The service dog of Madison House Assisted Living in Cortez recently underwent surgery. Now the people who love him need help.
Basil Rathbone was named after a 1940s actor by senior-assisted living facility’s previous administrator, Ann Brown.
Basil was brought to Madison House at 8 weeks old and has flourished there since. The residents have had a hand in his training, and he helps them by keeping them on their toes.
“We had all the staff helping watch him when he was a puppy,” Jaime Cohoe, resident service director said. “Training him to go outside for his bathroom breaks and not to chew on oxygen tubing was a hard one because he would go over and play and chew on them.”
Now 8 years old, Basil spends his time playing with, entertaining and helping residents.
“We have a lady who lives here now, and her son is blind and uses a stick,” Cohoe said. “When he comes in, he will call for Basil, and he goes over, and he will guide him to his mom’s room.”
Cohoe also told the story of a time when Basil was a puppy, and a man was having trouble with his wheelchair. Basil came up behind the man and tried to help push the wheelchair with his nose. “He is an amazing dog,” Cohoe said.
Basil has run into health problems.
“We took him in for his normal shots, and they saw a mass in his badder. They thought cancer at first, which tore everybody apart,” Cohoe said. “We got a second opinion in Farmington, and they said it was bladder stones.”
Basil had surgery to remove the stones about a month ago. He has recovered well, but the veterinarian bills have piled up on Madison House.
Madison House held a Navajo Taco Sale and spread flyers around town asking for help to cover his bills.
Between the fundraiser and donations from different people in the community, Basil’s veterinarian bills were covered for his first sets of tests, totaling about $1,700, Cohoe said.
However, Basil’s surgery raised the total again. Madison House, at 120 S. Madison St., is planning a silent auction fundraiser to help with these costs, set for sometime in early April.
Cohoe said they are grateful for the generosity that residents have shown Basil in the past.