I adopted Baahu.

He was a 100 lb. Golden Retriever puppy approaching his third birthday in October. As an accomplished counter surfer, committed cat-chaser, and the best treat-taker ever, he kept things lively until he tired out…then he turned into an immovable object. He also had a serious seizure disorder diagnosed as idiopathic epilepsy.

We took him in as a foster on behalf of Golden Bond Rescue early in 2020 with the goal of helping him lose some of his 110 pounds and weaning him from the toxic seizure control medication that left his hind end without control most of the time and intoxicated too much of the time.

While many dogs with epilepsy lead long, happy lives, Baahu was not to be one of them. After weeks of increasing seizure activity, he suffered a major seizure Tuesday night. A few hours later, he had four within 15 minutes. At 5:30 AM he had another, so Kay called our care team at SVS in Seattle to advise them of this series of events. He was in treatment in Seattle shortly after 8 AM and had additional seizures even while sedated. Our specialists were dismayed to tell us they had no additional treatment options and it was noted that there wasn’t a recovery path from a condition this bad. I’d felt for some time we’d be facing this decision down the road…and then there was no more road.

I didn’t want him to die without a family. We shared GBR’s goals of getting him stable and in a forever home, and while we failed in the former, we succeeded in the latter; GBR allowed me to adopt him on the spot. After much discussion, the GBR Board, along with Baahu’s caregivers, agreed on the final treatment, and then I, as his owner, signed the order to end his torment. He never awakened from his sedation, he never heard my apology, and he never heard my final goodbye. Baahu died in my arms, a member of our family, and loved by all who knew him.

 I am sure he is counter-surfing right on that buffet table just on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. He especially liked, well, everything on our kitchen counter: the memory of seeing him, with paws on the counter desperately licking the butter dish but unable to get the top off, will always bring me a chuckle. Baahu will come home for the final time in a few weeks and he’ll be sleeping with Jake and Guthrie while holding onto Mister Moose.

Kay gets a special shout-out for managing much of his day-to-day medical care–thank you Dewowes! This was a hard journey for her too.

Kay and I don’t have enough words to thank the many people who’ve helped Baahu and us.

–To his original family, who had to surrender him due to a family member’s medical issue. It was a bitter day for them when I took him away.

–To Golden Bond Rescue for providing emotional and financial support during this journey. Their only priority was Baahu’s welfare.

–To the staff at SVS Seattle, for providing professional and compassionate care for Baahu.

–To the staff at Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy for helping us with Baahu’s specialized medications.

–To the staff at Winslow Animal Clinic), for helping us and Baahu with extraordinary care and compassion since the first day we had him.

–To our special friends at WAC, Dr. Lisa Barfield and Dr. Chistine Susumi, who went far beyond the call of duty to provide care and support for Baahu in some of his worst times.

Thank you all.