'I miss him every second'

Last updated 12:00 12/03/2014
TOO YOUNG: Basil was like Yvette O'Shaughnessy's other son.

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I had always loved English bulldogs but had never really entertained the idea of owning one.

I had read all the bad press they receive about their dodgy health and how expensive they can be, but I fell instantly in love when I saw his picture.

We named him Basil, after Basil Fawlty, and had him flown down from Auckland to Christchurch.

Basil soon became a most loved family member. His antics and humour made us laugh every single day. Yes, he snored like a freight train and his farts could make you gag, but we loved him so.

He was one of us. He became my confidant, my friend, my other son. He would listen to my ramblings so intently that I began to feel that he really did understand me.

Basil had the usual food allergies associated with English Bulldogs but other than that was a perfect specimen of his breed. Twenty-eight kilograms of solid, energetic muscle.

I use to think about how much time we would have Basil in our lives as on average, English Bulldogs only live between eight to 10 years. I would cry at the thought of losing him. That's how important he had become to me.

Sadly, Basil fell ill on Boxing Day 2013. He would not eat and had developed a fever. The vet felt that he must have an infection of some sort and gave him an antibiotic injection and sent us home. That night, he ate his dinner and was generally back to his old self, but by the next evening he was very unwell again.

Basil was admitted to hospital and never came home. In 10 short days his body was ravaged by Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. No hope of treatment. No hope of any recovery.

I visited Basil everyday that he was hospitalised. I held him in my arms and felt his soul run through my body as he took his last breath. Basil was aged 2-and-a-half.

I miss him every second and every hour of every day. I am a better person for having Basil in my life.

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