Cassidy’s Journey welcomes guest blogger J.H. Bográn.
As far as End-of-the-World predictions go, the alarmists who misinterpreted the Mayan calendars got one thing right. In a very painful way December 21st marked a kind of end in our household: Our beloved Wasabi passed away.
Wasabi was a tri-color, five-year-old male beagle. He joined our family in January of 2008 when he was already a few months old. My wife’s aunt had gotten him, but Wasabi didn’t have much chemistry with her older dog. Hence we adopted the not-so-young-puppy then. After a few weeks with us, he suffered the first of what would eventually take a third and deadly strike.
That day, I arrived home at about six p.m. In my part of the world that is past twilight. After I parked the car in the garage, I walked up to the front door and Wasabi came to me. It had been my family’s long-running joke that the little dog was the only one who showed happiness upon my arrival. He used to come near my legs, emit soft barks and wiggle his tail. On that day, I petted him a while before entering the house. My wife and kids had gone out to the market. I enjoyed the rarity of having the house to myself by preparing a sandwich and settling in the living room to watch an episode of Doctor Who.
Before Netflix loaded the image, I heard a heavy thud coming from outside. I was sure the sound came from somewhere around the house’s property. I walked to the dining room window and looked out. I discovered Wasabi had crawled under an iron lawn chair. I called to him a couple of times. When that didn’t work – he would usually snap to attention and search for me – I went outside.
When I reached him, his neck had turned all the way up; with his forelegs spread in the opposite direction, he looked like a perfect letter “T”. I caressed his neck and spoke soothing words.
It was not the first time he had suffered this type of seizures.
One advantage of being life-long friends with the vet was that he arrived to my house within ten minutes of my call. In the meantime I sent a short text message to my wife: “Wasibi is sick. Vet’s on the way. Bring some Pedialyte.” Like I said, we knew the drill. The vet applied two injections to Wasabi. He did explain what they were, but I can’t remember. (I know; maybe I should have asked before writing this piece, right?)
The injections made the seizures subside, but Wasabi was not out of the woods yet. The vet massaged the dog’s back to help him breathe. While waiting for my wife, we forced-fed sugar water down the muzzle. A difficult task because Wasabi’s jaw was locked in place.
My wife and kids arrived home, the worry, plain on their faces. We sat around Wasabi as we watched him fight for his life. The seizures returned with vengeance. After an interminable twenty minutes of alternating more seizures and labored, heavy breathing, Wasabi had one last convulsion. With the eyes closed, the face reflected the pain and suffering he was going through. The vet rubbed faster, massaged the heart, did all he could to revive him. Wasabi’s tongue came out, it was green. We knew we’d lost him.
With one final breath, he died.
In addition to Wasabi, we have cocker named Lucky. The vet recommended we pay attention to him, as he may enter a phase of depression following the loss of his playing pal. We may have overcompensated, because I see Lucky as a bit spoiled now.
Still, we find ourselves correcting the little habits, like saying “Go feed the dogs,” when there is only one left.
We miss Wasabi. He left us way before his time. But, as one of my kids phrased it,he’ll always be remembered in our hearts.
About J. H. Bográn
J. H. Bográn is a reluctant dog mourner. He was born and raised in Honduras. He’s the son of a journalist, but he ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator.
Website at: www.jhbogran.com