Last week JK and I were impressed by how well Basil had healed after his broken leg and subsequent surgery, but then everything fell apart fast. He seemed a little tired over the weekend, and by Monday morning he was very lethargic and wouldn’t touch his food. Basil always wanted food, so this was troubling. We took him to the vet, where an x-ray showed a most likely cancerous mass on his heart valve which had started to leak blood. The cancer had also spread to his lungs. The heart valve was leaking blood which pooled around Basil’s heart, making it almost impossible for it to beat hard enough to circulate oxygen around his body. We went to the emergency vet where they were able to drain 275 ml of blood from around his heart, and he seemed good as new. We knew our time with him would be limited, but we were hopeful and wanted to make the most of it.
Sadly, less than 24 hours later the heart valve started leaking again. This time it happened so fast, he went from acting totally normal to not being able to move in a matter of minutes. We sped to the vet, but there was nothing to do except let him out of his suffering while we held him in our arms. The only thing that made it bearable was seeing his little body finally relax against us again.
Our poor little Basil. You didn’t have much fur to speak of, but what little hair you did have must have been made of velcro, because you were attached to Wellie right from the start and I have never seen two dogs be better friends (and based on the shows you used to put on whenever we had guests over, you two were more than friends).
The house feels strangely empty without you in it, with your dramatic yawns and your vigorous shaking (which almost got you sent off to England when mamma was sleep-deprived and you kept waking up the baby). I think what I’m going to miss the most is how you used to sneak up from behind and dig your nose and then your entire head into my armpit in search of scritches. And that incredibly soft spot on your forehead that I could rub for luck. And the adorable little white mohawk tuft of fur on your neck.
We only got a little over three years to spend with you, but thank you so much for accepting us and for becoming part of our little family. I hate hate hate that Nora is too young to remember you, but we’re going to keep showing her pictures and telling her stories so that she’ll know that little nutria that she used to pet and hug.
Happy trails, little Basil. There are no mosquitoes or evil boulder fields on the other side of the rainbow bridge, just couches and blankets and food and lots of open meadows full of marmots to chase. We love you.