I have always been a “dog” person, having grown up with dogs and been around dogs most of my life. One of the few periods in my life without dogs was during most of my time in graduate school, and then during my post-doctoral fellowship, only because I had to spend most of my time in the lab running experiments at all hours during those years, and it wouldn’t have been fair to a dog.
One particular Friday night, within about a year of settling into a permanent job for a well-known pharmaceutical company and buying my first house in San Diego near Balboa Park, I decided it was time to get a dog. I began to look online, and the possibilities were endless. I felt a little overwhelmed, and backed off.
Two days later, on Sunday morning, a friend came over to my house and we walked to my favorite funky little neighborhood hole-in-the-wall restaurant to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. There was a short wait out in front and a small crowd was clustered around a bench. At the center of the small crowd was a puppy. An extremely cute puppy. And as it turned out, the person at the other end of the leash was hoping to find a good home for that cute puppy.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She was soooo cute, a tiny little puppy with black fur and great big ears! But all puppies are cute. They called my name – our table was ready. I told the person on the other end of the leash that if the puppy is still here when I finish breakfast, I will take her home with me.
I took my new little puppy home. I knew before I had her that I would name her Sena. At the time I took Sena home, she was about 3 months old. I was told that she had been rescued from a shelter after being picked up as a stray on the docks around San Diego Bay.
Sena always loved hot sauce and veggies, a dog after my own heart! So after I became plant-based, she had no trouble adopting a plant-based diet. In fact, she loved plant-based foods so much that she would hover in the kitchen anytime I was cutting or peeling any fruit or veggies, making sure she didn’t miss out on anything.
I called her my “green smoothie girl”, because there was no way I could make a green smoothie without having to share some with her! (video).
By the end, Sena was in a lot of pain. She lost the use of her back legs and could barely hold her weight up. We even tried acupuncture, which seemed to help a little.
I arranged to have my vet come to my house, and I’m so glad that I did. Sena was peacefully resting on her bed. I did not have to put her through an uncomfortable ride to a place she didn’t like to go to, only to end her life there. Instead she was comfortably surrounded by us and her canine siblings Kona and Luna. Sena had a very peaceful transition. She was deeply loved and had a wonderful life. And we miss her so.