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Week One

Yesterday marked a full week without my dear Basty.  Feelings are less raw; the tears have been replaced with yearning.

For the past week, I have been retracing our steps, walking the trails we marked many times.  It has been cathartic.  I particularly appreciate when I encounter someone who notices he is absent, it emphasises how popular he was.

I am going through the many photos he starred in over the past 15 years, picking out the best for a memory project.  The feature image in this post was from a trip to Harrison, BC in June 2004, while with Dodo on one of her trips to Canada.

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Tough Week

I guess it goes without saying; this was a tough week, without rival.  Overwhelming sadness, sense of loss, sense of longing, empty home, and more.

A typical day with Basty would start with his letting me know it was time to get up (in his younger days that meant getting on the bed and licking my forehead; in his senior years it meant soft ‘woofs’ or other ways).  First priority was to set his breakfast to thaw by placing it in his bowl and floating it in a sink with hot water.  Second priority was to take him for his morning walk, typically involving a trip to Starbucks so I had something to nurse while we walked.  Third priority was to feed him breakfast.  Only after these could we begin our day.  I will miss this simple routine; I will need to find something to fill this gap.

I have received many condolences regarding Basty’s passing.  I set up a small memorial in the bay window, an appropriate place as this was where I daily cared for his many health and hygiene needs; brushing his teeth, moisturizing his eyes, clipping his fur, etc.

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On the one hand, B ‘n Me are no longer; it’s just me now.  On the other hand, I will always hold him in my heart with loving memories.

 

Some of the messages I received after sharing the blog post:

M.Harding:  oh! Keith

N.McMillian: Oh Keith !!!! I’m so sorry ! He was a prince from beginning to end. No one could have done more for him than you-so much love- such considered care -such kindness and such a journey !!

He carved a Basty sized special place in our hearts – always to be treasured and never forgotten.
We are all the richer for sharing his happy times and gentle soul. It’s very touching that someone so small could spread such cheer to so many. Please take strength from knowing that we ARE all connected .May the twin lights of truth and beauty surround you . I send my love.
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I just saw the blog. What a lovely tribute. I feel so sad -You were on my mind this morning- Nuxi and I were at the park and I half expected to see you both there. Kind of odd, (in that we usually meet up on weekends), but somehow I kept seeing your face. Wish I had followed my instinct and called you. I know how hard this is – please know that I’m thinking of you both. With love in friendship.
Canada West Internal Medicine Team: We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing the link for your blog. Bastian will truly be missed by everyone who knew him.
K.Wills / Kewpys CKCS: I’m so sorry for your loss. You gave him the best life ever. I’m so thankful for the love and life you shared with him.
R.Wrigley: Sorry to hear about Basty. I know how you must feel. It took me a long time to get over the loss of Chico and still feel it some days. It is not enough to say it will get easier but with time it will. Thinking about you. Phone me when you feel up to it if you want to talk.
A & A.Freund: We are really sad about that. Our thoughts will be with you 😦  I know from mom that you are not a believer. We all the more 🙂 maybe these words may give you some comfort. At least we firmly believe it. [Rainbow Bridge]
C.Glasgow: Sending a big hug
C.Klynstra: I am so sad to hear that. I will remember him as the most adorable dog I have seen. I’m going to miss him a lot and my heart goes out to you.  Take care.

A.Green:

Oh Keith.. I’m so sorry. I just saw your blog post… tears streaming down my face.  He was truly one of a kind. Strangely Ginger has been acting very strange these last two days. Like she was depressed and ill at ease. And really not herself. Howard thinks perhaps she knew.

Please let me know when you are ready to talk or for some company.  Carly and the rest of the family send condolences. I can only imagine how shattered you are.  I’m here if I can do anything for you or pick anything up if you don’t want to go out.

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Just checking in… I’m sure last night was tough. Thinking of you… let me know if you want to meet for coffee tomorrow. Or perhaps next week.

D.Griffiths: Awe so sorry to hear Keith. Hugs to you 😥
L.Griffiths: Oh no. Little guy’s gone. Hope it was peacefully. So sorry Keith.
J.Griffiths: I’m so sorry, Keith. That is sad news. But against all odds Bastian had a long and happy life! Mine (and Cameron’s) Thoughts are with you.
S.Griffiths: Hey Keith – thanks for letting us know. I’m very sorry to hear that. Bastian was a great companion. Make sure to take care of yourself.
K.Szabo: O Keith, I’m so sorry.  That is a lovely link you posted—its unbelievable to think you had each other for 15 years.  I’d like to talk with you more about this—maybe we could have lunch or coffee sometime next week @ CC.  Feel really bad for you; Thanks for letting me know.
C.Koetter: Hello uncle Keith, I am writing you this email with tears streaming down my face, I am so very sorry to hear about Basty. I do not know what to say other than I know how hard it is to lose a pet. I have lost a few up until this point in my lifetime, it never gets easy. I hope your heart is able to heal soon and you are able to cherish the special moments you have had with Basty and have nothing but a smile on your face.
A & K.Winters: Oh my…..we know what you’re going through. It’s true, it’s very hard to speak of. Take your time and take care of yourself.  He was such an amazing little guy he will be missed by the whole family 😢💔 You gave him the life he deserved so rich in all areas. [We] send our love and support.

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You don’t have to respond, j just read your email and wanted you to know my heart is breaking for you. We know that feeling like it was yesterday. Little Basty will be missed by the whole family. We were blessed to share in his memories. I hope Gracie will greet him over the rainbow and take him for walks or maybe even runs now every day.

M.Chan: Oh dear, so sorry to hear this.  You take care of yourself.
O & E.Birkholz: sorry to hear that you lost your pet & furry friend Basty. You had him for a long time and I know from my own experience how attached we can get to an animal. The loss will be painful for a while, but you will have lasting memories of the companionship he provided. You are in our thoughts.
J.Reeves: I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a Sweetheart.
R.Alberti: On my usual, solitary walks along the Nico River this morning, past the Stewart Farmhouse, I stopped by the now slightly wilting daffodils, thinking of the darling dog and his devoted caregiver Keith, I had the pleasure meeting with only a few days ago. Keith, I am so terribly sorry to hear of his passing. My heart goes out to you, as I know all too well how much it hurts to let a beloved pet go. Stay strong and remember the many happy years Bastien and you enjoyed together. Sincerely, Rolf… who has an extra soft spot in his heart for Basty.

 

A & P.McInally: we’re so sorry to hear about Basty.  We know what an important part of your life has now changed.  You two shared so many good years, and the happy memories will remain.  Thinking of you.

D.Pradhan: we were greatly saddened by the demise of Basty. He was so adorable and we all will miss his presence. May his soul rest in peace. Out thoughts and prayers are with you and we’ll visit you soon.

See also, comments from A.Winters, F.Ahrens, and E.Koetter posted to the original blog entry.

Farewell my Little Bit

Tears fill my eyes; tears dominate my day.  It is with intense sadness that I bid my friend and companion, Bastian, a last farewell.  Basty passed away this morning.  I feel empty.

I am reminded of an old song by Terry Jacks, Seasons in the Sun, from which I edit the last verse:

Goodbye Basty my little one
You gave me love and helped me find the sun
And every time that I was down
You would always come around
And get my feet back on the ground
Goodbye Bastian it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed
Were just seasons out of time

I know the emptiness I feel right now will, with time, fade to cherished thoughts of a companion who was with me 24/7 for the past 15 years.  We were truly ‘attached at the hip’.

I miss you my friend.

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An early walk (carry) at Cr Beach on the morning of his passing.  A very tired ‘old man’.
2010-07-25 Bastian
Better days; a proud Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Fooled You

April 1st.  April fools.  Is it Spring, or not?  Weird day; cold wind and cloudy one minute; blue sky and warm sun the next.  It’s that time of year where expectations don’t align with reality; we want the earth to speed along it’s orbit just a little faster (actually, we want it’s axial wobble to position itself to a more favorable angle).

A couple of shots of Basty on our walk this morning.

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Time Off

Took a couple of weeks off… mostly to ‘burn’ some use-it-or-lose-it vacation time.  Spent lots of time with Basty; walks (carry’s) at Elgin Trail.  Need to ‘sock’ his back feet these days; prevent sores from dragging his feet.  He has lost a lot of weight over the past couple of months; from 17 down to 12.5 pounds.  Weight loss is part of CHF; his is exacerbated by lower spine neurological issues, all leading to muscle atrophy in his haunches.

At any rate, I definitely don’t mind carrying him when he tires.  He is Basty, after all 😉

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February Chill

Temps hovering at 0 C; we were spared most of the snow that hit the North shore.  Forecast is for nightime temps to go down to -10 C mid-week.  Hopefully, the daffodils that have already reared their leafy stock, will endure the chill.

Basty ‘n Gin wore their winter wear; Basty actually had on his sweater and his coat.  It wasn’t long before he was shivering; he has lost a lot of weight (down to 13.5 pounds), so doesn’t hold his body heat very well anymore.

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