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Tribute to Sebastian

Title picture

Born September 2001
Adopted October 1, 2001
Went Home August 9, 2015

Sebastian “Sirbastian”

Dedicated to the love of my life, besides the Lord. This is a simply beautiful love affair.
Thank you, Sebastian!

How could you ever write how you feel about the wonderful times you’ve had with your
soul mate down on writing paper, there is no way!

Here’s my love story, I’ll try and share some things without tearing up. I think I owe to
Sebastian, who always came first in my life period. Why not, spending time with him was actually
better than spending time with anyone else in the world. I am sure you dog lovers understand
that. Please read this dedication through. Don’t put it down, this story will help and make you
happy. Thank you, Tammara

October 1, 2001, my son and I cruised through Lynnwood together and I checked out
PAWS. I thought well I am kind of lonely and would like to adopt a puppy. In a cage were 6 or 7
sibling puppies, German Shepherd/Lab/Chow mix, beautiful rustic colors, along with their unique
purple polka dotted tongues. Every puppy was playing around except, I noticed one in the corner
with his head faced to the wall. Now I don’t know if Sebastian was playing it up so I would pick him
or not, but it worked. As I pointed my finger with happiness,” I said I want that one in the corner.”
As he sat on my lap on the way home, I looked him in his eyes and I told him he was going to be
treated like a King for the rest of his life, and he was.

The name Sebastian was chosen by my son from the name of a character he had recently
seen in a movie. As he grew into a very popular young dog, he pranced around the neighborhood
with his long lanky legs and rustic color, you could tell this dog was full of pride. As we were hiking
one day, a man showed up out of nowhere and whispered softly “that is a proud dog”. Now, to
everybody that had a dog since they were a pup, you know and I know, they start to be a mini you.
Sebastian, was kind, caring, compassionate, selfish, vain, personality plus, and extra athletic in his
early days.

Sebastian, always smiling with his purple spotted tongue hanging out, was always ready
and eager to strike a pose. In fact, speaking of ready to pose, the day after his passing one of his
last pictures was posted on Google Awesome, with him at one his favorite places, the Everett
Arboretum. They couldn’t have known he had passed on the day before. Wow, what a sign sent to
me.

Sebastian touched everybody’s lives from his photogenic pictures on a billboard to his
favorite beach, Mukilteo State Park. Even over the years I have taken him into the Everett Mall. I
often wondered how a 75 pound German Shepherd/Lab/Chow mix would get away with going in
every place I would go. And then I realized he must be working the woman again with his adorable

face. He even had a woman that worked at the Mall, put a character named Sebastian in her new
book. Don’t get me wrong, he is as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out.

My Mom and Dad are gone and I miss them. I am 53 years of age, so I leaned a lot on
Sebastian. He sure helped me out emotionally. Right now as I start to write some things about Seb
the sky is gray and it is actually thundering out in August. I am wondering if that is Sebastian telling
me “Mom you know how I don’t like emotional woman”. Yet he helped me out so much and there
wasn’t a day that went by and he didn’t place any judgement on me. He always looked up at me
like I was his favorite star.

Sebastian had done so much walking with me, it is a wonder he had any legs left. He took a
lot of long hard walks in the rain. If you knew anything about Seb, he always had a different
colored rain coat for every outfit I had. He really didn’t like to wear them but I think he really liked
the Seahawk one.

Sebastian as a pup, was raised to say a certain prayer every night and brush his perfect
teeth with his favorite flavor toothpaste, vanilla mint. And the last step of the night I always looked
forward to was brushing his golden rust colored soft mane. Now let me tell you about some of his
favorite treats. He loved his teddy bear crackers .And when there was the aroma of chicken
barbecue in the air, his nose is right up. He never ate much people food, a little treat now and then.
Being as how he was so regal, Sebastian got a luxury of a special dessert every night, a frozen
peanut butter flavored dixie cup formally called Frosty PAWS, but renamed cooky cookies for him.
When he heard the words cookie cooky, he popped right to attention. Four to a box at 5 dollars a
box for all of his 15 years, you can do the math. Are you getting the drift of how much Sebastian
was loved?

Let’s talk about Sebastian’s affectionate side. When I would ask Sebastian for kiss, he
would never give me one. I guess it was because I was such a drill sergeant. I had to settle for other
ways of letting me know He loves me. Like trusting me to lay my head down on his tummy, and
wrapping his long front leg around my arms while we laid down, “that was called holding hands”.
After awhile he got arthritis in those long arms and legs, but still kept walking and holding
my hand, it had to be those prayers we said together every night for years. If you believe as I do,
God has set his plans in motion for a lot of the things that happen in our lives. As we were happily
living in our big house on Rucker Hill over looking the water in the Port Gardner Neighborhood, I
was heading out one day only to find this cute little dog running around the neighborhood and I
had thought when I get back and if he is still here, I will help him find his home. Sure enough on
that rainy day when I got home, I opened my car door and he hopped on my lap. I took him home
with his enormous underbite and more wrinkles than a 90 year old person. I thought to myself he
is nothing like my dog Sebastian, but God made all creatures beautiful. Anyway to make a long
story short, we never found his owner. I never heard of a puggle before, a pug and beagle mix. He
was named after the Port Gardner Neighborhood where he jumped on my lap. Those Betty Davis
eyes of his and pretty tan coat grew on me. I remember taking Gardner off to the side and telling
him “I can’t pay to much attention to you now because i have a commitment to fullfill, but I will
make it up to you later”. As I looked at the two dogs side by side and Seb was getting older I think
he kind of liked the idea of having a little brother. As I toted my dogs around 24/7, my life was
strictly for those dogs. I knew that what ever made Sebastian happy to extend his life, it was
Gardner. But truly I know it was the love we have for each other and still do. Everything was cool
with my gang, for the most part Seb was good to Gardner, but I have to confess, Sebastian didn’t
like sharing much.

And he didn’t like what occurred on New Year’s Eve Day of 2013 as the phone rang and the
dreaded landlord said ” I have bad news for you, I am selling the house.” The house that Seb had
grown up in the last 14 years and the neighborhood he owned and the closeness to the beaches
that he loved to run through the wild waves like a stallion. And Gardner could never look like that,
ha, ha. As we started getting situated in our new home at 10th and Colby, I began to notice that
Sebastian and Gardner started to have private conversation among themselves which I have no
knowledge of doggie language. I believe Sebastian was trying to teach Gardner the ropes when it
was his time to go. If there was ever anything wrong with Sebastian’s health, we would go without
so he could have what ever he needed. And every veterinarian in Everett would know him and love
that great personality and the drive to carry on. At one point this past year, 2015, he even lost his
hearing due to the wrong medications and I said to myself “Great, he can hardly walk and now he
can’t hear.” But if you knew Sebastian, I think he had a lot of faith and would get his hearing back,
after all remember he said his prayers nightly and knew who God was when I asked him. And one
day, just in time it came back.

Now you see, Sebastian had what the Doctors call a “smart bump” on the top of his head, but he always wasn’t so smart you see because people always bent over backwards to help him and his pride would get in the way. For instance a nice ramp was made to go down the front steps safely, so Sebastian would waddle up and down the cement stairs his way. I was always saying to him “careful, careful” and he was. At night, Sebastian had a big fluff dog bed that sat in my bedroom, he either slept with me   on the bed as a pup or right by my side on his own bed. Always inseparable. I noticed lately, in the middle of the night, he would leave the room and go lay by the front door. I always had the fan on in the room so he didn’t leave to get cool. I wonder if he was trying to separate himself from me because he knew he had his own journey ahead of him.

There are so many memories to share, but forgive me, I’m so blessed to write down what
I can. His last few weeks were harder on him then he let on and yet he did his waddle walk to the
special field he and Gardner shared, where he would watch his brother fetch the ball and run as he
used to do. Even Sebastian was still in the game, I would throw the ball up and he would still catch
it with me yelling praise to my “good boy”. When his brother, Gardner, would not bring the ball
back, Sebastian would waddle to him, no matter how far, and nip Gardner in the butt and I am sure
telling him “that is not the way you do it”.

Soon after we would take only a block walk, and we were about 20 feet from home on a
slight incline, when suddenly Sebastian’s rear legs gave out and down he went. This is when I
decided to make that dreaded trip to Northwest Animal Care Hospital and see his Dr. Brent
Johnson. Of course, through the years he had other caring Doctors when the need arose. Dr Rod
Hanna and Dr. Annabelle Zastrow of Diamond Veterinary Associates. A close friend, who had
known him as a puppy, made it easier to transport Sebastian from home to the Doctor by making
him a stretcher from a plywood board and some carpet with handles. After waiting for Dr Johnson
to come out, he gave us the news that Sebastian had a high fever and possible bone cancer. It was
my decision to let Sebastian stay over the weekend and get the proper care he needed until
Monday, whether he had bone cancer or not I decided to take my best friend home with me. He
sure didn’t mind his stretcher ride up the ramp, he had a big smile on his face. Everyday, after
keeping in contact with Dr. Johnson about the possibility of having bone cancer, I was warned that
Sebastian may not have to long to live. Still in denial because he had such a young and happy face
and still smiling, I spotted a dime size open wound. I once again made my call to the Doctor, the
answer to my question was pretty negative and not what I wanted to hear. He definitely had bone
cancer and it could be spreading within days. As reality set in, I began to realize I needed to spend
time with my partner, Sebastian. Now instead of praying for a miracle recovery we prayed for more
time with him. A few days later, sure enough, that open sore had spread on my beautiful
Sebastian. Still looking at me with his kind loving eyes and that photogenic face, I had to hold back
my emotions so he would remain calm and that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Anything and everything from here on was for Sebastian, we had gotten him a quality harness to
get him outside since he could not stand up. Sebastian being determined his whole life, kept trying
to sit and stand up but it wasn’t working. A few times he got to go outside and lay on his long
plush green grass, and when he could no longer do that, God told me to open up the door so he
could hear His world with the birds singing and the smell of the salt water in the wind.

I had always wanted to be a vet but working on my own dog and changing his pads and
bandages through the day and night, were extra challenging. I wanted to make sure I would make
no mistakes so I would shorten our time left together. The pain medicine had to be right on
schedule, otherwise you would hear the screaming with pain. Trying to roll a 73 pound Sebastian
over every 2 hours to prevent bed sores, was not easy and at one point he tried to sit up and roll
over on his own to help his mom. Each time I changed his potty pad, he looked up at me and I
knew exactly what he was thinking,”this is not cutting it, mom”. The clock was ticking and each day
I changed his open wound, “am I being selfish?”. You see, I talked to God every day about Seb’s
condition, but I was not listening. The Doctor said Sebastian could have anything he wanted to eat
to keep his calorie intake up, so my son Timothy, who Sebastian adored and Timothy adored him
as well, brought him some of his favorite foods.

At this point none of the medicines the Dr. prescribed, was really helping. Sebastian’s
family of animals sat quietly on the back of the couch while he went through the pain of this ugly
disease called bone cancer. Up and down the stairs I went everyday so he would have freshly
washed towels for his wounds. I kept asking God “how am I to keep going like this? I am so tired”.

I know that God gave me the strength to carry on, you see, God never gives you too much more
than you can handle, in fact one night my tuxedo cat Diamond, sat on a barstool with her eyes
glued on Sebastian, watching over him, as if she was doing the night shift. We jokingly called her
nurse Diamond. Sebastian and I had a few more peanut butter breakfast parties and I consulted
with my son, who was there in the very beginning when I picked out the biggest blessing in my life.

Still holding my hand, and looking up at me with those kind eyes expecting me to help him.

I knew this was one time I wasn’t going to make him happy. As I kept changing his bandages, I
would take his leg in my hand and feel nothing but a small piece bone just hanging on. I knew then
that this is not the quality of life Sebastian is used to or would want for himself.

My son was good for me to talk with since he could stand away and look in to give me his
advice and one thing he said is “Mom, you had seven more blessed days with Sebastian. Being as
how I told Sebastian in the beginning I was going to treat him like a king, and a king is meant to stay
in his palace and never give up his throne. I couldn’t believe I was picking up the phone to call a
Doctor to put my Sebastian to sleep, it had to be done. My faith was telling me it would be ok, but
not only being sad I was mad! After calling a few doctors, I ran across a Dr. Sara Hopkins who owns
Compassion 4 Paws and I said to myself this has to be the Doctor for Sebastian, as I told everybody
in the beginning, I always get a spiritual sign from the Lord. Such as I had gotten Sebastian at PAWS
in Lynnwood, for years his favorite treat was Frosty Paws for dogs, and now Dr. Sara Hopkins with
Compassion 4 PAWS, I immediately made my phone call and had to leave a lengthy message on her
voice mail, crying about Sebastian’s story and worrying that she was going to understand it. I
received a phone call not too long after and I found myself talking with a very kind, patient and
understanding woman, before even meeting me, she told me I could call her anytime to talk. I felt
there was no more time for rehearsal and that Dr. Sara was God’s gift to Sebastian and I.

The same morning that Dr. Sara was to come, my son was already here and made
Sebastian very comfortable with Hedge Hog who Sebastian had cherished for many years and laid
Sebastian’s loving head on his Bone Pillow which he had for many years as well. He was given all
the Frosty Paws he wanted and anything else that would make him happy. As I brushed Sebastian’s
mane for what I knew would be the last time, I still wanted him to feel proud. Dr. Sara came to the
door and I was very happy in knowing she was the same way in person as she was on the phone.
She was very calming and softly told me what to expect. She said I could take as long as I wanted
with Sebastian and she would wait. My son and I knelt down on the floor to be close to Sebastian.
Sebastian peacefully put his chin on my son’s lap, I guess he was saying good bye for now. Trying to
hold back our tears for Sebastian, I kept saying over and over to him “thank you, thank you, thank
you” as I always said after we did our prayer “thank you for being a good boy”. My son said it was
time and Dr. Sara was at Sebastian’s side, he gave her the same look. He didn’t look much at me, I
think he knew his spirit would be with me every day. Dr. Sara embracing me how ever long it took
to calm me down. Dr. Sara made sure Sebastian was peaceful and drifted to join God and the
others along with sister Shadow. Thank you Sebastian for giving me the best years of my life, Mom
will see you soon and don’t worry you’ll lay on your fields of grass.

Sebastian12 Sebastian11 Sebastian10 Sebastian09 Sebastian08 Sebastian07 Sebastian06 Sebastian05 Sebastian04 Sebastian03 Sebastian02Sebastian01

Written by Tammara Mason August 12th, 2015. my dedication song to you Seb is “Hero”
by Mariah Carey.

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