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. 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. 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..