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  • Writer's pictureKari Bastyr, MS, CDBC, CPCN

Paisley: A Tribute to My Dessert Dog

Paisley Junebug 1/1/2010 – 1/23/2021

My ride or die. My beautiful perfect brown dog. My dessert dog.

Paisley survived being abandoned and landing in the shelter in the overnight drop-off kennel at the DDFL when she was 7 weeks old, being labeled vicious and unadoptable at 9 weeks by the foster (wth?!), and found me through Safe Harbor Lab Rescue by chance. She was traumatized by a dog attack at 12-weeks old that broke her jaw and knocked most of her puppy teeth out, hiked mountains all over Colorado and walked around Wash Park at least a million times, helped raise other people’s puppies, was my demo dog, befriended all who met her, expressed her needs with conviction, loved Jasper, Milo, and Turtle to her core (well, maybe not Turtle but she gave it a good effort), gently stood her ground, modeled appropriate behavior flawlessly, could fetch like no other, loved her humans unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, learned how to paddleboard and jetski with me, was a witness to my most painful heartbreaks and carried me through them, made a cross-country move without complaint, rolled her eyes at my foolishness at least 12 times a day, forgave me for messing up, taught me how to forgive and move on, relentlessly gave me a soft place to land… and loved me unconditionally when I didn’t deserve it.

She was the best thing that ever happened to me.

In the hour I had to say goodbye, I memorized every inch of her. I rubbed her fuzzy grinch toes and held her pain-filled body. I told her that I loved her, and I would be okay- she could leave me and be free and not worry about me. As she transitioned to the place where rainbows are made, I pictured her running towards Jasper, Milo, and my dad, and at that moment, she let out a big sigh, and I think she saw them. She let go and I believe she ran toward them and was transformed to her young, healthy body. I know she was thrilled to see Jasper and Milo again.

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