on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

God bless Mr. Basset. So sorry for your loss.

Y-not on May 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM

True. I rescued a cat, and she was a sweetheart. We lost her last February. She was 15 years old. I cried like a child at the vets office, and wasn’t ashamed a bit.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Time to start looking for a new friend for you, your wife and the baby. :) I love older cats. Bubba, my 24 lbs pure white cat, loves me like you wouldn’t believe. Hubby says that he has never seen a old tom love someone so much. Follows me around like a dog.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM

oops…that was aimed at uppy.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

don’t matter, I think everyone is going to go home and love on their pets quite a bit tonight.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:40 PM

I had to have Lilly, my elderly lab put down this afternoon. She could barely walk, had a grapefruit-sized tumor on her throat and had stopped eating.

Maybe they will get to know each other.

Siddhartha Vicious on May 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM

There is a place called Heaven for those who give animals a loving home.

He will greet you there.

Jimmy Doolittle on May 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM

God bless you for loving your Mr. Bassett like we loved our Murphy. I have 2 more dogs to take up the slack but there are those moments when I look for Murph and just tear up. I must say that this was a most excellent post Mr. Shaw.

denniscb on May 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM

He would end his days on his favorite blanket, laid out on the grass in the warm sunshine, and not on some cold metal table in an office he did not recognize as home.

That’s a great vet. Having people like that helps. The loss of a dog is tough. I’m very sorry, Mr. Shaw. You and your family will be in our prayers.

Weight of Glory on May 11, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Time to start looking for a new friend for you, your wife and the baby. :) I love older cats. Bubba, my 24 lbs pure white cat, loves me like you wouldn’t believe. Hubby says that he has never seen a old tom love someone so much. Follows me around like a dog.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM

My cat Oscar that I had since I was about 10 years old (took him from parents’ home to live with me soon as I got out of college) died a couple years ago. He was 19…and would go on night walks with me and my doggie…he loved that.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Wonderful story here. My persian princess (looks like the fancy feast cat) turns 18 in August. She is entering her twilight time. Right now, she is between me and my laptop as I sit on my chair, and is purring away. It will tear my guts up when her day comes.

karenhasfreedom on May 11, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Cheers to that. My Buddy doggie is getting a couple extra “cookies” for dessert tonight. He, like my two kitties, I adopted from the local shelter. Heck, even the cats get some extra treats.

They’re never with us long enough.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Too true. Too true.

amerpundit on May 11, 2011 at 6:44 PM

So sorry for the loss. Sounds like Mr. Bassett lived an awesome life. Nineteen years! Wow. That’s amazing. I actually think he would have done a better job than Steele.

vcferlita on May 11, 2011 at 6:44 PM

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

You were blessed with a great dog. I am sorry for your loss.

Alibali on May 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Siddhartha Vicious on May 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM

very sorry for your loss SV

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM

When a dog has been with you for such a large part of your life you feel the loss very deeply.

Condolences for your loss.

I love dogs, they aren’t traitors like kids, who think they need their own life, and get married and leave home…

Dogs just love you more the older they get.

petunia on May 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I add my condolences as well, but it was great to here that you had been so amply rewarded for taking the risk and generously adopting this hound. Reminds me of the final days of my last doxie, who passed just a month after her sister and 6 months after her “mom” (my wife).

Hearing the story of the passing of a noble dog always reminds me of a quote attributed to Milan Kundera: Dogs are our link to paradise,They don’t know evil or jealously or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.

gonegaltinstl on May 11, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Thanks for the beautiful tribute. Mr. Basset hit the lottery in last years and you did a great thing.

katy on May 11, 2011 at 6:48 PM

*sniff*

Someone must be cutting up onions nearby.

*ahem*

TASS71 on May 11, 2011 at 6:48 PM

God bless the very dignified Mr Bassett. So sorry for your loss Jazz, but you’ve written him a lovely tribute.

I miss my best friend too. Clyde was his name. Love you boy.

Dino64 on May 11, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Sorry for your loss, Jazz. My wife and I dread the day that our pug, Rocky, leaves us.

pugwriter on May 11, 2011 at 6:51 PM

When my expensive cat Finn plops down on me tonight with his front paws on either side of my face and let’s me know it’s time to pet the cat, I’ll pet the cat, and think of your dog. Sigh.

(he’s the expensive cat because he’s been to the vet more than any of the others for various injuries, he’s well named)

Wonderful essay, Jazz, I’ve linked it several places.

Bob's Kid on May 11, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Sometimes we think that an adopted animal is lucky to have found a home, but we’re the ones that are lucky. Complete unconditional love. My deepest condolences.

TxAnn56 on May 11, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Beautiful piece, Jazz. You gave him a long and happy life, and plenty of love, that’s the best part of it. Sorry for your loss, I know how hard it is.

Fortunata on May 11, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Mr. Bassett is even now digging a hole in heaven, probably burying his halo and keeping the angels up all night with a long bark.

gordo on May 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM

A life well loved and obviously well loved. Great piece.

JohnO on May 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Excellent tribute.No matter how big an Ahole you are a dog will always forgive and be loyal.

docflash on May 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Yesterday, I spoke to my mom, whose remaining dog (a Siberian Husky) just recently turned 13, very elderly for a Husky, and is definitely very close to the end of his life, especially since his companion passed away suddenly a few months ago of a heart attack. He loves Mom and Dad, but he misses his younger canine sister (she was only 8)

My mom is facing the same thing right now that you faced the last few years – some days, it seems like it is time, some days, he seems like his normal self. And it is hard to know sometimes…

The older of my two dogs just turned 11, and it occurs to me from time to time that he has more days behind him than in front of him. It’s hard to think about that. We’ve been through a lot together, and there have been times when it’s seemed like he’s been the only one there. The little one (a boisterous 3 years old) seems to keep him young, but that won’t go on forever, but I will enjoy that however long it lasts.

Alia on May 11, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Sorry about your loss, Jazz. I lost a good dog over the winter. And another special one just ten years before that.
Still, I wouldn’t have traded my time with them for anything.

Murf76 on May 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

My condolences, Jazz.

It was truly a blessing for Mr. Basset to find his way to your loving home.

I, too, have a Basset rescue. Actually, he followed me home one day while on a walk with my Aussie. After months of advertising and looking for his owner it became obvious that he was to become a permanent member of my family. He was probably dumped which is not uncommon. Sad but true.

Like Mr. Basset, Amos attracts all the attention. My other dog can’t compete, but he adores Amos. He’s a people magnet. They want to pet him, take pictures and give him treats. He greets and speaks to everyone. Guys in their pick up trucks stop, back up and talk to him. Wherever Amos goes it’s an event of some sort. These sweet, unassuming creatures truly have the knack of becoming minor celebrities without trying.

I wish we could keep our best friends forever, but unfortunately we are forced to part. I share your sadness, but I am also grateful that Mr. Basset had you and your wife to care for him, love him and appreciate him.

Cody1991 on May 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Tearing up here. What a great way to say goodbye to a friend.

stldave on May 11, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Beautiful story! I lost my dog earlier this year, to cancer.

I’m sorry for your loss.

bridgetown on May 11, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Jazz,

You will meet Mr. Basset again at Rainbow Bridge. If you haven’t read the poem, here is the link:

http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm
It will bring a tear to your eye but put a smile on your lips as well.

ukgoods on May 11, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Wonderful story, it made me both smile and tear up. My condolences, it’s wonderful that you got to enjoy his company for so long.

I’ve never been an animal person, but we now have two mini dachshunds that came to live with us because my eldest son and his then girlfriend are morons.

They are now both part of the family.

It’s amazing to me what individual personalities they have. Don’t apologize for talking to your dogs, I do it to and they DO understand. Ours will even “talk” back.

Nothing is better than walking in the door and see they so excited to have you home, regardless of how long you’ve been gone. They love unconditionally forever.

Common Sense on May 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Ah, there’s nothing like the love of and for a dog. They’re just always there, happy, tails wagging and ready to please.

I’m sorry for the loss of Mr. Bassett. I really am. It’s one of the hardest losses to go through and we humans choose to do it time and time again because they bring such happiness and unconditional love to our lives.

Bless Mr. Bassett

NYconservative on May 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Sorry Buddy. What a sweet looking dog…..and to make it to almost 19? You did a great job my friend.

Had an English Springer that made it to 16…lost her 2 years ago…..still miss that dog.

Tim_CA on May 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I’m sorry for your loss Jazz.

BierManVA on May 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

…I’ve never been an animal person, but we now have two mini dachshunds that came to live with us because my eldest son and his then girlfriend are morons.

Common Sense on May 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

LOL, I love your honesty

bridgetown on May 11, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Beautiful post. I’m sorry for your loss.

Slublog on May 11, 2011 at 7:11 PM

A wonderful memoriam, Mr. Shaw.

I miss my Shepherd/Lab mix I had to give away. He was wonderful with the kids and just plain goofy. We had to give him up, to a rescue that doesn’t put down. I hope that he has found a family as wonderful as yours was to Mr. Basset.

JeffWeimer on May 11, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing Mr. Basset’s story. We had a Basset who lived to be 14 who had a temperament like Rascal’s.

Hobbes43 on May 11, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Well, that was a tearjerker. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, Jazz. I know what you are going through.

Lizzy on May 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

I had a little trouble reading it about halfway in. Must have been something in my eye.

Beautiful tribute Jazz. You gave him a wonderful life, and he enhanced yours. I’m so sorry for your loss.

realitycheck on May 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Jazz: I’m almost certain that the first…furrson….to greet Mr. Bassett was a quasi Russian Blue named Shady. Knowing Shaders, he’s kissed Mr. Bassett on the nose-he kisses everyone-and has shown Mr. Bassett around the neighhborhood. He knows it well, because on Sunday Shaders will have been there 3 years. He was 11
I still miss him terribly. Sasha the Jewish-American Princess Meezer(she’s 11 now)misses her brother too.
I’m kind of an Aspie Ice Queen but…*hug*.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Thank you for sharing Mr. Basset’s story.

slp on May 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I am an avid cat owner. Hearing about Mr. Basset makes me want to own a dog….almost. I am sorry to learn of your loss. Thank you for sharing your story.

Mutnodjmet on May 11, 2011 at 7:29 PM

You know, I never met Mr. B, but when I read about today, I couldn’t help but tear up. I’ve lost several dogs of my own, and know the heartache you guys are going through.

It’s a worthwhile trade, though. You trade every day that you have your dog in exchange for today. As awful as it is, I don’t think any dog owners here would ever make the choice to not have a dog.

It sounds like you gave him a wonderful home, and he gave you endless love and fond memories in return.

Troika37 on May 11, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Very sorry for your loss. It will be a sad day when our little Iggy (Italian Greyhound) named “Oreo” passes on.

Best wishes. . .

RedNewEnglander on May 11, 2011 at 7:31 PM

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog/friend.
I am so sorry for your loss.

ZeeMI on May 11, 2011 at 7:35 PM

I’m so sorry for your loss :(

What a wonderful loving story. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank god Mr. Bassett had such a good family to keep him comfortable and happy during his last years on this Earth. He made a difference in your life but you made a difference in his, too.

CookeyD on May 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

God bless him and you.
May you remember the especially fond memories for a long time.

carbon_footprint on May 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

I’ll let loose a howl to clear Mr. Basset’s path to Doggie Valhalla.

Bill Ramey on May 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

My condolences, Jazz Shaw & your family. Pets are part of the family.

rbj on May 11, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Sorry to hear about the demise of your basset hound. I once had a basset and he was a wonderful dog and loved to sleep in bed, although he was hell on Christmas trees.

Dhuka on May 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Sorry for your loss. I’ve owned 2 Bassett Hounds before and had the same experience. They always make people smile.

Spider79 on May 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Jazz: Mark Levin has linked to your post. It’s up on his FB wall.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 11, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Thanks for sharing,I loved the (A photo of Rascal and Max together up at our camp on the lake.)as,Max looks like an
old wise gentlemen,can’t fool me sonny type of look,on its
face!

Me grandparents had a collie,for over 13 years,and it too
had fun times,in northern Ontario camp.Thanks so much for
your memories,dogs are beautiful thing,sorry,for your loss:)

canopfor on May 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Jazz, I am soo sorry! Crying here, wiping tears off my face as I do have epilepsy. I know how it feels, when it’s coming and what to do. Aware of cancer as well as I went through that with my mom. I truly send you a strong hug, from the PPF family, my dog Bella and the kitties. You just described my dog to a T.

I cried the same for Knut because as the video progressed I could tell when the seizure started and I was shocked that with the bear’s family history epilepsy was not checked further.

From my POV when a seizure comes it’s like huge tics. When it gets to my head I give the warning, then I’m gone. I never know for how long I am out, so far it’s about 2 mins. I wake up and I usually don’t wake up where I passed out. Then “coming back” is a process I don’t wish on anybody.

I do fear that I may die of it some day. Just trust that Mr. Basset is well taken care of across the Rainbow Bridge, and will give you and your relatives a loud welcome howl. In the meantime a trusty angel is keeping him busy with his newfound energy and health.

And boy is he missing on those pizzas! My nick for Bella is “Eureka” when she cleans up the floor from whatever the kids drop or leave unattended.

ProudPalinFan on May 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

A lovely tribute.

lonestar1 on May 11, 2011 at 8:07 PM

There is nothing like a good dog to bring joy to our otherwise hum-drum lives. Thank for sharing such a beautiful story. Praying comfort for you in your loss.

PrincipleStand on May 11, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Beautiful beautiful life, thank you for telling us. I’m so sorry for your loss. We don’t have a dog because we are still recovering from the our last one. I hope we make their lives happier by at least a fraction of how they enhance ours.

Cindy Munford on May 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I know the heartache that comes from losing a pet. It sucks. But you should take comfort in knowing that Mr. Basset lived a very long and happy life.

SoulGlo on May 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Condolences on your loss, Jazz. Losing a pet is one of the most difficult things in life.

NoLeftTurn on May 11, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The loss of a beloved companion, friend and family always leaves us with a hole in our hearts. Bless you for a great eulogy of a loved pet.

hpk1942 on May 11, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I started reading this at work but had to stop because I got all choked up and teary eyed. Sorry for the loss of Mr Bassett. I love my dog so much and do not look forward to seeing her get old and well you know…

CCRWM on May 11, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Wonderful tribute to Mr. Basset. My dog is sleeping in my lap right now.

tuffy on May 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

I feel for you as, I guess, every pet owner who loves their pet does….The pain eventually subsides, and you can relish their memory with a smile….

theaddora on May 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

I just spent my day taking care of 90 dogs. They are all so unique and wonderful in their own way. It takes a special person to adopt an adult/senior dog. I often think they are the sweetest and cutest, but it is hard knowing you might not have a long time with them. LIving to be as old as Mr. Basset was he must have been very happy with lots to live for. I’m so sorry for your loss.

sammypants on May 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM

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