Lost my companion I rescued..

I'm new here. I just joined since now that I lost mine, I'm reading up since I want a puppy.

When I was 11 years old I was told by my dad that I was going to get a dog for christmas, much to the dismay of my mom.

Before this, I wasn't really a dog person. My mom never had pets she liked either (In fact she had to give away a puppy when she was a college student because it would keep her up at night. She had cats but never really liked them and ended up giving them away before they where old enough).

So we went to the animal shelter. Then more animal shelters. We called up more of them to say what we were looking for.
It was about 10 visits to other shelters when we got a call to visit one about 45 minutes away. Well, I hadn't seen a dog that really "spoke" to me yet, so it was worth the drive to check out a new one. I didn't really like the dog they called about. He was cute, but didn't have that personality. I looked around at all the dogs though, and saw one I really loved.

Unlike the other dogs there, he didn't bark at me. He didn't just lay there. He came up to the cage wagging his tail so hard his whole butt moved and his tail was just a blur. I leaned down and put my knuckles against the chainlink cage door and he kept licking them until I pulled away. After a little bit I stood up to see the other dogs to make sure, and he made a cute whine and watched me as I walked away. I only went a few cages down at other dogs, seeing another I liked second most to all the dogs I've seen then, and went to the staff to take my first choice for a walk
He was really excited, sniffing everything, and not very good on the leash. But I noticed he was really smart, as when his leash would get wrapped around a pole he knew to go back around it to untangle instead of keep trying to pull against.
So I put in an application for him and was called later to come pick him up.

The pound didn't know what he was, nor did I. I finally found out when I went to the vet and then looked up what he said online and then I knew that was it. He was just some mystery dog for a while. He was about 3 years old at the time.
Soon he became known as Chopper, and he got me through lots of hard times. (My dad died a year later.) He was always there at the door when he heard me coming home. He always snuggled me and would lick my tears when I was sad. He loved other people.

Despite being 3 years old, I was able to teach him just about every trick except roll over(he hated being on his back) and play dead. He only knew "sit" and "come" when I got him. He was perfectly obediant in doors. He never begged for food. He didn't bother my allergies. He loved other people and they loved him.

In fact.. One of my aunts and uncles got a dog because chopper made them so happy (my aunt is manic depressive), though they like chopper so much more. Many of my school friends at the time begged their parents for dogs because they loved Chopper so much, only to not like their dogs nearly as much.
Chopper would always do things to make you laugh. People laughing seemed to be his favorite thing. He found out he got lots of laughs when there was a bunch of people over to climb up onto the back of the couch and put his butt against someones head or shoulders, so he'd do it all the time whenever there was a party and wags his tail to the laughs. He'd spaz out and run all around the house tearing up the carpet until we stopped laughing.

Despite them known for chewing.. He would never take anything without permission. He loved to chew, but only when I handed something to him. If he wanted something, like the flashlight to chase the light or a toy on the table, he would just sit and look at it. We could leave anything on the floor or up and he wouldn't touch them unless it was handed to him. (But once it was given to him he knew it was his to play with whenever he wanted)

He was an escapist for the first 3 years.. but after that he was a bit more mellow and could go outside leashless even with other dogs and animals around as long as I was with him. (But going out alone with others he would run off to explore and chase)

He was an amazing dog.. perfect except for not being as obediant outside. The vet said he's a mix, but I'm not sure. He looks exactly like a basenji, except he was leaner(but I've seen other basenji's as lean as him), 22 lbs, and had a mole on his cheek with 2 whiskers coming out of it. Also his tail stuck out and curled some, but made a sort of cresent shape. But I've seen other basenji's that have close tails. No one can figure out what else is in him. Maybe one parent was half basenji and the other full basenji, making 3/4 basenji. That might explain it, but would be very very rare to happen. I think he might of been purebred basenji. I've been trying to figure out what else he can be, but I can't, he looks too basenji except for the mole and lightly curled tail.

Well.. 3 years ago we were told he had cancer after getting him tested when a lump was growing on his neck. They said he'd have 6-12 months to life.
Well, for the next year, still happy amazing Chopper.
A year ago we were told he probably had weeks or at the most a few months.
They said he'd slowly gain weight, but then suddenly go off the deepend and rapidly lose it and be in pain. That never happened though. I guess he was a fighter, I know he loved me a lot.. Even when he'd lost half his weight he would come up the stairs, despite taking a minute to get up them, barely able to get up. He'd put his paws up on my bed to show he wanted to be picked up, since he didn't have the strength to jump anymore, because he wanted to cuddle with me in bed at least six nights a week. He was such a good dog that even when he could barely come up the stairs he'd do so to tell me had had to go out..
I kept waiting and waiting for when he'd be in pain and be miserable.. but it never came. He was just getting so weak he couldn't do anything.

The past two weeks he was sometimes getting stuck on the stairs (just collapsing there and unable to get up, and he'd whine for me to come help him), he didn't want to get up when I called and needed help getting off the bed. I'd carry him up the stairs whenever I knew he wanted up, but he was such a quiet dog that he'd always be trying to come to my room on his own. He would just lay there with his eyes open most of the time and had stopped wagging his tail which used to wag almost every waking moment..
I wish it wasn't like that. It seems like such a bad way to go. ๐Ÿ˜ž I wish he could of died in his sleep, you know?.. but the cancer was going so slowly. It wasn't malignant cancer, but it was making it where he couldn't gain any weight. He was slowly losing it to where he couldn't do anything and couldn't enjoy life, so we had to help him pass..

He died at 13 years old. He was amazingly healthy until the cancer.

Sorry that was so long winded.. I miss him a lot. Hopefully I'll find a young Basenji to fill the void. It'll be hard to find a dog as good as him. ๐Ÿ˜ž If anyone knows a good breeder in central florida that would be nice..

I just lost him thursday, and I keep looking around expecting him to be there when he's not. I'll look back while at my computer thinking he's on my bed but he's not..

I am so sorry you have lost your best friend, I know how empty your home must feel now. And you will never "replace" Chopper, but hopefully you will find another great basenji to make you smile again. I feel like giving a loving home to a new basenji honors the memory of the one that has left us with a hole in our hearts.
I'm in Florida too with my Topper, also 13. There used to be 2 or 3 good breeders in the Ocala area.

You have written a lovely tribute to Chopper, who was a very lucky dog to have such a loving human to care for him.

It's so hard to loose such a good friend. Run free Chopper. There was a lot of love in your life.

I am so sorry to read of Chopper, we just lost one too, as you may have read. It is soooo hard. When I get the doggy dinner, I have a hard time remembering not to get a bowl for Lunaโ€ฆ.and each time I walk thru the dog room I look over to her crate, and she isn't there. It takes time to heal...

It sounds like Chopper had a wonderful life with you...I hope you will find a new companion soon.

Wonderful story. No dog will replace Chopper as he has his special place in your heart but you will find a new companion that will be wonderful. I have lost 3 special Basenjis over 34 years and each new one finds a special place in my heart. You see your heart has a lot of space for all these special dogs. Chopper wants you to find a new special friend because he loves you.

I'm sorry for your loss, that was a lovely tribute to Chopper. Run free little Chopper

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I also came across this wonderful forum just over a year ago the day after losing our "only child". My thoughts are with you. I know that Chopper was deeply loved.

Thanks guys.

I found 2 breeders in Ocala on Basenji.org and 1 in Tittusville on breeders.net
I'm going to give them calls tomorrow.

I am sorry for your loss. You wrote a wonderful tribute to Chopper.

Have you checked the BCOA Breeder's Directory? http://www.basenji.org/PUBLIC/BreederDirectory.htm

Also be sure to check out this site for how to screen a breeder, http://www.basenji.org/learn/ScreeningBreeders.htm

Make sure that you ask about Fanconi testing and that you verify for yourself that the parents show up on the OFA website, http://www.offa.org

Many on this forum are very passionate about making sure that everyone preparing to get a puppy knows about the Fanconi test and verifying that the testing has actually been done. To read a thread about how this disease effects the dog and owner check out, http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=6165

Yeah, that's the site I mentioned in my last post. I've read about it and I know I need to ask if they are tested. I'm not sure what proof I'm supposed to get that they don't have it, though.

Houston

Innociv,
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Just know that Chopper is running and playing again, upstairs. Your contribute to him was amazing, thank you for saring it with us.
My husband and I lost our two beloved dogs in march and exactly 4 weeks later in april. It was extremely painful and still is, I constantly catch myself calling all names when doggie dinner is being served and when it is time to go for a walk. Well, as my Mother's Day present this year I got my beloved Otis, he is an almost 5 month old brindle boy and he has melted my heart. He will never take Bogus' or Lou's place in our hearts but he has bombared himself into another special place in our family and hearts.

Hi,
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your wonderful Dog Chopper, he sounds like he was such a character.
Like you i found this forum after i had lost my Basenji, i guess i was searching Basenjis online because i missed him so much. I have to say this forum has realy helped me, i wish i'd found it whilst i still had him but i have gained a lot of comfort from chatting to Basenji people and looking at photographs, i hope you do the same. Have you got any pictures of Chopper you could share? It would be lovely to see him.
I too am hoping to get a Pup maybe later this year if i can find one,
Shelley

@innociv:

Yeah, that's the site I mentioned in my last post. I've read about it and I know I need to ask if they are tested. I'm not sure what proof I'm supposed to get that they don't have it, though.

You need to ask for the registered names of the parents. Then go to the OFA website, http://www.offa.org and do a search on the parents names. If they have been tested their results will be listed in the database.

As an example if you were to search for Sherwood's In The Nick of Time, you would get back this page as the results, http://www.offa.org/results.html?all=sherwood%27s+in+the&x=18&y=0

If you then click on his name you will see his page with all his health testing results summarized, http://www.offa.org/display.html?appnum=789239#animal

You can see that he has been tested for Hips, Patellas, Thyroid, Fanconi, and CERF and see the results. At minimum breeders should be testing Hips, Eyes, and Fanconi status. BCOA recommends Hips, Eyes, Thyroid, and Fanconi which if done and public will give the dog the CHIC designation that you see for Sherwood's In The Nick of Time.

I am sorry about your loss and the only words of wisdom I have is as long as they are in our hearts they are always with us.

Rita Jean

@lvoss:

You need to ask for the registered names of the parents. Then go to the OFA website, http://www.offa.org and do a search on the parents names. If they have been tested their results will be listed in the database.

As an example if you were to search for Sherwood's In The Nick of Time, you would get back this page as the results, http://www.offa.org/results.html?all=sherwood%27s+in+the&x=18&y=0

If you then click on his name you will see his page with all his health testing results summarized, http://www.offa.org/display.html?appnum=789239#animal

You can see that he has been tested for Hips, Patellas, Thyroid, Fanconi, and CERF and see the results. At minimum breeders should be testing Hips, Eyes, and Fanconi status. BCOA recommends Hips, Eyes, Thyroid, and Fanconi which if done and public will give the dog the CHIC designation that you see for Sherwood's In The Nick of Time.

Thanks. I see now.

I'm having trouble finding a young Basenji though. ๐Ÿ˜ž Since they breed once a year, I have to wait 8 months or get one out of state..
There are some in Georgia so I might ahve to drive there since I want to see one in person.

It is true that this is not a good time of year to find a young pup to bring home. This is a good time of year to begin screening breeders for fall litters though. Also, you may want to consider a young adult. Breeders sometimes have dogs that didn't turn out quite as they expected or sometimes dogs are returned and need rehomed.

I don't mind a 4-7 month old Basenji. In fact, I could tell what kind of personality they have more at that age.. It doesn't need to be 10 weeks, or 13 weeks, or whatever.

But with one that is older and needs to be rehomed, he might already have bad habits.. The only thing I didn't like about Chopper is that he was hard to train (took twp months I think to teach him to lay down on command and I couldn't teach him to roll over.) and I think he was hit a lot by his previous owner. While I loved him and he was nearly perfect, I'd like a dog that has only been with a breeder so I can train him correctly.

I was hoping some breeders might of had ones they couldn't sell. Doesn't seem the case in Florida, though. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Sorry to hear about Chopper.
You never know about older dogs that need rehoming until you go and meet them. Good breeders will sometimes have to rehome one of their dogs (the previous owner may have died or got shipped overseas or whatever) - that doesn't mean the dog was a problem dog. My second dog was a 5year old retired show dog that was very well trained.
And regarding training - that partly depends on the dog's personality. Two months to learn to lay down - ha - I had a 9 year old who refused to lie down up to the day he died.
So be more openminded about "older" dogs - you just might find one nearly as perfect as Chopper.

@innociv:

But with one that is older and needs to be rehomed, he might already have bad habits.. The only thing I didn't like about Chopper is that he was hard to train (took twp months I think to teach him to lay down on command and I couldn't teach him to roll over.) and I think he was hit a lot by his previous owner. While I loved him and he was nearly perfect, I'd like a dog that has only been with a breeder so I can train him correctly.
QUOTE]

Many dogs returned to breeders are returned because the family is overwhelmed and that may or may not be because of the dog. I would not rule out a dog that has been returned without meeting the actual dog.

Also, just to be realistic, even puppies can have difficulty learning commands. Basenjis respond very well to positive reinforcement training but can take a while to gain reliability with a command. They are also sighthounds so the issue of being distracted and therefore not reliable in performing commands when outside will always be something that has to be worked on.

Lets talk a bit about 'training' - while some basenjis do learn parlor tricks - roll over, shake etc. It is a little unrealistic to expect that they all will. 'Training' for a B is typically those things that are critical like Come, sit, walking on a leash without pulling and giving some indication that it's potty time. For those that are more independent they look at you like "what ta heck to I have to roll over for" or "fetch it yourself", if the task does not fit their purpose - it's harder to teach.

Althouh - on old dogs new tricks - my daughter, when she bought her house took a favorite basenji with her and Thumper is 11 and she did teach her parlor tricks that she never knew as a youngster. So I suppose - timing is everything.

There are a couple of puppies in Indiana with breeders. It's seldom that you find breeders where you are - if you want something specific - you need to go where the Breeders are.

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