Basho: 1993 - October 27, 2003. We had Basho in our lives for too short a time, having adopted him from Beagles and Buddies in March 2001. A more loving and affectionate dog you could not find. All he wanted was to be near his humans. During two years of crisis and struggle in our lives he was a brave and constant companion, gently giving love and comfort when we most needed it. Congestive heart failure slowed him down his last few months. He still had many good, happy days, taking walks or just sitting nearby, watching us intently. But on his last day his lungs filled with fluid that no amount of medicine could pump out, and so we said goodbye to this brave, sweet dog, our best buddy, our special guy.

Basho in the front yard in University Heights

Basho at "Dog Beach" near Ocean Beach, a week before he passed away.

We still have "Suenyo," which is Spanish for "Dream", a spunky 8-year-old female. She misses her pal Basho.


by Billy Collins, 1999

The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her dog house
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance?
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind her ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.