Seven months ago today, we lost Bas aka the Gator Hunter and my heart still aches. I didn’t do his Celebrating a Life post because it just hurt too much. It still hurts a lot, but he was so loved!
He came into my life in late 2008 when my sister adopted him. I still remember going to pick him up with her. The Albuquerque City Animal Shelter has a small shop in one of the local malls and they rotate animals from the shelter to the mall location in hopes that someone will adopt them while they shop at the mall.
His name was Charlie and he was a cocker spaniel mix. My sister changed his name because we already a Charlie. He had been rescued from people who were monsters. They cut his tail and he lost an ear. He was afraid of men! I can still picture it like it was yesterday the day he met my dad. He was shaking and so scared! But over the years they became best friends. Bas would bark nonstop when he saw my dad as if he was announcing “Look who is here!”
Bas loved socks! He was toy hoarder and in his later years he took better care of them. He loved the two gators I got him. But he always took the tail and right ear off of any toy. I think he remembered his own injuries and reflected it on the toys.
And I blame myself for his death. I spent more time with him and when I noticed his stomach had these dry patches I waited for my parents to take him to the vet. When they finally did we were told it was just dry skin. Then in mid-October they went for a second opinion with another Vet (funny enough the one who treats my sister’s birds). She too diagnosed the same thing and wanted him given a bath once a week and an ointment put on twice a day. It improved a little but then in late October it came back full force. Again we were told what to do. Then in mid-November we woke up to blood on a sheet we had on the sofa (he wasn’t allowed on them but still got on them especially at night). We noticed blood in his mouth and thought it was a tooth. The next day my dad took him to the Vet and we got the news late in the day that he had IMT (immune mediated thrombocytopenia); immune-mediated destruction of platelets. It was touch and go for about 3 weeks. Being a shelter dog who was returned 3 times, I can only imagine his dismay at being left at the Pet ER. He probably wondered why we would go and then only visit at night. He lost his appetite there, but his care team said it was because he was homesick.
He was going to be the pup that lived. The one who defeated IMT, but in the end he decided his watch was over. I told him that every night I visited him-that it was ok, we would be okay and his watch could be over. My little Bas was a fighter.
He came home to an oxygen tent, still didn’t want to eat, but he was drinking. The next morning we watched a bit of TV. I gave him a little history lesson the Knight Templars as we watched the first episode of Knightfall on the History Channel. My dad took him out so he could do his business and we carried him back in. He went into his tent and he gave me that look-the look that said everything was okay. I went to do the dishes and my dad stepped out to shake out the sheet we were using a stretcher and came back in and said something was wrong with Bas. His breathing was off. I went in search of keys and didn’t care about shoes-we were going to rush him to the Pet ER when he died. I can still it-he just rolled his eyes and he was gone. The Vets who treated him think it might have been a blood clot that they didn’t see based on how quickly he went.
He chose to die at home. His home. With the two people he hung around the most.
Through research later on, I learned the bruising on his stomach were signs of IMT. The dry patches were a part of that. His care team had a spaniel expert, but he was brought on too late. Had they consulted with him earlier, maybe he’d still be alive. Maybe I should have researched more his symptoms.
I miss him so much! I still expect to hear his dramatic sighs or his bark. I miss the wiggle of his butt. I hope he knew how much he was loved. I hope he knew that humans could be good. I hope we erased his pai