It was a long, long time ago…. way before the days of controlling breeding/health testing/screening buyers.... Responsible breeding has only really be around in the last 20/25 years (give or take)
I believe that the Deckers used a few Basenjis back in the early 70's. Again, way, way before the time of real health testing/screening buyers/contracts with spay/neuter requirments
Special Needs Basenjis
I am curious what other Basenji owners, especially B rescue adopters, consider a Special Needs Basenji. I have looked at other breed and mixed breed rescue sites and what these sites post as special needs dogs can really be different. Some consider elderly dogs even with no major health problems special needs but perhaps the rescue did not want to list the health problems. What about young dogs as compared to older ones with a medical condition? Would it matter if a dog had to take medication but was an easy pill taker? What about the cost of medication? What about temperament?
Most of you would probably consider a Fanconi affected B that is on the protocol special needs but what if they are easy pill takers and rarely ill. I have one at home like this who is 10 but my prior one had to go out several times during the night and had UTIs about 3-4 times a year.
I hate to label rescues special needs as they would probably be excluded for consideration for adoption but you do want to list medications and/or illnesses, genetic diseases, and issues you know they have.
I should probably list some issues/health problems that I have thought about and ones that some of my rescues actually have and/or had.
Temperament-cannot be with other dogs
Claustrophobic-cannot be crated
Low Thyroid-takes pills twice a day, will need to have a complete thyroid exam regularly
Eye problems-no surgery or drugs required-examples-cataracts, major PPM-blue eye, will need to have a CERF eye exam yearly
Intestinal/Esophagus Problems-prescription diet, medication-both prescription and OTC, sees a vet when needed
Luxating Patella-no surgery needed, needs to be monitored
Hip Dysplasia-no surgery needed, needs to be monitored
Elderly-12+ years old, typical health issues for age, on medication(s), needs to see vet at least twice a year, could have sight and/or hearing problems
Fanconi Affected via DNA test-a young dog, lets say under 2 years old, on no medication
The only thing on your list I would consider "special needs" would be a dog on the fanconi protocol. I have never had one but that would be my first thought. Or one that is diabetic and needs insulin injections.
Other than that, the other things are completely workable. Temperament is what it is. If the dog doesn't get along with other dogs than he needs a home without them. Claustrophobia: my foster basenji has it and my resident B has it so it is totally workable.
I think rescues should not label dogs "special needs" or any other label. They should be completely informed of the issues, but allow the potential adopter decide what they consider "special needs"
Our foster for example. He is claustrophibic and has SEVERE separation anxiety. I explained to the person who is interested that he would need some work to deal with the issues but he is a great dog otherwise. He said no problem, he has dealt with basenji quirks before. What one person may see as completely unreasonable, which by the way is what my parents said about what I put up with Dash in general, is perfectly all right to me.
In the last year, I have placed a deaf b and a blind b.
One of the adopters who has had "special needs b's" in the past, just lost her last one, and posted to me that they are willing to take in another.
yes, an angel on this earth
So, if the dog can find a foster home who can keep them until the "forever" home comes through, then..I would say, there can be a home for every dog.
However, I do have to qualify it with fanconis b who doesn't like to take the pills.
I had one of those, and that is very tough to deal with.
That is why I teach all my rescues and my own Bs to take pills. If they do not need to take pills for a medical reason, I give them a brewers yeast tablet. I coat the pills in canned dog food and this usually works. Although Zippy, one of my Fanconi affected, loved pills coated in yogurt. I would alternate flavors and make sure it was nonfat but with no artifical sweetners. When I yell out "pills", my Bs come running into the kitchen. I was even able to teach my 14/15 year old BRAT rescue to take pills. This dog was mouth shy and it was a little difficult at first.
My old fanconis boy just wouldn't take the pills.
I tried to hide them in everything, and he would just roll the "item" around in his mouth and spit out the pill.
But your so right.
Getting dogs to take treats, in one gulp is a life saver!