Hi, My name is Greg. I joined last year, but haven't posted until now. I initially came to the site after my rescue Basenji, Jengo had a nasty nasty stroke followed by a nightmarish seizure. I was looking for guidance about Basenjis and stroke recovery, and information about seizures in Basenjis. The health section was pretty informative. I was also successful in connecting with Pat Fragassi, who was extremely supportive. Something that I'll never forget. Thank you, Pat.
Jengo ended up in ICU for 5 days, but we saved him. Although, we had to teach Jengo how to walk again we were elated to have our little man back in the house. It didn't feel like a home without him. The following months were filled with triumphs and set backs. We celebrated the triumphs, and just... regrouped and started over following the setbacks. In a way, the setbacks were triumphs because we still had Jengo. As time went on... as hard as we tried... we could see Jengo slipping away. Kidney issues with the anti seizure meds, blindness from the stroke, eyesight failing in his other eye. Loosing muscle mass even though we walked him two and three times a day. Very heartbreaking.
I had to carry him home several times after we'd walked a little too far and it exhausted him. Sometimes just to the end of the park in front of our house. I had to carry him outside to do his business. Often at 12, 2, 4, and 6 am. Frustrating, but we still had him. Sometimes we'd spoon feed him if he was having a bad day. I suppose... as I look back maybe it was selfish of us to let him live that way. I don't know. But, if given the chance again, I don't think I'd do it any differently. I loved that little dog so much.
We lost Jengo early in July. I don't think I can express the grief we felt when he died. I've had dogs my entire life. I've sat with with some of my favorite dogs and cats while they were euthanized. This one was different. Although he was never the same following the stroke, we all fought hard for him. He fought hard. We left California in our RV almost immediately. It was much too painful to be in the house without Jengo. We headed for Colorado to spend some time with my parents, who are in their 80's. It helped keep our minds off of losing Jengo, but not completely. I wake up several mornings a week dreaming of Jenga Jeng. Still do.
Boy he was a fun entertaining little Basenge, as we called him. He had a plethora a pet names. He demanded attention. Maybe required it is a better description, but we adored that dog. He'd climb up on window sills, onto set tables, sleep in the bed, not on it. He destroyed a pillow one day when we ignored him. he could surgically remove tags from pillows and clothing without any damage to article itself if that suited him. He destroyed window blinds and curtains he couldn't see through. He chewed through anything leather if you left it on the floor. We never hit him. Never yelled at him. It took him a while because we're dense, but Jengo was eventually very successful in training us, his monkeys, how to service and please a Basenji. He went everywhere with us in the RV. I'd bet he's seen more of the Western United States that most people.
We were lucky enough to get Jengo from Karen and Chuck at Medfly when he was about 4 to 6 years old. We were even luckier to share a home with him for 8 years. I say "share a home" and not "share our home" because it was his home as much as it was ours. His presents made it home. Weird year 2020.
Don't think I'll ever have another breed after Jengo. I hope to have another Basenji some day...