Ibis, the problem child we never had, went down to visit Toni Ackerman, and her boy Charlie Brown. (I won’t go into specifics, but conformational wise and temperament wise, it was a good pairing).
She came home, and on Christmas day, gave us a Charlie Brown Christmas!
So, of course the pups were named after the cartoon characters (I always gave the new owners the freedom to choose their own names, some kept the CB Xmas names)
Linus – Rugosa True Meaning, Lucy – Rugosa Presents for Pretty Girls, 2 others I can’t remember the CB names, and the little girl I kept, Frieda - Rugosa Naturally Curly Tail.
There was some New Af on her sire and dam side, so I remembered that when she had some front bottom teeth that never came in. Too bad, if Rosa and Ibis got awards of merits, surely this little girl could do well – the best I ever bred. I was thinking if it all worked out, breeding her to Captain.
Then, the car accident, and our world was not turned upside down, but certainly tilted a bit.
She didn’t really get socialization, so was a bit timid, and after the accident I certainly didn’t have the time, so she stayed here. She was an absolute joy, she honored basenji rules around here, and accepted what the others told her – you are at the bottom. She didn’t seem to care really. I swear, we never had to tell her no, she just followed the others.
The one day 2 Lazy Boys were delivered when she was about 4. She had never chewed any fabric, and wouldn’t you know, this new chair needed to be customized – with a 2” hole on the seat!
She never heard no after that either.
At least once a week as I was watching her, I marveled at how nice she moved, and we never knew how we got so lucky that she barooed often, when she was happy, but never screamed like her Mom!!!!!!!!!
It has not been a good year for Rugosa Basenjis, Promise and Gretchen both left this year (not to mention Ada and Dempsey). Captain and Frieda were always close, and she was showing him that now it’s just them, she thought she might like to be the alpha. Captain, he didn’t care, the girls could always smell him, tell him he’s handsome, and then they could do whatever they wanted.
When Captain was helped across the bridge, Frieda had an appt for a dental. The day before the dental, she was limping, just a little, and I was told the vet would check it out. When I picked her up, he aid he saw nothing.
The last 4 dogs I have helped cross, were there because of old age, their bodies just wore out. That’s sad, but really kind of satisfying, knowing our care helped that to happen. They had all been 15 or 16, with a 17 yr old!
So Frieda came home, the only basenji, and I thought she would love it. However, she was a bit lonely, she had never been alone before.
She was limping a little more, so I took her in again. The gal that called got permission to xray her, and when I picked up Frieda, she said she saw nothing on the xray, but could send them to a radiologist, who had a better program, to see what he thought. She’d let me know in a week.
That week her limp got worse, but she was still using the leg sometimes. (Somewhere in all this she got pain meds, can’t remember exactly when. They didn’t help)
So the vet called with the bad news. By this time she was not even using the leg, ever. The radiologist said that Frieda had cancer on her leg bone, the longest one. The vet told me it was a fast growing cancer that if not taken care of, she could just be walking, and break her leg. She said we had 3 options, and started with amputation, then started with #2 and I interrupted her and said we would just let her go (which was her 3rd option), I made an appt to bring her in a couple of days. I did, I saw the radiologist x ray, and held her as she crossed.
She would have been 14 today. I know that’s old for a basenji, but I honestly thought we had a couple more years with her. She just started graying a couple months ago, and acted as healthy as can be. Plus, her mother lived almost to 17. Oh well, we’ll just treasure the time we had her. She, and the 3 before her, were all born here.
There are no plans to get another basenji, and I would never get anything else. It’s kind of weird, not having a basenji. Every time food gets dropped on the floor, I actually have to clean it up! If I can’t eat everything on my plate, even if just drops, it gets washed without being basenji washed first. I washed all the blankets and took them to Monica (has 3 Shiba Inu mixes). I gave the dog food that was left to the neighbor. We used to have a baby gait blocking the stairs to the upstairs – not any more. I vacuumed, and only do it every now and then. I keep the dog room, now the sun room, at 60 degrees all the time, used to be 72. I walk around the yard and I do it alone. I still fill the bucket on the gazebo with water because the squirrel drinks it, and just the other day there was a fat kitty there. For the last 25 years, any cat that entered the backyard was in danger, and usually got killed. Lots of squirrels and bunnies run around now.
We don’t have to always close the door when we’re bringing home groceries.
Frieda and the neighbor’s Ridgebacks used to run the length of the fence between us, back and forth, back and forth. They were out there barking for her for the first week or so. Now I don’t hear them anymore, and I don’t have to keep the path she made clear for her anymore.
There are little things around the house and yard that will forever make me think of the dogs, with love. I still love reading the basenjis stories, seeing the photos, laughing at the typical basenji antics, and will continue to do so. I play the videos of dogs baroo-ing, loud, so Danny can hear them too.
This life with no basenjis is different, but we’ll adapt.