Some Things are Meant to Be


By: Ina 

With formatting assistance and comments by

Barbara Spilchuk, PhD 


My first Havanese, Rebble, was diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Disease in 2017 when he was 7 years of age.  


My second Havanese, Luka, came to me from a family who no 

longer wanted him. I got him six months after Rebble. I called Luka my Shadow, and Rebble was Luka's Shadow, because 

Rebble followed Luka everywhere! 


When Luka died of cancer, unexpectedly, at 7 years of age, Rebble was totally lost. This was when I suspected that he was losing his sight, and he would need to have a formal diagnosis about his progressive blindness.  


Over the next year, Rebble learned to manage his blindness...

and so did I.  


You can read Rebble's Story

My Name is Rebble - Can you See Me?



I loved Rebble with every breath in my body. He was my Heart sweet and gentle.

What do you do when your dog gets so sick with cancer that he is always startled by the pain that is shooting through his body?

Rebble would sometimes run away from the pain in a panic and because of his blindness, he would bump into everything.  


As a result, he ended up with inflamed eyes and wounds on his head.

Rebble was so unhappy. He became leaner and leaner as he continued to lose weight....and medication did not help. Finally, I had to make the painful decision, in consultation with Rebble's vet, to let Rebble go gently to sleep.

But, Oh, what sadness for me!


I was still getting over losing Luka when Rebble was 

diagnosed with cancer and now

I would also lose him. 


I started grieving for Rebble even before he was even gone! 


I knew I would miss him terribly...but I also knew I had to do this for him. It was the only thing that would release him from his pain. I cried so many tears. 


Months later, I still missed Rebble every minute of every day.


My dear friend offered to bury Rebble on her property next to her dog, Coco... so we did that.

I thought I would never have a dog again. I did not think I could handle the pain of losing another loved pet.

Life has a way of changing your mind, however, and time helps with the healing


What do you think happened? On a Dutch Havanese site, there was a story about a 4 month old girl puppy who had been taken back to the Breeder because she was not accepted by the other dog in her new family.

The puppy's name was Coco and I wondered, "Is this a coincidence? Rebble is next to my friend's dog, Coco, and this is another Coco who is looking for a new home!"

Oh what should I do? The doubt strikes and grief for Rebble is still there .......


But it is so quiet in the house and I have nothing to take care of and no dog to cuddle. And I thought Coco would suit me very well, so I kept looking at her photos. What a sweet girl!

I decided to write to the Breeder. Of course the Breeder had many questions because she wanted to make sure that Coco had a good home the second time around, one that would love and accept her for who she was. And Coco was now a bit hesitant after being returned by the other family.


The Breeder brought Coco to me and she jumped out of the car and ran right to me. We had a connection that was immediately clear, so Coco now lives with me.

We went to Rebble's grave together, Coco and me, and... 

"No, the sadness about Rebble is not gone."


But with Coco, it is less difficult. It just needs time. In fact, I am incredibly happy with my new sweet dog and I have no regrets that I wrote to her Breeder.

I believe that all things happen for a reason. Finding Coco after losing Rebble was no coincidence. It just had to be like that....

It was meant to be.

Post Note by Buyhavanese

As I think about Ina's story about Rebble, I have to wonder whether the Progressive Retinal Atrophy that caused Rebble's blindness might also have had an impact on his inability to fight off the cancer that one year later caused him so much pain and, finally, his death. When something goes seriously wrong with the immune system, other things can follow.


We know that extreme stress can make a human being far more susceptible to a multitude of diseases, particularly if they are already not healthy. It seems reasonable, then, to suspect that the progressive blindness Rebble was afflicted with might also have been linked to his cancer through stress. Losing his dog friend, Luka, who had been his 'eyes' while he was losing his sight, must have been extremely stressful for Rebble.  

Just when Ina thought that she and Rebble had found their equilibrium and acceptance of his blindness, he was gone. Losing a beloved dog is very difficult. Losing two so closely together, as Ina did with first Luka, her Shadow, and then Rebble, her Heart Dog, must be unimaginably hard on the soul.

Buyhavanese sends peace, love and caring support to Ina and Coco.

We are here for you, Ina...always and all ways.

You are a courageous woman!

In remembrance of beautiful Rebble...

And of Luka 

who was Ina's Shadow and Rebble's eyes 

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