Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ending the Way We Began





Melissa and Bastien 8mo oldOn Friday September 21, 2012 I started my day with a flurry of calls from my parents, which could only mean that something big was wrong. Little did I know when I returned the call just how big. You see in my family animals are just as important as the people. I called my parents back and found out Bastien wouldn't or couldn't get up, so they we taking him to the vet ASAP. As usual my parents put me on speaker phone so that Bastien could hear my voice, as soon as her heard me call Bastien... Bastioni-Macoroni he was on his feet. I could hear the relief in my father's voice that he was up; maybe it wouldn't be too bad. 
Less than hours later I got a call back from my mom. Bastien has cancer; it's bad- wrapped around his intestines. The vet wanted to end things then and there. There was nothing to be done. My mom, always having been my fiercest advocate that I knew my own mind and body gave my Bastien no less respect. She said "this dog will tell us when he is done, as he has many times before." She left vet's office with a week's worth of pain meds and called me with the awful news. I promptly planned with my best friend, Leslie, to get everything in order for mad dash to Washington. I knew I would know what was in store for my baby boy.
I walked into my parents place and knew the instant I set eyes on him he was not long for this world. Due to a massively bad allergy season he had lost about half the fur on his body, and while the skin had healed thanks to my mom's diligent nursing the fur just could not recover. Even in such a state, he go up to come greet me, Leslie and Shilo before we could get over to him. As usual he knew Grammy (my mom) had set out a fruit and vegetable tray and he wanted his share! So I laid on the floor with him stroking, and doing puppy massage until he purred (yes some dogs do purr with delight). I don't know how long I was on the floor, but we we there for a while. I shared the last bite of each fruit or vegetable I had from the tray., and just as he always had Bastien waited patiently for his bite taking whatever I offered gently.  He didn't care what it was if it was fruit or veggie and I was offering he was eating! We shared squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
I knew as I drove the four hours up, I was going up to see for myself and to say goodbye. I didn't want to even risk that he might suffer just so I could get there say goodbye. Bastien die on Monday September 24, 2012. The world has lost a happy go lucky, mischievous, wicked smart dog who never met a person or dog he didn't think was his best friend. Me, I lost my kindred spirit in a dog suit who outlasted 3 jobs, two boyfriends, saw me through my 20's, saved me from the utter confusion/depression that was what to do after college- afterall, to that point my whole life had been about college. He was the best ambassador and travel companion ever accompanying me to more than half the states and four countries over his career. He taught me patience and the true meaning of consistency. He was always up for a party and finding interesting ways to solve any thing that got in the way of fun. He loved snow and snowballs. Bastien thank you for it all, even the sad parts.

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4 comments:

Lisa and pups said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Thoughts are with you.

Melissa Mitchell said...

Thank you Lisa and the pups.

Laura York said...

Melissa,

My condolences on the loss of your special boy.

You are in my though

Melissa Mitchell said...

Dear Laura,
Thank you.