I didn't understand at first,
I thought she was misbehaving.
Grabbing the toilet paper and dashing out of the room...
Ripping (bigger) holes in the socks I left by the bed...
Chewing on the attachment to my hair dryer that never gets used...
I thought I was just learning about having a Basenji.
Then I caught her!
As she turned to look back half way down the hall...
I'd swear she had a laugh in her eyes.
With a "catch me if you can!" smirk on her face.
She wasn't trying to be a bad dog...
She just wanted me to play a bit with her.
So I knotted up that old ace bandage,
And we played "tug of war".
The material was stretchy,
Which just made it more fun.
We played a little bit.
She didn't need to grab more things.
Now we understand eachother.
She was only bored.
It's easy to understand how you would be upset by the email you received. Anyone caring for an animal 3+ years would be quite attached. Give your nerves a couple of days to rest, then re-read the email - one line at a time if you have to - and try to make sure that you aren't reading anything into it. Not everyone is able to clearly communicate through writing, so there is always room for misinterpretation.
Based on what you've written, it sounds like BRAT is concerned that you are not providing proper care for Declan. (i.e.; the Cabergoline dosage, weight and diet differences.) The best outcome would be for you to be able to provide evidence to BRAT that Declan's condition has improved under your care. Maybe, just maybe, they would be satified with that.
Look for a (third party) vet that would be willing to examine Declan and his blood analysis. Preferably one who is willing to put his thoughts down on paper, or give you a copy of his notes. That could, potentially, provide you with something in writing that says Declan has responded well to his diet and lifestyle (and hopefully indicate that the cushings is in remission). Let the Vet's office know that you are making the appointment to get a second opinion on Declan's health. There is no reason, that I can think of, to discuss the foster care/BRAT aspect. Yes, you will have to be the one to pay for the visit. You aren't getting shots, so I'm guessing it would run about $50(?). Make sure you take information from his earlier visit(s) with you so the Vet has some point of reference for Declan's condition when he was originally diagnosed. Ask the Vet what kind of diet he would reccomend. Perhaps there is a less expensive option than what he is currently eating(?). Do some research, look for something you could try.
From the sounds of it, you are going to need to renegotiate your agreement with BRAT. So calm yourself down and prepare to discuss this logically, rationally, and professionally with them.
- You cannot know what kind of fiscal issues BRAT may/may not be having. Forget about attacking them on the basis of money (yours or theirs). Don't argue with them about that.
- You need to get all of Declan's paperwork in order. Be able to show them the difference between when you brought him home and how well he is doing now.
- Back up your reason for the 5.25mg/Cabergoline/week dosage with real evidence. Not how you think he's doing fine. What made you increase his dosage? Find the documentation for it. Not an article online, more like the vet recommended it on this visit (this date and time). Where were you getting this medication from in the first place? Someone prescribed it, right?
- Provide evidence that RC Satiety Support is "made from sawdust". Have an alternative suggestion ready.
- Ask BRAT how you can work with them to provide the stabilty they are seeking for Declan. There is a very real chance that they look at the less expensive UCCR testing as inadequate and feel like they can't really tell where Declan is in his "remission".
- Be prepared to agree to a diet regimine for Declan. 20#s overweight puts him at ~40+ pounds.... That's like a human weighing twice what they should. How could that possibly be healthy? (Heck! I've got my girl on a diet for a whopping 3 extra pounds!)
- Make an appointment with the BRAT approved Vet and get the same information you should/would get from a third party Vet. The Vet is there to advise you. If you blow off everything they say, then BRAT's defense is that you are not being reasonable and not respecting the educated advice of a professional. They "know nothing" is a line from Game of Thrones, not a worthy debate tactic regarding Declan's medication.
I'm not taking anyone's side in this. But I am trying to help you see that the only way to 'win' is to approach this without emotion. Hard, I know. Be business-like. Be able to present documents that show how much Declan has improved. Be willing to agree to different terms. Show them that you are willing to work with them and things might just work out.
Good luck, you'll (both) be in my thoughts.
wait until the time is right, even if you really, really want a dog now
I agree... with everyone. Sometimes you just need to accept that (no matter how much you want a dog/car/kid/house) you aren't quite ready for it. I waited 5 years before I brought my Basenji home and it was probably the most adult thing I've ever done. I was still in recovery from a spinal injury and knew that I wouldn't be able to provide (her) the exercise she would want and require. Waiting made all the difference in the world. Whan I was finally ready, the most perfect little girl was ready for me.
Don't fret about it. You can read, research, consider all of your options, and really prepare yourself. (Don't look at puppy pictures online! You'll fall in love without even meeting the pup(s) and it will pull at your heartstrings.) Remind yourself that "one day you will have a Basenji", just not today.
Oftentimes switching foods abruptly will create "digestion issues". It may be eased if you combine new and old foods together for a week or so before you officially start the new food.
Personally, I would add a 1/2 teaspoon of pure pumpkin to the food to help settle his stomach. My local WalMart sells it on the baking/spice isle it for ~$1USD. Do not get "pumpkin pie mix" as there are seasonings that can kill(?) your pup. Pure pumpkin, however, is a very healthy addition to their diet.
There is a lot of pumpkin in the can! I recommend putting small dots of it on a cookie sheet, then freeze it for an hour or so. Store them in a zippered freezer bag and thaw out a few at a time (as needed). Or, toss them in the dinner bowl frozen.... something I've done recently which "doodle" seems okay with.
IMHO, a "Dog Trainer's job" is not to teach the dog how to behave, but to teach the dog's owner how to get the dog to behave in the manner they want it to. Almost everything I learned (over the years) relates to the energy that the dog perceives from it's owner. In other words, if you are relaxed, the dog is as well. If you are tense, the dog senses that tension.
If your dog is misbehaving when another dog passes by on a walk, then stop before they cross paths, put your foot down on the leash (so your dog cannot do much more than sit or lay down). Give your dog a command, "stay", "wait", "easy" (whatever you prefer). Praise your dog. As the other dog approaches, repeat the command in a calm voice, alternating with praise. Since your dog is on a short leash and your weight holds the leash more securely than your hand and arm, your dog shouldn't be able to lunge at the approaching dog. If Boone is growling, repeat the command or just say "no". Perhaps, "no, easy"... "good dog". Your dog may be stressed the first couple of times. If you feel like you need to, crouch down and pet your dog. Do not hold your dog back! Just pet and praise. Let them know you are both "ok".
It will get easier. Some of the primary things to focus on is your own anxiety about the situation and your confidence that you can be in control of your dog. It's okay to tell the other dog owner that your dog is a little territorial, you are working on it, and that you are not comfortable introducing the dogs to eachother just yet. (i.e.; Please keep walking)
I feel like this is a good place to start. Training classes may be worthwhile, but remember, they are meant to train you how to interact with your dog, not to turn your dog into the perfect pet.
@alihunt I suspect it's not seperation anxiety. You mentioned that she urinates "no matter how long" you're gone and that if she hears you open the garage door "she will yelp on purpose and pee" (even if she hasn't peed before that). Consider this: She's been waiting for you to come back and she's being so good, but when she hears you she gets really excited (and pees by accident). So your new job is to get her outside as fast as humanly possible so she can pee. And when she does, give her more praise and playtime than you would normally give her. If she misses the mark (so-to-speak) the first couple of tries, well, don't be discouraged. She's going to need to understand that the first thing that will happen is going outside to pee. Then she gets attention and loves. It might take her a couple days to get the idea. And you might have to move her crate closer to the exit to help her succeed. If, when you get inside, you find out that she wasn't able to hold it while you were gone, don't say anything to her (same plan, take her straight outside to pee and praise her)... then clean her crate and get ready for the next time you have to go out. Even if you are only walking down the driveway to get the mail. I think that she is trying really hard and wants to be good for you. She just needs a little help. Let us know how things go.
Just a suggestion: When you see him "misbehaving" by chewing on 'less than ideal' items, offer him one of his toys and use the word "trade". In other words, 'chew on this instead', and when he accepts the toy - praise him. And when you see him get the toy on his own, praise him again. It could help him understand that certain toys are just for those times when you want to "rip someone's head off*".
(*not meant literally, only in doggy world play)
@debradownsouth Actually planning on teaching 'BUG' to run alongside the bike as a way to help satisfy her exercise needs. That said, I am going to order a "K9 Sport Sack" for her so that she isn't running on dangerous roads - and also so she has a place to go if she gets tired...
I agree with @tanza, everthing from his body shape/dimensions, face, fur, markings... nothing matches for a Basenji. But the face and fur suggests some 'Terrier'. The legs are throwing me off... I generally think of Terriers' as having shorter legs. My! He has long legs! I bet he can run pretty darn fast!!
I'm glad to know you adopted him. And I love the smile on his face! What a happy little fellow!
@helle-devi I notified BRAT shortly after "Heather" started the rant. I was concerned about several points (administering/adjusting med dosage without Vet approval/advice, ignoring Vet advice, and on and on). They called an emergency board meeting and took prompt action. Unfortunately, legal processes take time. All the while, Heather continued her rant. And more astonishing details were revealed.
By the time Heather sent her first (wall of text itself) post, BRAT had already sent Heather an email explaining that they were reclaiming "Declan". Indicating that BRAT was already aware that things had gotten out of hand. I think Heather was a good "foster Mom" when she first started doing it. But something ... somewhere along the line ... started unraveling for her.
I don't wish her any ill will. I do hope that she finds her way back. But I still think removing Declan from her home was "for the best". sigh
(note: I do not know if Declan is still with her or not, Heather might have actually signed that agreement, but I doubt it.)
@s-m-plante I remember how much I wanted a dog of my own at your age, I hope your parents are willing to get you one. But if things fall through, learn as much you can, volunteer with one of your local dog rescue groups (or a Veteranarian) and prepare yourself for a dog when you become an adult.
That said, it would be more appropriate for your Mother to be online looking for a dog for you. As the adult of the household, she is the one that will responsible for the dog's care, food, medical expenses, and overall well-being. Not just that, but I find it unlikely that a reputable dog breeder would agree to sell you a dog without having your parent involved in the transaction. Talk to your Mother and get her involved.
btw, you could be putting yourself in a lot of danger by announcing how young you are and suggest that you may be willing to go somewhere to meet a total stranger about a dog (or anything else)!
I'm glad you are doing some research before running out and getting the first Basenji that you can... but, a lot of your questions can't be answered: I'm pretty sure that none of us can see the future... None of us can tell you if you are going to be allergic to a Basenji, or if your dog is going to keep you awake at night, or if your dog is going to chew (specifically) the electrical cords (btw, puppies chew everything), or if your dog will annoy your neighbors.
But, you can control much of this.
@tanza is right, visit someone who has Basenji's and find out if you are allergic to them. Check with your local Kennel Club, Veteranarians, or Dog Trainers -- it's almost certain that you will find someone who can help you find out if you are or aren't allergic to this breed.
Be prepared to wake up during the night (at first). Puppies have small bladders. A midnight dash outside shouldn't be unexpected. Decide now if your dog will be welcome to sleep on the bed, on a dog bed nearby, or in a crate. Puppies are quieter when they sleep with you. If you choose a crate, place a blanket over it when it's bedtime. If it's a dog bed.... put one of your dirty gym shirts on it so the pup can smell you and feel like you are nearby. (You might not get that shirt back)
Chewing? Yep, puppies chew. Keep your place clean. Put your shoes in the bedroom closet. Then close the door. Pay attention. If your dog is showing curiousity about something they shouldn't be messing with, very firmly, say "no!". You do not have to strike the pup, or yell at them. A firm "no!" is usually enough. Then distract the pup by providing a toy or a game that is okay.
Is your dog going to annoy the neighbors? Most certainly! Your neighbors are going to be beside themselves with questions about this little pup. I have people pull up alongside me at traffic lights, "What kind of dog is that? How do you spell that? Is the breeder local?" OMGosh! Has no one else discovered "Google"? Noise is the least of your concerns.
Whatever breed you end up with... give your dog attention, exercise, good food, plenty of water, and make sure that it feels loved and safe.
Best of luck. If my two can’t wiggle out of their, they take turns chewing it off each other.
LOL I was about to say something similar... we need a harness that Bug cannot chew through! [Yes, I realize that if she were trapped, I might want her to be able to free herself, however, I don't generally choose to spend $30++ for (what turns out to be) a chewtoy.]
@debradownsouth ... "Chaga" refers to both an African Tribe and Mushrooms, the concept of a "truffle hunting dog" relates to the latter, mushrooms. Mushrooms, being a truffle, after all. So, there's no joke here about dogs hunting human beings. I'm sure it's just jet lag... I hope you are enjoying your new home.
@nick4 Just some thoughts.
I tend to believe that every dog owner feeds their dog diferently than the next - and most of us "swear by it". The key is to figure out what food will make you feel confidant that you are giving Jax what he needs. That might mean that you need to research kibble products, or the raw diet, or homemade foods, or all of these approaches. Doing that research will give you the confidence that you are giving Jax the best you can. It will also eliminate any anxiety that Jax might be sensing at mealtime. If Jax thinks you are worried about what's in his bowl, he's not going to "want it". (does that make sense?)
Are you hovering to see if he's eating? [LOL, Kinda sounds a little creepy, doesn't it? Would you want to eat if someone was looking over your shoulder?]
Or, do you put the bowl down and pick it back up after a half hour (empty or not)? [This will create a sense of urgency: "I better eat or she'll take it away!"]
Does he get his meals at the same time every day? [Bug doesn't get breakfast/dinner at the same time, but she knows that we go for a walk after we wake up and then she gets breakfast. Sometimes that's at 6am, sometimes it's at 10am, and she's always eager for her morning walk!]
It's fine to 'mix things up' a little with water, or chicken stock, or a surprise in Jax's bowl. [I started "bug" on chicken/rice/veggies and a bit of chicken stock when I first brought her home as a way to alieviate the stress from transitioning into our home. We still feed human foods, but we vary the protein, veggies and grain, adding fruits occasionally. (I nuke her meal for 30 seconds because I suspect that refrigerated food products will upset dog tummies.) Never have a problem with her eating or digestion. Personally, I like feeding her this way. She gets (canine) multi-vitamins to make sure I don't miss something vital - which makes me confident in this approach. (which is why I suggested the research - I feel good about what Bug eats, so she does too.)]
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you need to feel like you are giving Jax something that is good (for him) before he will feel like he's getting something good for him to eat.
ok, I'm really not a doggy psychologist....
Ideas for finding your (next) dog:
Online resources make finding a dog (both) easier and time consuming. Rescues are generally pretty good at keeping their websites up to date. The same cannot be said of all dog related sites. So, before you get swallowed by all the adorable pictures of puppies, create a strategy for weeding out more reliable sources vs. the not-so-great ones.
petharbor.com is often used by local animal control. You will have to check to see if your group is on there. Once you do, it's easy to set up email alerts to let you know when they bring in the breed you are interested in. That said, IMHO, most pets are listed as the wrong breed.
akc.org has a marketplace that lists pups that are presumably purebred. As noted by another member, that doesn't mean they are reliable breeders.
basenjirescue.org (aka brat) appears to be well-respected.
Most of the other sites I found ended up being little more that a time-suck. So, other options? How about thinking "Outside the Box"?
Your area Veterinarians' would make a logical source of information (both for new litters, and possibly 'older' patients who need a home). Check with them.
How about your local Kennel Club? Why not spend a day at their next dog show? Look for your specific breed interest, and after those breeds have competed, take a moment to introduce yourself to the breeder. You never know. They might have a pup available right then! The biggest advantage is that you have probably just tapped into a huge network of respected and well known breeders. If they don't have a dog that needs a new home, they may just know someone who does.
Other local sources that might help you find a dog: Dog Day Care Facilities, Groomers, Dog Walkers, etc. You get the point. If they are in contact with pet owners, they might know someone or maybe they could act as a middleman and introduce you to the right connection. You won't know if you don't ask.
Be patient. Don't give up. Not getting the first pup you see doesn't mean that you won't find one. And don't get in such a hurry to bring a pup home that you accept one that's "better than nothing". If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.