barbara bassill

Do All Dogs Go To Heaven?

Baloo~~the best four-legged friend in the world

Four weeks ago my beloved Bernese Mountain dog, Baloo, was killed. A Motorcyclist ran into him. It was a tragic and traumatic moment. In the back of the car, where I was holding Baloo as my husband raced to the emergency vet hospital, I felt completely helpless. All I could do was tell him how much I loved him and I kept begging him to hang on. I heard myself repeating over and over: “Baloo, hang on, it will all be good”.

When we got to the hospital, the vet came running out with a stretcher and they put him in a room on a table. There was blood all over him and me. Then came the most horrible moment when I was told he didn’t make it. I was holding him and I didn’t want to let go. No, this cannot be true. I didn’t want to believe it and I didn’t want to let go. I screamed and cried and begged God to not let this be true.

But it was, Baloo was gone. An hour ago he was still in the dining room with me, lying by my feet, watching my every move. Now he was gone.

I felt like in a bad dream. I hoped that it was a dream, that I would wake up and it all was just a nightmare. Somehow my husband drove us home and somehow I ended up in my bed and at some point and time I fell asleep because I just couldn’t cry anymore.

The next day was a blur. My children had already posted tons of pictures and what had happened and then lots of sweet messages from family and friends poured in.

Every time I got a new one, the tears were streaming down my face again. I kept telling myself I had to somehow get a hold of myself, but I just couldn’t. And so I did what Françoise Sagan wrote about in her book: “Bonjour tristesse”.

As the days went by and I slowly but surely came out of my “funk”, I began to ask questions, inner questions. Like, why did this have to happen? If it is true that everything in life happens for a reason, what was the reason behind Baloo’s death?

Some people could not understand how I could suffer so much the loss of a “pet”.

Baloo was not “just a pet”. He was the little brother of my children, he was the companion when I was alone at home and my husband was on a business trip. He was my friend, my child, and my “watching-over-me boy”. He was so sweet, he knew exactly what I thought and felt and wanted to do. He followed me around the house everywhere. He slept at the side of my bed. He always understood what I said to him. As matter of fact, he knew what I was saying without me using words.

I accompanied my husband on his business trip. I had to get away from the house, an empty house. A home without Baloo. As I spent the next few weeks in a different environment, I began to calm down and the tears became slowly but surely less and less.

Then came the moment when I made an inner resolve: I must distract myself; I need to get my life back on track. I couldn’t continue to look at his pictures and read the messages that were still coming in. I decided to join a dance studio and started Zumba and something called Nia. I went to the gym, for walks and went swimming.

This was helping. I could finally laugh again and move and for a few hours in the day, I was able to forget that Baloo was gone.

I began to remember “acceptance”, the first law of Spirit. I sat with that many days for a long time. Finally I asked myself: “Barbara, what are you supposed to learn from this accident and what have you learned?”

Here is what I got from these questions:

I learned:

1    To be gentle with myself

2  To give myself permission to grieve

3  To honor my feelings

4  To be ok with not working and doing, but instead being

5   To exercise in service to overcome situations like this

6  To trust my inner knowing that there was and is a reason

7   To let go and let God


I feel finally able to write this blog without crying and without feeling terrible pain.

I am following my learnings and I am “being” more.

I am going with the flow.

I am grateful to be alive, to have my children and my wonderful husband and feel their love and support.

I am practicing gratitude and living under grace.


One day I will see Baloo again and until then I am living with ease and grace and most of all being gentle with myself.

With loving,


My friend Baloo: Baloo was my friend, he was my…