• First, let me say I'm not a pro rescuer, or anything close to it. I respect anyone who is able to devote the kind of time and patience it takes to rehabilitate dogs in need. Now, on to the stories:

    #1: AJ

    I drive truck for a living and always thought it was cruel to take a dog on a truck. (Now I eat my words.) But anyway, I was teaming with a guy whose ex-wife had too many dogs and the city was coming down on her. AJ was the eldest in the pack, but is neutered, so can't show. (I think it's ridiculous, but that's a political thing with AKC that I won't get into.) He was fighting with the show dogs to maintain his place in the pack and seemed to be the center of trouble in the house, so she was talking about having AJ put down for all the fighting.
    Since my grandmother used to raise Basenji, I understand the breed and didn't have the heart to let him be put down. I gave him a shot at being a truck dog. He is one of the most affectionate dogs I've ever known and became my little Velcro buddy. When I went back to solo driving, AJ came with me.
    I changed companies and had to leave him with some friends for about a week. While I was away, my friends told me he laid around being bummed out the whole time. He would play, but only half-heartedly for a short period then go lay down and pout. When I walked into the house to get him, he jumped all over both couches, singing his heart out, wagging his tail and just beside himself. That really makes a person feel good, eh? I took him out to the new truck and he tried to climb in himself to check it out. He basically told me the road is his home, now, and it's what makes him happy. So, here we are, trucking the USA and I'm eating my words.

    #2 Melody

    The same previous owner of AJ was still having trouble with the city and had some knuckleheads move in next door to her who let their dogs tease hers. She had been trying to find a home for Melody because of this and was getting nowhere. I found out about it and called my grandmother, who had a Basenji kennel in Nonpareil, Mehama and Lyons Oregon over a period of nearly 50 years. She had lost her last Basenji three years previous to my phone call.
    I asked whether she would like to have another Basenji. Her first question was, "Aren't you getting along with yours???" I told her of course I'm getting along with him. This is a different dog. She immediately agreed to take Melody without any information at all. Then I described Mel to her (red and white female, three yrs old, history of fear biting) and she still (very excitedly) agreed to take Melody and told me that red and white females were always her favorite. When I picked Melody up from the previous owner, the owner was in tears to let her go, but relinquished her to me. Melody joined AJ on the truck and off we went to Oregon.
    When we pulled up in my grandmother's yard (no easy feat, even bob-tail) she heard the diesel engine and came running out as fast as she could. She came around the corner, saw two beautiful, perfect Basenji and lit up like Manhattan on New Year's. She has never had a problem with Melody biting or even wrinkling her mouth or growling at anyone. Melody sits with her watching TV, helps her feed the parrots, gets along with the cats and washes the elderly golden retriever's face.
    This will probably be my grandmother's last dog. She is in her 90's now. I think it is only appropriate it will be a Basenji.


  • First off, let me say, in rescue there is no hierarchy! If you are helping the animals, you are a rescuer, period. I would say you are the best kind of rescuer, you care, and thought not only about the animals, but about making a person happy too.

    Great job, and thanks for posting that, it will make me smile all day thinking about Mel and your grandma, watching tv together!

  • Houston

    Ajs Human, you brought tears to my eyes with the story of your grandmother..how sweet.
    Yes, you are a rescuer through and through, you saved/rescued Aj and Melody from potentially being put down..great work, give yourself a pat, heck give yourself two pats on the back..
    Awesome story, thanks for sharing.

  • AJ's Human - your story is so heartwarming and brought tears to my eyes.
    You are a blessed person to be so kind and caring. AJ knows it, too!

  • Lovely happy stories, we need more of these, thanks for sharing

  • Awww, bless you. Great stories and the best part was picturing your grandmother and Mel, obviously meant for one another, being "reunited".

  • 2 great stories with very happy endings!! I would say Gramma has the touch and spirit that Melody needed. And I would say you and AJ are best buddies! Thanks for posting this!

  • Great stories, two lucky dogs that have wonderful lives, thanks to you and your efforts. Great job! Tell your Grandmother"Hello" !

  • Thank you for caring lots of love in those two dogs and sounds like they found there forever home and love. Thank you for thinking about grandma. Way to go.

    Rita Jean

  • That is a wonderful story and obviously made two very happy (b and Grandma) they sound like they are soul mates. I have never heard of a basenji helping to feed anything before, they usually get there first!

  • I guess bird seed and fruit aren't Melody's cup of tea.:D But she keeps Gramma company when she's feeding her birds. That's helpful, isn't it?

  • @AJs:

    I guess bird seed and fruit aren't Melody's cup of tea.:D But she keeps Gramma company when she's feeding her birds. That's helpful, isn't it?

    She sounds so darling. Kudos to you for your rescue efforts! I agree, there doesn't need to be any official structure or heirarchy to make a different for THAT dog! I've privately adopted out two dogs from bad situations. Got them neutered and found wonderful families for them who continue to adore them.

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