I got Ringo in 1994 from a rescue breeder, he was 2 years old. The newspaper ad read " red/wht Basenji $75". I wanted a companion for Nika, my new blk/wht as she was so wild I needed another for her to target all that energy at instead of me.
When he arrived at my house he came very thin as he had malobsorbtion. They gave him poancrezyme to help with that.
He had bounced around to different homes but they returned him to the breeder. He had a bit of a mean streak in him. He would challenge large dogs. His coat was rough which made him look old. He was also a bit quiet and attacked Nika the second night. He would also growl at me when he was laying on the couch or chair. Anybody or dog that was over him was bad thing.
I got him some quality food and took him out with Nika to a huge open grassy area with jack rabbits. That did the trick!
Over the months his coat became a rich beautiful red and he gained some weight. A muscular 29 lbs!
All three of us had so many hiking adventures together over the years, the beaches, up in the hills and open fields. I think we hiked a few hundred miles together.
Ringo was a very intense guy to say the least, not shy at all. So he became very clownish and funny with many funny stories to tell. I'll give 2. When we were at the beach he'd get Nika or any dog to chase him. He'd round around and then like kids playing tag he'd find the nearest person, usually me and plow into us like we were home base. One day there were 2 women walking together down the beach and he just ran full speed and plowed into one of them from behind and knocked her down face first into the sand. I ran over apologetically and she laughed about it.
Or one day at the beach he spotted a dog laying next to it's owners, they were on a picnic blanket. The dog was laying behind them with a dog cookie. Ringo got as close as he could, the dog growling, and playfully baited and challenged the dog until it chased Ringo around the people on the blanket and as Ringo came around the back he swooped up the cookie and took off down the beach. The dog didn't notice what Ringo did and stopped where he had been laying and just looked down the beach at Ringo like"you better run"! Then the dog was sniffing around looking for his cookie everywhere very confused on where it could have gone.
His health started to decline last year at 13-1/2 , bad hearing and weight loss. He had developed a thyroid problem at 9.
A month ago I noticed his energy going down and took him to the vet. She noticed a mass, internally on his right side next to his stomach. After an ultra sound they determined it was benign as it would have killed him a lot earlier. She said if stays the same size he should be OK. He was dehydrated and after some liquid injection looked a whole lot better. That was a relief.
Well unfortunately the mass grew and pushed against his organs, mainly his stomach and he lost a lot of weight, loss of bladder control and got very weak. You see Ringo always had a very good appetite and if you didn't pull your fingers back quickly he take them too. So he couldn't even hardly take a bit of cooked chicken. I had to force feed him with a large syringe filled with high calorie/protein mix that he would try to spit out.
So on last Thursday, May 3, 2007 after talking to the vet several times I had to make the nightmarish decision to send him to Basenji heaven. What a terrible experience! I had to do it for him. I hoped he was going to beat it as on Tuesday he eat a lot of chicken with some vitamins. But On Wednesday he couldn't eat anything. I had to force feed him. Same with Thursday. He was miserable. I had to be unselfish and decide to set him free. I had his little body in a cardboard coffin the vet provided. I kept him next to me on my bed on Thursday night and Friday night. On Saturday I put beach sand around him in the coffin like he was at the beach and buried him, with Nika laying by. May he be having a blast on the other side of the rainbow! I'll always be grateful for all the wonderful experiences we had together. You were and are the best! I love you Ringo.