Friday, April 1, 2011

Basil - A Small Dog with a Big Heart

Written by Richard Attree

Our little dog Basil just passed away. He had a massive epileptic fit / brain seizure yesterday, and it left him unable to function. We took him to the vet, and it was clear that he would never recover or have any quality of life at all, so we all agreed to put him to sleep. It was one of the most difficult things that Nikki and I have ever had to do, but it was the right decision.

The vet was great. He wasn't overly sentimental, just very kind. He looked us straight in the eye and said: "if Basil was my own dog I would put him out of his pain now".

I have so much respect for my wife Nikki and the way she coped with this. She sat there with him on her lap after he had the injection to sedate him, gently stroking his head and saying adios to him, as he gradually and peacefully went to sleep. She is an immensely strong person, and I have so much admiration and love for her.

He lived to thirteen and a half years old and had a wonderful life. Nikki has documented his life story here: The Good the Bad and the Smelly - A Dog's Life

and you can read the story of how he arrived here in Tenerife in "I Woof Therefore I am ...".

Although he was 91 years old in human terms, he was a very strong little dog and we fully expected him to be around for quite a while longer. At least we were spared the painful experience of watching him deteriorate as the dementia took hold.

I fully believe that similarly, no human should have to suffer the agony of having their brain stop functioning leaving them with no life or soul.

So, anyway, he's at peace now.

We will take our time before we look for another dog. Basil was an irreplaceable part of our little family, but we are "doggy people" and we will be adopting another pooch some time soon. Our life will be a bit emptier till then.
Snr El Baz on our local beach - La Pelada

and with his Spanish teacher


  1. Tenerife will be a sadder place without that little face.

  2. God bless Basil.

  3. Me ha dado mucha pena por el pequeño Basil y por vosotros. Pero, sin duda, tuvo una vida larga y feliz gracias a vosotros. Que Dios le bendiga.

  4. Andy, that's lovely :-)

    Thanks to everyone who has posted and sent us their condolences. It turns out that the Ambassador for Tenerife Dogs had quite a following around the world. The tributes are poring in as if some kind of celebrity had just died.

  5. Well, he was most decidedly a celebrity, and he will be greatly missed by many of us who met him only occasionally and read his blog, so I can only imagine with sorrow how much you two will miss him. RIP Basil. x

  6. I came across this quotation today, and I thought it was lovely, and I think it applies just as much to our four-legged pals: ‘the dead are never dead, they are in the flowing water… they are in the shadow that comes on… They are in the tree that quivers’.....

  7. I accidentally came across your post, and it looks interesting about Basil, he looks adorable. I hope he will in the right place now..RIP Basil.. By the way, thanks for sharing.. keep safe!