I need to find a home for my female pb basenji

While I know the original poster has (sadly) left the forum I would like to say this:

  1. it is an impossible situation to decide you have to rehome a beloved pet. Not everyone is responsible but at the same time not everyone looking to give up their pet is irresponsible.
  2. not everyone is privy to the agreement made between a breeder and an owner or whether it’s in the best interest of a dog to return to its breeder, in many case years later. In some cases it is just not in the best interest of the dog to return to its breeder due to reasons we may not know or for those in the industry know but don’t openly speak about. Sometimes people can find out practices after the fact that you would not want your dog returned into.

Oakley is now 8 years old and as many know I have been a member of this forum since the anticipation of his birth arrival. It has been a hell of a journey...a ton of medical expenses and a lot of difficulty. Oakley has separation anxiety and confinement anxiety (legit no closed doors in my home)...he is not dog friendly despite being raised differently, he is not good with strangers to the point I cant have people in my home, and he is food possessive. I have spent upwards of 15k for his care and have literally become an island at the age of 30...so that I could manage to keep him happy. We’ve had several incidents that I’ve worried would bankrupt me if taken to court and I’ve spent thousands seeing the best behaviorist in the country to little avail...the last year I have realized a career opportunity that would make keeping him near impossible and is a career I need to do sooner rather than later due to age limitations. More than a career it’s a dream for me and a service to our country...rehoming a dog like him is highly unlikely...although he’s a Peach if he gets all his “needs” met. I have always been ‘prepared’ to live this life without the husband, kids, or career I wanted as I knew I’d be late 30’s before Oakley passed...but it’s hit me hard lately that I can’t be 80 years old sitting in a rocking chair on my porch looking back at my life and be happy with myself over having given up everything to keep him until the end. The frank reality is that his life is a small portion of my overall life but the ramifications will far outlive him. It sounds harsh and I don’t mean it to be anything other than the reality of the numbers. I’ve been bogged down in these thoughts and it’s an awful place to be. A place I could never have imagined even a year ago. It’s so easy to judge until your faced with the weight of a decision like giving up your dog (at least for me).

All of this to say that I love Oakley more than anything and strongly believe I’ve done more for him than anyone else would. I’ve given up a lot. I’ve been guilty of judging people over giving up their pets or putting them down in situations...and I very often feel judged when I speak out about my more recent thoughts and upcoming decisions. It’s hard...and no one will be less forgiving of myself than myself.
I hope that everyone takes a little more time to realize the uniquesness or ones situation and to evaluate the person making the decision; if they’re legit then likely they know the best for their dog...even if it’s not the popular outcome.

last edited by Chealsie508

You were very brave to write this...and I am sorry for all the problems you and Oakley have faced together. I hope you find someone who can give him a loving home which will cater to his special needs. I am praying you and Oakley will each find happy lives and that you will make peace with this heart wrenching decision. God bless you both.

Thank you Nancy. No decision had been made but I certainly feel a clock ticking in my head. I believe I have at least a year before I have to make the decision and I would only make it if I was accepted in the 21 week training program for the job. I don’t however feel that rehoming is an option. Not to say i wouldnt try to find that unicorn home that fits his needs but I also don’t believe given his attachment to me he would live a very happy life with anyone else. Quite frankly I have moments I can’t imagine he lives happily with such anxiety.

More than anything I posted my struggle bc I think it’s important when someone has to rehome their pet (or worse) to offer support and understanding. Many
Of the members of this forum who have been longstanding members will know how loyal I have been to giving Oakley the very best. I have a feeling the original poster was struggling and her experience here made her feel even more helpless and defeated about where to turn. Lack of judgement is not warranted in all situations and I still feel internal judgement when I feel as though a person hasn’t met ‘’my burden of proof” for their reasoning, but I’m much more appreciative of the beating a person inflicts on themselves when giving up. I know for myself, I’ll never get another dog as I feel I’ve failed my commitment and responsibility...but it can sometimes be too much. I still treat him and give him the best everyday and love him endlessly but I know my own value as well.

Chealsie, I know this has been hard for you. Do consider that sometimes a dog is very different.....for better or for worse.....with a change of circumstances. I have seen dogs behave remarkably differently when their whole world shatters. It's not something you can easily predict, and might be worth finding out before you make a final decision.

Absolutely. I agree. I know Oakley behaves “better” outside of my presence. For instance, although extremely agitated by our separation during my trip last week for work, he did not have any aggressive outbursts with his new (building relationship over 3 months) in-home caretaker. And despite me being honest about my worries about her bringing her 9 year old daughter- all seemed to go okay. It’s not out of the question, I just can’t imagine anyone who would willingly sign up for a job like caring for Oakley. Finding a likely single woman with ample at-home time and isn’t overly social at home...loves dogs enough to want to take on such a challenge but doesn’t have any other pets...the list goes on. I know a few things well enough and that’s that he will never be dog friendly or safe/bomb proof around food, and that he simply doesn’t enjoy social interaction with people that aren’t “his”. Some of me coming here, seeing this thread and deciding to share was that if any place has resources or suggestions of people who might want to meet him, would be this forum.

last edited by Chealsie508


People are going to judge. It is human nature. Positive or negative, folks have opinions about what others do. I cannot imagine living your life, the dedication you have put into it. But I hope whatever you decide, you don't let others make you feel bad. You have done all you can and far more than most would ever have done.

Doing rescue, most of us rarely see your kind of dedication. I wish it were harder on some for whom getting rid of a pet is so easy. It's not just the US, take a look at even France, Germany and Italy and the stats on getting pets then putting out on the road at vacation time. Public media has helped, but how could anyone be okay with that? From getting new carpeting and the dog hair stands out to having a dog for 12 years but now having a baby and no time for the dog, to you name it. So no, I don't think giving up a dog is that hard for many people. 😞

When someone wants to place a dog and is trying to do it responsibly, like the OP, then yes, we need to not judge. But I do think if someone posts on a public forum saying they are only trying to place the dog because of concern for the dog's happiness, then they should expect, in fact want, to be asked about options that would allow them to keep an older dog, because it is so hard on the animal and if they can be supported to find a way, then suggestions are not judging but trying to offer options. If the OP really is concerned about the dog's welfare, they can say the breeder is not an option, and suggestions won't work for their situation. Nothing was asked here that a responsible rescue won't also ask.

As for your situation, you make your own decisions about what is best. But it is heartbreaking that you suffer taking care of Oakley at such an expense to your own happiness. You need to take care of yourself too. (( Hugs ))

@chealsie508 said in I need to find a home for my female pb basenji:

I can’t imagine he lives happily with such anxiety.

I know for myself, I’ll never get another dog as I feel I’ve failed my commitment and responsibility...but it can sometimes be too much. I still treat him and give him the best everyday and love him endlessly but I know my own value as well.

You did NOT FAIL. You didn't create his issues, they are probably genetic/biologic-based and you have done more than most on earth would do. There is a question of quality of life. Not one person on earth but you get to decide. You earned that right because you didn't fail in responsibility or commitment. As for another dog... may the right dog walk into your life and change your mind. One that gives and receives the joy that you deserve.


Thank you Debra, your post means a lot as you’ve been one of the people who have been around for our entire journey. It’s definitely heartbreaking at times. I feel like an awful human to be pursuing this career in hopes of getting a chance at it....Nothing has ever come up where I’d choose it over him, but I just know I need to do this for me. And if it doesn’t work at least I tried.

I also agree with all your points about the post and the right of others to ask questions. And I agree that a lot of folks give up their pets without much thought, reasoning or legitimacy...I can’t fathom it. Truly breaks my heart.

Thank you again for your kind words, it really helps with the guilt ❤

(( hugs )) Sometimes there are no answers or fixes. You deserve a life.

Wouldn't feel bad about the behavior of your basenji. I got mine six years ago and he acts a lot like yours. I kennel trained him and when I have company he goes in the kennel till he settles down. When I let him out I just tell people to be still till he checks them all out then he is fine. A lot of times he acts like he is going to attack me if he doesn't get his way vicious snarls and all, but I have learned it is just that an act . He also acted vicious around other dogs but after introducing them properly he gets along great. We have recently got him a new basenji mixed sister to play with, after the snarls and viciousness he loves her very much. I wouldn't be afraid to rehome your basenji, it at least give someone a chance to see what they can do.

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