Basha: the furbaby that a mother has always wanted

Written by Cora Llamas

Content strategist, project manager, and reluctant cat whisperer. 🙂 Going back to my love of and care for pets. Used to have a lot of dogs years ago until life and work happened. Now I still got an azkal-jack-russell terrier and a cat who keeps on insinuating herself in my life. My 5-year-old grandnephew loves pets so who knows? our menagerie just might grow.

09/23/2021

One of the most devastating news that can shatter a woman’s heart is the medical diagnosis that she might not be able to bear her own child. It was probably more painful in optometrist Jenny Orquiza’s case because she was a natural nurturer. Her family members, friends, and relatives in her clan have always been close to her. Her patients warm up to her and find her to be a source of cheer and strength. Fortunately, Jenny found her own rock — aside from her husband’s — and it turned out to be her puppy, Basha, who became her “baby” in more ways than one.

The quiet but enigmatic furry tyke turned out to be the infant in Jenny’s new pawmily, who also includes another dog named Makulit. Jenny says that it was not hard to be touched by the sight of Basha, the first time she saw her. Basha was friendly, cheerful, and not at all shy, quickly sliding to the couple to lick them or touch them with her paws. But it was also her eye condition, which caused the dog vision problems, that reached out to Jenny’s core.

 

Basha giving Jenny a kiss
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One of the most devastating news that can shatter a woman’s heart is the medical diagnosis that she might not be able to bear her own child.

 

They were both wounded and needed healing. The little puppy was also very vulnerable, which probably showed in her reticence. Something in Jenny’s emotional core connected to it.

“I’m a cancer survivor and I cannot have a baby,” Jenny reveals her inner anguish. “But Basha helped me to overcome my depression and my longing to have my own child.”

It was Jenny’s husband who suggested adopting a furry baby to provide companionship and support. Jenny named the new blessing to their home after the heroine in the 2007 movie, “One More Chance.” In that film, Basha, played by Bea Alonzo, fought to preserve a failing relationship, and it took time, courage, and the love of the hero to persuade her to emotionally open again.

“I love this movie simply because it helped me to overcome my sadness. That’s why it will always have a place in my heart,” admits Jenny.

 

 

To Jenny, Basha the furry baby also meant a second chance to leave a painful past and aim for their shared dreams, which was to have a happy family and with all the love, support, and companionship that it meant.

During her first few months in the Orquiza home, Basha never trotted far from her comfort zone. She was at first slow to respond to the couple’s every approach—but when she obeyed during the training that Jenny’s husband gave her, the lessons were imprinted in her behavior, never to be forgotten.

As she grew older, Basha appeared to be the strong, supportive type. She would always be crouching closely near Jenny especially whenever the optometrist returned home during the pre-lockdown days. If there was one other trait that comes to mind as far as Basha is concerned, it would be loyalty.

 

“Every time Basha looked at me, it was like she was saying, ‘I love you and don’t leave me,’” says Jenny. “She helped me overcome my longing and my sadness.”

 

 

But what kept Jenny grounded the first months of her diagnosis was the new fur baby’s expressive demeanor. “Every time Basha looked at me, it was like she was saying, ‘I love you and don’t leave me,’” says Jenny. “She helped me overcome my longing and my sadness.”

There was something in the visually challenged Basha that also reached out to the couple’s human friends. Before the pandemic hit, Basha was Jenny’s frequent companion in her clinic. The dog was quiet, behaved, and did not fuss around. But again there was something about her that drew Jenny’s patients to approach and pet her. Maybe it was softness, vulnerability, a desire to support her human friends, or all of them combined—but Basha always responded to her new human friends with friendliness and warmth.

She also acted like the more sober bigger sister when Jenny’s younger puppy, Makulit, started becoming friskier and persistently playful.

Once the lockdowns are over, Jenny wants to take Basha on a trip to places near their residence, like a churchyard or a park. A visit to her grandmother in San Francisco, California is also a cherished dream. “I keep telling my grandmother about Basha, and I want to hug her with Basha near us,” says Jenny.

 

Not being biologically related to Basha and Aling Maliit doesn’t make Jenny any less of a parent. Being a real PawParent isn’t in the DNA, it’s in the heart.

 

 

Hugging is something that the dignified furry member of their family cannot have enough of. Jenny hugs Basha every opportunity she gets, and the reply is always a playful, grateful wag of the tale, or Basha pressing her body to her “mother” like she is embracing her back.

“Basha healed my heart and filled a space that had left me hollow,” says Jenny. “We found comfort in each other, and I can’t imagine a life without her.”

Not being biologically related to Basha and Aling Maliit doesn’t make Jenny any less of a parent. Being a real PawParent isn’t in the DNA, it’s in the heart.

 

 

 

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