PJ, like you, I don't know what words would feel soothing for Lisa.
I lost my Lucy girl in April. She was 6 years old, and admittedly, overweight. It was storming on a Saturday night; she went out to go to the bathroom, and never came in. My 20 year old daughter was home alone (the rest of us were overnight in Orlando). Rosie spent the whole night looking for her, furious that she "ran away" at first. Later, she was consumed with worry and convinced she was hit by a car. Our other dog, Joker, stayed by her side and shook for no apparent reason. Somehow, he knew. Rosie called me in the morning and when I told her to go look outside, her tone of voice went from "Mom, I know she's not out here, I'm wasting my time", to "Oh my God!" Our precious girl was laying, under a tree, at peace with herself.
Like you, while Lucy was at peace, my heart was not. The grief, the retrospection of what I should have done different…. well, that's still there. Lucy was never fixed, and I always wanted her to be a mom, because she was such a gentle, loving soul. She was a comforting soul for all of us.
Well, it's 7 months later. Last night, as I waited outside for Lola to do her business, I talked to Lucy. And under that starry night, PJ, I realized that in her way, Lucy did have more puppies. Because of her sudden death, I started researching on the internet, and I found this forum. I learned about "Halo", a misunderstood young girl in Chicago. We adopted her. In the meantime, there was a girl named Sophie that was abandoned in Florida when her mom moved north. We adopted her, and she is now with my daughter Maggie. My sister had taken care of Lola, and fell in love with the breed, and found a rescue in Missouri, who she named Bacchus. And then this lovely girl named Becca needed a new home in Miami.... she is now living with my sister and Bacchus.
No, not one of these four basenjis will ever replace my Lucy. I still grieve for her... and yet, I'm comforted by the fact that there are now four happy basenji's in my family. Lucy didn't give birth to these dogs, but she is certainly their mother in my heart.
Much love. Patty