Bob Bestler

Bob Bestler | ‘Such is the mighty grip a dog has on your heart’


I can’t let Wednesday’s National Dog Day pass without a few words about our newest puppy.

I know, I know. Enough about your dogs, OK?

I get it, and this, I promise, will be the last word on my dog situation -- unless, you know, he does something really exciting.

Last September, our 12-year-old corgi Zoe died after a lengthy illness that we and the vet could never conquer, despite our best efforts.

We put up a memorial to her and mourned for about three months. Such is the mighty grip a dog has on your heart.

In late November, we found a rescue puppy in Pawleys Island. It was only eight weeks old, but a real cutie. So we brought him home and named him Edisto.

It only took a couple of weeks to realize that a puppy so young could be a handful.

When I got sick and spent February in the hospital, Elaine could not possibly give Edisto the attention he needed. Long days at the pharmacy, plus several harried trips to Roper Hospital in Charleston, left little time or energy for a puppy.

Fortunately, the woman who ran the rescue center agreed to keep him until I got better. She said she would take him to her vet for neutering, which had been a part of our original fee.

I learned, after my own surgery, that Edisto did not survive the procedure. There were no explanations, of course, and the best answer we could come up with was a possible genetic problem. Who knows?

So we had no puppy while I recovered at home, but after I was back to normal Elaine and I began searching the internet.

After many hours we came upon two beautiful puppies, a female named JoJo and a male named Wasabi. They were hybrids, part cocker spaniel and part bichon frise, and they were being sold by a breeder in Pickens.

We drove there with every intention of getting the female, JoJo, but it didn’t take long before Elaine and I looked at each other and, almost simultaneously, said Wasabi was the one we wanted.

Wasabi has a shiny black coat, a white chest and brown-sugar paws. Best of all, he has a disposition so gentle that even our cat Bo loves him.

His coloring seems to be mostly cocker, his disposition bichon frise.

Like most dog owners since the beginning of time, we have absolutely fallen in love with Wasabi.

(No we did not rename him. The children of the breeder named him and we like its uniqueness. Besides, he already recognizes his name.)

At 15 pounds and six months old, he is about fully grown and has turned into a lap dog. It’s his favorite napping place; fortunately, I’m retired and have plenty of time to let him lap nap.

Wasabi will be neutered in a couple of months -- at an older age than was Edisto.

We have a lot of faith in our own vet, but we’ll still go through some anxious moments. Such is the grip a dog has on your heart.

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