Do you have a vet you intent to use in the states? You could email them directly. There is an excellent animal hospital is Charleston, South Carolina you may want to reach out to via email. Its called Charleston Veterinary Referral Center. Www.charlestonvrc.com. Good luck and I hope your Basenji pulls through.
Glad to know that my trouble maker (a nice way to put it) has a kindred spirit on the other side with her. Gypsy taught me patience, unconditional love, and how to be a force to be reckoned with. It seems we share similar life expereinces. Cheers to a life well lived and hard lessons taught.
I have learned far too much about this industry and know that because a dog is registered AKC doesn't mean that the pup is well bred and even from humane conditions. I sent the AKC an e-mail after learning a great deal about the puppy mill industry and they have not responded. If you wish to really know more you can look for the National Mill Dog Rescue and check out the ASPCA. The national government won't pass FDA legislation to protect animals from unhealthy to down right cruel conditions.
I always encourage everyone I know that if they wish to get a pure bred dog to find a rescue or meet the breeder and see the conditions the puppies are from. The AKC gets millions of dollars every year from people "registering" litters online. Anyone can register if they want to fill out the paper work.
I am so sorry for your loss. Your story hit close to home with me. I am glad you were able to preserve Tayda's dignity. Basenjis are proud dogs and what you did was honorable for Tayda. I know, even as humans, we don't want to deteriorate and all wish to have an honorable passing. Tayda is still with you and a short divide away. She will have plenty of things to show you when it is your time.
Have you tried giving her a blanket or towel that smells like you for her to sleep on at night and when you are gone? I would place a clean towel or small blanket in my bed at night so it would have my smell and give it to my dog when I would leave. I think the smell gave her a sense of comfort and she didn't feel so alone.
Bills are no fun to pay but everyone else has made the point that if you drop your heat that low it will cost more to warm the place when you get back home. 65 to 50 degrees is quite a jump and I think you two will end up paying more money to warm your house than to keep it at a steady temperature. I live down south so we have issues with extreme heat and humidity. I can tell you though that changing your thermostat just a few degrees can help the bills but the trick is to stick with the temperature.
Some of the things we have done to cut our electric bill with our central air is to adjust all of the vents so the air goes where we want it. We hung curtains in doorways to control where the air stays. In winter we use oil heaters and leave them on low and leave our heat on low. All our exterior doors have something to keep a draft from coming in. If I was in your situation I would decide where to keep heat in the home and drop your thermostat to 60. I think 50 will result in a higher bill and everyone in your home will be cranky from the cold.
As for your pup, my girl would start shivering whenever the temperature dropped below 70. She had no tolerance for cold. I would cover her crate with a blanket and she had a full wardrobe of different types of jackets. You can fill socks with rice for heating pads but be careful not to burn your pup. I would also find inexpensive blankets for her by getting left over fleece at fabric stores.
I hope this helps and good luck.