How to Say Goodbye to your Best Friend
The ups and downs of this journey of Billy and Baunji have ended in both heartbreak and hope. But this goodbye was like no other I have seen.If you haven't followed along with Billy from Toms River and his beloved dog Baunji, who he rescued from euthanasia a few years ago, then you may want to go back and watch the whole story unfold.
Because Billy and his best friend Baunji have documented on social media in words, photos, and videos, a roller coaster of a journey that most pet owners can relate to.
The short version is that after saving Baunji from a kill shelter moments before he would have been put down, and after completely falling in love with him, Baunji developed cancer at a young age. Billy refused to let that stop him, and studied until he became a lay expert on the many different alternatives and experimental treatments that could keep Baunji alive and thriving, cure his cancer, and help others along their journey with canine cancer.
He has kept meticulous records, and was helped along the way by veterinary specialists at U-Penn.
All the while we fell in love a little bit more every day with Baunji through the videos and posts, and we learned how to take care of our animals from Billy.
Baunji became a certified therapy dog and was able to bring smiles, laughter, hope, and peace to so many struggling humans going through emotional pain. This dog was a miracle and a blessing to so many.
Billy was able to extend Baunji's life by ten years in doggy-time, but last week had to make an emergency trip down to Dr. Nations in Florida, a specialist that Billy trusts immensely. After testing and with lots of tears, they both came to realize that Baunji was at the end of his journey here on Planet Earth.
When you watch the way Billy takes Baunji out into the fresh air, on a blanket, in the warm sunshine, with the birds chirping, and shares with us the last kisses that Baunji is able to give him as he goes to Heaven in Billy's arms, you will forever be changed.
I lost a beloved pet this past summer and was so heartbroken that I couldn't talk about it. At all. To anyone. That's why I have so much respect and love for Billy. To share your heart with those around you in hopes of showing them that tears of both joy and loss are a result of a love that can conquer all, is a message we could all use a reminder about.
Billy will not let Baunji's journey end this way. Baunji's legacy will be called the Baunji Strong Foundation, to help other pet owners in those desperate times when they must rush their beloved pet to a hospital in the hopes of saving their life.
Billy will also continue to educate pet owners on amazing advances in diet that can prevent canine cancer, help you along your journey with advice if your dog gets a cancer diagnosis, and will share his records with specialists in the hopes of finding a cure for this awful disease.
Run free, beautiful Baunj.
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