Still Not Over Timmy

The sun is shining today after a few days of rain and thunderstorms, which I can't complain living in TX. Yesterday, my daughter and I were pretty upset looking out my bedroom window yesterday into our neighbors yard. Our neighbors have two dogs, what looks like a collie mix and a german shepherd mix. It was pouring buckets and thundering. The german shepherd mix was pawing at the door because his buddy got loose and couldn't get back in the yard. My daughter went next door to let the owners know but no one came to the door even though vehicles were parked in the driveway.
We have lived in our house since last June and only once have we ever seen anyone out to play with the dogs. They bark all day/night because they want attention. They get loose from the yard every now and then and I just want to kidnap them sometimes because it seems that their owners don't have time for them. One weekend the family went on a trip and left the dogs in the back yard with a pile of food, well that was gone long before they got back, so it was a sleepless night for us because of the constant barking. It makes me angry because they have two dogs, but don't seem to care about them. We had a dog, we wanted him, we loved him and he is no longer here.

I wasn't always a dog lover, much less a basenji lover….I have always been partial to kitty cats. The first time I heard about the breed was through my husband, Jason. He had a red and white girl named Nikita (she had a white nike swoosh on her head), she passed before I met my husband. whenever he looked through pictures of Nikita, my husband would always mention he wanted another one and I was completely against it. When we moved to San Antonio the first time (military) a few years ago, we went to the Rodeo and surprisingly there was a basenji breeder and abut 3 b's there showing her dogs (2007 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo). My husband tried again to make me fall in love with his perfect breed, but still I would not budge. A couple years later while Jason was deployed in Afghanistan, we were living in Louisiana and the children and I were watching Animal Planet (Dogs 101) and there they were, basenjis! I quickly started recording the episode so Jason could watch when he got home. After that episode, I got a little more interested in the breed, and eventually falling in love, so I started doing a little research, which led me to BRAT. There, I found a beautiful male tri named Tut and send the info to the hubster. He was happy to see that I was open to the idea of a basenji, but the timing was way off, our boys were still in diapers and with his experience with Nikita, he wasn't sure toddlers and a basenji would be a good mix. So enough time had passed as well as the diaper phase when this past fall we thought it was time to start looking for our very own family basenji. Jason didn't grow up with pets, so it was always his dream to give his kids a childhood with a dog at the center of their memories....sweet isn't it? Well it took some searching, a couple heartbreaks and finally with help from some of you, we found our dream dog with Brenda at Signet Kennels. Well, you know how the short story ended. Losing Timmy has been so hard, not only because how much we loved and wanted him, but because how soon we lost him. We are still very much mourning him, but as it tends to do, life must go on.
When Timmy was killed, my mom suggested getting another dog to get over our loss. We got into a big argument and I told her there is no way I can think of replacing him and another dog will not help. The past month, I've been reading through posts/threads and saw a few stories where some folks after losing a dog, adopted another, which helped with the grieving. I check BRAT at least 4 times a week with mixed emotions. There are two wonderful dogs listed in TX and I love them both. I occasionally ask Jason if he thinks we could try again and his answer is a steadfast NO. It upset me until finally he explained to me in a way for me to understand. He said what happened to Timmy shouldn't have and could have been avoided. We had him two weeks and we failed him, costing him his life. The emotions he went through during the whole process from beginning to end were such a roller-coaster. He feels embarrassed and ashamed that things went about the way they did. He also doesn't want to disrespect Brenda by replacing Timmy. He says that if he were a BRAT coordinator, he would not give us another dog because of what happened. I try to tell him it was a horrible lesson learned, that we could make changes and set up better ground rules, but perhaps he is right. I think he feels guilty because Timmy escaped under his watch. I was out of state and he couldn't put as much effort into searching for him with two little boys to look after in the meantime. It saddens me that he has closed the door to another basenji. He says maybe another breed, a small (yappy) dog, perhaps. But I don't think I can be swayed. I love basenjis and I don't want a different breed.
So, I guess for the time being, I'll just read, envy and live vicariously through your stories from afar, maybe leave a comment here and there. Thanks for letting me ramble and once again thank you all for your kinds words regarding Timmy.

Give him time to grieve and then maybe start attending events, meet other basenji owner and families with basenjis so he can see that maybe those changes you have told him about really can work. Also, maybe he will find that others will forgive him, if he can just forgive himself.

It saddens me to read your post, how can you not share your life with another Basenji? Don't think of it as replacing one dog with another, you can never replace a dog. But you can find another to love in honour of the one that is gone. When I lost this Basenji http://members.shaw.ca/disnard/index.htm I never thought I would get another as quickly as I did but when I saw this Basenji http://basenjis.homestead.com/billy.html on the BRAT site there were far too many coincidences involved to ignore. I HAD to get that dog. Sometimes dogs happen to you, and I firmly believe that Sunny sent Billy to me to love in his honour; he knew I could, and should, love him.

And please don't think that you are not "worthy" of another Basenji, I agree with your husband that what happened to Timmy could have and should have been avoided, but the bottom line is that it happened and it COULD happen to a Basenji "professional" as well. Learn from what happened to Timmy, don't beat yourself up about it. Things like that could happen to small yappy breeds too. I think your husband will come around, everyone grieves in their own time frame.

It's necessary to grieve, but another dog can certainly help in the healing process. When we lost our last boy, we were not planning on another dog…...but six months later one "happened" to us, and we adopted him. We have never regretted it. He certainly doesn't "replace" our much loved first boy, but he fills a hole in our lives and has brought his own unique personality to our home. Now we would be lost without him!

Guilt can eat you up. Deal with it and move on. Everyone makes mistakes, but some pay a higher price than others. For every tragedy, there are so very many near misses. Nobody here will judge you as harshly as you judge yourselves. I hope you find the right match to bring joy back into your lives and a home to a deserving Basenji.

Time heals… accidents happpen.... as said, deal with the grief and try to move on... I think that you and your family is a great home for a Basenji and I hope that time heals and he can forgive himself... as it was just as it was, an accident. They can and do happen to everyone in some way or fashion.

I think getting another basenji, or dog, is a way of honoring those gone before. But grief has its own timetable for each individual. Hopefully you will have another basenji someday, or maybe a basenji mix who just needed a home. And that new pup will help your family heal. Basenjis are powerfully addicting. And once you've found your breed, it would be hard to replace it with another breed. I don't think anyone reading your post from today would doubt your love and commitment to a new basenji.

I've always been a dog person. But whenever someone asks me if I'm a dog or a cat person, I reply "well, I have basenjis, so I'm not really sure."

Your story and Giza1's have got me in tears here.

I suffered the loss of my dearest pet shortly before we got Kipawa. For me, Kipawa (means 'gift' in Swahili) was a 'gift' sent to us by Barney. No animal you have loved can be replaced, but I knew my Barney would have wanted me to give the love I gave to him to another pet.

In time your husband will complete his grieving process - it can take a bit of time for some people. At some point in the future he will be comfortable to look at basenjis again and think of adding one to the family. Patience and understanding on your part will help him.

Hugs to all of you.

Jessica,
I feel your pain.
I just lost my beautiful Classy.
I lost my first basenji to a car back in 1979
She was only 1 and a half.It takes a while to get over the grief and
the guilt involved. I was a wreak for over a year beforeI got another pup.
It was a good thing I had another basenji at the time.I would have gone mad.
Give yourself some time to heal and then allow yourself to get another B.
I will be praying for you.
I also have a Timmy,he is Classy's son.The light of my life.

Kathryn

@giza1:

It saddens me to read your post, how can you not share your life with another Basenji? Don't think of it as replacing one dog with another, you can never replace a dog. But you can find another to love in honour of the one that is gone. When I lost this Basenji http://members.shaw.ca/disnard/index.htm I never thought I would get another as quickly as I did but when I saw this Basenji http://basenjis.homestead.com/billy.html on the BRAT site there were far too many coincidences involved to ignore. I HAD to get that dog. Sometimes dogs happen to you, and I firmly believe that Sunny sent Billy to me to love in his honour; he knew I could, and should, love him.

And please don't think that you are not "worthy" of another Basenji, I agree with your husband that what happened to Timmy could have and should have been avoided, but the bottom line is that it happened and it COULD happen to a Basenji "professional" as well. Learn from what happened to Timmy, don't beat yourself up about it. Things like that could happen to small yappy breeds too. I think your husband will come around, everyone grieves in their own time frame.

Thank you, Joanne, for sharing your story with me. I am happy that you are living a happy new chapter with Billy. Your story is very inspiring, perhaps I will share it with Jason after I give him some more time.

*Hugs,

Jessica

Thank you for your encouraging words. I guess I should haven't used the word replace, because I do realize that it just can't happen. At the time I got into that fight with my mom, it felt like she was, in not so many words, saying to "replace" Timmy, and there were emotions going wild and I just didn't want to hear of getting another dog. But I am open to it now, just have to get the hubster on board. I know not a lot of time has passed since losing
Timmy, I just have to be patient. 😉

@Rocky1:

I will be praying for you.

Kathryn

Thank you Kathryn. Prayers are very much appreciated!

timmy will never be replaced. life goes on. you will always remember him and the wonderful two weeks you had with him. unfortunately, you learned a hard lesson.. basenjis are fast, escape artists. i almost lost my boy 2 days after i got him. he has horrible seperation anxiety. the first twenty minutes i left him alone, he escaped onto my balcony, ate threw the screen and jumped a whole floor down to the ground. SO many things could have gone wrong. i learned my lesson. i'm so lucky to have him here. what happened to timmy is not uncommon. basenjis are just two smart and too fast for their own good.. don't give up on your hisband. let him mourn. just reassure him it wasn't his fault and it could have happened to anyone. my prayers are with you and your family. you'll find the right dog at the right time. ❤

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