My wife and I had conversations on the phone with Liz Newton tonight. We came to some conclusions and decisions, but I don't want to and will never again want to get into it here.
I came here looking for advise, but ended up with mostly criticism.
Our primary concern is the well being of this B' boy. So what happens in the future for MAX will be a private matter from now on . . . goodbye
I guess I should figure someone would get on here to dissect everything I said. I will straighten you out, since you did say "Let me see if I get this right". Absolutely wrong in many instances.
First of all I am not bad mouthing BRAT, but I do feel we were not explained very well and our only experience with BRAT had been the boy SKEETER we picked up nine years ago. We got all his papers and I assumed that was the norm. Sorry, if I have never dealt with a Basenji with no papers. And when we picked him up we got a crate and an envelope with the papers. We were not about to tell someone driving cross country to please wait while we inspect his papers. Off we went and while driving back we saw that all there was were a few animal hospital receipts. I then emailed the coordinator and asked questions. I even got an email from Liz Newton explaining how sometimes they have no information. Now that was the end of this issue and we learned how it is and just decided to make a good home for MAX. One other thing, we did contact Linda, the breeder we got Heidi from and she said she did have a few dogs and instead of us going for that we decided to use Brat, because they have many dogs to place and we were very happy how it had worked in the past.
When we started having problems with MAX getting along with HEIDI, we did not rush to the phone too bother Brat. We knew he was nine years old and we were told he had been fostered for a long time. Not sure how you feel I am blaming Brat for the issues we are having now. And we certainly did not let it escalate to anything. We are trying our best to have these two animals get along. We walk them together we try many ways to get them familiar with each other. And I will admit, HEIDI does allot of low level growling because she is jealous of the way MAX just pushes his way around. He must have been fed from the table in the past 'cause he is constantly pushing his way under our kitchen table looking for scraps, that are never there. But, if she growls enough he starts growling back and then the fight starts. As I said we must be with them if they are together or we keep MAX in one part of the house and Heidi in another.
And your comment on his going in the backyard, yes we were told he loves the outdoors, but the fact is we have to lead him outside ourselves or he just sits on the couch. HEIDI loves to be outside lying around on our deck in the sun, but MAX could care less. Again, he only goes out even for potty, if we take him and he stay for only a minute. We do have a very large backyard and we put their toys out there to try and get them to play outside. Plus, we do not close the door to force them to stay out, that would be mean.
We treat these two dogs with love and affection. They are almost never crated. We try to always keep someone at home, so they don't have to be crated. The only reason we don't contact the coordinator is because MAX has been bounced around allot, so that is why I have explained this in the Forum. I won't even type here my feelings to your remark about our boy "Skeeter" that died last year. We tried everything and he spent many of his last few days at the Vet, just hoping something could be done. And when the Vet would close each day we took him to an all-night Animal Hospital and then back to the Vet in the morning. I did suggest some ideas in our desperation to make his life easier, but in the end we lost. My wife Dana cries still every time we think about him.
Oh one other thing . . . why is it Brat does not like to place a younger Basenji with an older Basenji. That did happen to us, but we didn't fight it, just wondered why?
Jerry & Dana in KC
Earlier this year, my wife and I decided that Heidi seemed awful sad without a mate, since Skeeter passed away last year. So, we started looking at BRAT boys that were available. But everyone we seemed to like was turned down by BRAT, because Heidi was 10 and we were trying for boys that were 4 or 5 or 6. We had found one in the next state, but we were told "Sorry he's too young"
Then BRAT contacted us with a boy that was 9 years old down in Dallas. His name was MAX and he wasn't even listed with the normal web page on the BRAT website. That was a problem for me not actually seeing him displayed with all his information. We just got a few emails describing him and before you know it, we were driving South to meet another transporter driving up from Dallas.
So we picked up MAX and brought him home. I had assumed with MAX would be paperwork telling us more about him. What we got, told us almost nothing. A few receipts from Animal hospitals all within the last few months. So I emailed the BRAT Coordinator and asked where the information that would have been listed on the website concerning his birthdate etc. She told me they didn't have anything and finding us to take him saved her having to create something for the website. So, this was a bad start for MAX and I felt we were a convenient place to dump him.
But, we are loving people and thought we would make the best of it. He was totaling house broken, so the biggest issue in the beginning was not a problem. However, Heidi did not seem to accept him and he didn't seem to care at all. After a while Heidi tried to get closer to him, but he never seemed to respond. To make a long story short, after six month we have to keep these two dogs separated, because they were getting into daily very serious fights. and when I say serious, it?s very deep growling, blood drawing (sometimes) fights that have them apart unless we are together with them. We have a very large back yard and he never goes out on his own and basically is not the dog we were briefly described in the Coordinators emails.
So anyway, we have to change something and I really don't know what to do? We?re not people that will turn their backs on a basenji, but we certainly can't abandon Heidi, our first born. I have heard,, you give up you BRAT adoption fee and we understand that, but this poor boy has probably been bounced around all his life and he's almost 10. Please someone give us some advice . . . thanks
Jerry & Dana in Kansas City
How long have you had him?
We've had him only a few days, but he's lifted his leg to mark a new spot a few times everyday and it hasn't slowed down. Everyone seems to be saying to take it slow, but it's not easy!!
We had two B's for almost 10 years and never had this problem. I just hope we didn't rush inot this too quickly, thanks for all the feedback.
Jerry and Dana in KC
About three months ago we went through medical issues that took the life of our beloved boy ?Skeeter?. We got much support from this Forum making the process a bit more bearable. He had pancreas, diabetic issues that became too much and he died. That left his lifelong buddy ?Heidi? alone. She just kind of moped around for a long time and we decided to find her a new friend.
We filled out a request at BRAT and began receiving emails. Then we ran across a boy that was in Southern Missouri from Tonya Ahrens. This young B was found wondering the streets in Wichita and was removed from a shelter. Without papers, a name or knowledge of his age we decided to Foster him and see if we could give him a permanent home. He has been in our home only a few days now. We have given him the name of ?Rocky? because he is a stocky boy, but he is definitely all Basenji. His age is estimated at somewhere between 2 and 5 and he is very easy going.
?Heidi? has accepted him and we were expecting more of a problem. She is very much the Alpha in this home and ?Rocky? has accepted it, ignoring her occasional growling at his every move. But, and it?s a big but, he does a couple things that are deal breakers and the last thing we want to do is return a Fostered B. While Tonya was still here going over the Fostering paperwork, ?Rocky? marked a couple spots in our house. She told us one trick you can do is wrap a towel or something around his stomach and when he does that he ends up going on himself. We tried it, but he just ripped it off and I guess, I don?t blame him.
We can understand the marking to a point and assume it will end eventually, but we have noticed a far worse problem. ?Rocky? has found a corner of our family room, that we hadn?t noticed. A couple times now he has pooped. I?m afraid it being the same spot that he will continue? We have seen him outside doing it and then realized he came in and did it again, right afterwards.
We have gone through the process of house breaking new B?s before, but ?Rocky? is somewhere between 2 and 5 years old and not sure how to go about that process now. I have given him a scolding and let him know not to do it. He has open door privileges to our fenced in back yard and can go out anytime he needs to go. So, that is the problem and not sure the best way to handle it. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks
?Heidi? is the picture on the left and ?Rocky? is on the right.
Jerry and Dana Dwyer in KC
Dana and I are were quite surprised by the amount of replies to our ongoing thread concerning Skeeter's final days and it certainly was nice to see the support from the Forum crowd. We weren't sure if we did things the best way for poor Skeeter, but looking back now, we're not sure what we would have done any differently. We took Skeeter's last collar and framing it with his birth papers.
He's been gone a month now and we've turned all our attention to Heidi and how's she's getting along. She no longer has a mate to chase around the house and yard, so she does seem a bit sad. We're not sure what to do? Do we get her a new mate or what? She is 9 years old now and in very good health. We hate to run out to replace Skeeter, since he can't be replaced. But, we do want to do what's right for Heidi. Actually during this month see has gotten better, so things will probably be OK in the long run. We took her to Pete and Mac?s pet resort, for a couple days of doggie day care and she seemed to like that.
Just looking for feedback . . . any suggestions would be appreciated. If we decided to look for a new mate, should we look at BRAT? And how old. Dana said she would rather not start with a new pup, but not sure what to do? I was going to ask if getting another Basenji is the best choice, but asking this crowd, would probably be a bit prejudice, ha. Of course that?s what we would prefer. And is getting a male the best choice? We had a good set-up before. Heidi was definitely in charge and Skeeter had no problem with that. How can we make sure a new mate and Heidi would get along?
So, that's it, can't think of any other questions. I look forward to any advice. When you become a Basenji owner, you become part of a select group of dog owners and I can't think of a better group to be part of, thanks
Jerry & Dana & Heidi . . . in KC
Our Vet is very caring and he said that it appeared Skeeter's pancreas had shut down completely. His glucose level had gone to over 400, even with his normal, twice daily shots of insulin. We even had to carry him in. So, we were instructed to leave him at the Vets for the day and they would get his blood sugar down through the day and he was fed intravenously, since he made no effort to eat.
The Vet called in the afternoon and explained that they did get it down some, but he felt that continuing the treatment even through the night was necessary. So, we were recommended an all-night animal hospital about 20 miles away, so we took him over there. They also seemed very caring and went over his ongoing treatment with us after being faxed everything from the Vet. We had to pick Skeeter up by 8:00 the next morning since this is only a night clinic. We brought him back to our Vet for another all day round of treatments and by the end of the second day the Vet felt he had made real progress. His blood sugar was close to normal, but he still would not eat on his own and was constantly shaking. He said we should take him back to the all night hospital again, so we did. Just as information, the two nights at the all night hospital cost over $800 and the Vet is running close to $1200, so far. We weren't prepared for the expense, but of course we never gave it a second thought. Getting Skeeter back to health is our only concern.
So, we went back to pick-up Skeeter this morning to bring him back to our Vet and the people at the hospital said something happened overnight and Skeeter took a serious turn for the worse. He was having Liver and Kidney problems now as blood tests through the night showed them and he was just lying in his bed not moving. So, they carried him out to our van and we drove back to our Vet. He wasn't in yet, but we got Skeeter in there and he just looked up at us with his sad eyes and was shaking. My wife Dana was crying and it was sad, but we went home to wait for the call. The Vet called shortly after we got home and he didn't waste any time getting to the point that Skeeter had reached a point that he was suffering and no further treatment would return him to any sort of normal life. We told him we would come right back to finalize whatever was best.
We went back and brought Heidi with us, since she hadn't seen Skeeter for a few days. The Vet said it's not an easy decision, but Skeeter had so many issues that it would be best to just say goodbye. I had always thought I could never do that, but the Vet was explaining the current condition of Skeeter and he was suffering. We asked the Vet if we could be alone with him for a while and we went into one of the exam rooms and brought Heidi in with us. When Skeeter saw Heidi, he even stood up, but just couldn't keep himself up and fell back down. She went over to him and sniffed him a bit, they were both whining. But, then she seemed to sense something was wrong and got back by us. We were in with him for about 30 minutes and it was so sad to see him trembling. So, we said our final goodbyes, apologized to Skeeter, wondering if there was anything we could have done differently and told the Vet to go ahead. After giving Skeeter the final shot he closed his eyes in about a minute . . . Thanks to all the Forum participants and I know you know how we feel right now.
Oh, one other thing . . . Skeeter's registered name was "Caesar Augustus" and he was born on July 12th 2000.
Jerry and Dana and Heidi in KC
Starting just yesterday and continuing today, Skeeter has shut-down. What I mean by that is he is not eating solid foods and just drinking water when it?s available. So, I give him a drink of water, he gobbles it up and then usually a short time later he will throw-up what looks like bile. I guess that's all he has to kick-out is his drinks of water. And he doesn't want to go out or even move. So, there is obviously something more happening now.
I will take him back to the Vet tomorrow and ask him to check for everything. I have written down all the suggestions from this thread and I'll see what the Vet thinks. Gosh, I certainly wouldn't want him to die, hang in there Skeeter. I'll get you to the Vet first thing in the morning . . .
Jerry and Dana in KC
Thanks for all the comments and thoughts from the group. It's very easy to see how important these dogs are to all their owners and how loved they are! The almost eleven years we?ve had Skeeter and Heidi has been mostly rewarding and even as they age things change and issues do come up, we would never falter in our responsibility of giving them the best we can for their whole lives. I remember when we decided to get a dog back in 2000, we had no idea what type or breed of dog to get. I just got on the internet and went to Dogs.com and just clicked through the pictures of all breeds. Ha, when the picture popped-up of a Basenji, I was instantly impressed. I knew absolutely nothing about them, but something about the looks, the tail, the ears, heck I dunno, I was just very impressed. So, I started reading and it was a little strange seeing all the references and warnings about owning a Basenji and trying to explain the good and the bad and making sure we knew we were sure, etc. It almost seemed like we were being warned and to really be aware of the issues, before deciding. I couldn?t imagine what could be so bad . . . but eventually I found out.
I did a little more research and found a breeder down in Warrensburg, Missouri, about an hour's drive from Kansas City. And again I was told by the breeder to read up about Basenji?s and make sure I knew what I was doing. So, my wife Dana and I drove down to take a look. Linda Ehlers was the breeder and she had a few Basenji?s that were just weeks old for us to look at. Out of a group of 4 or 5 we instantly saw one that was a chestnut red female and had a very nice pattern on her coat. She came right up to us and we knew right away she would be perfect. So, Linda explained how the father of these new pups came from Denmark (getting in some new blood) and the mother dog was hers. We met the mother and made arrangements to come back the next week to pick up our new pup. That gave us a week to pick a name and get supplies a crate and whatever we needed. So, we came back the next week, paid the agreed amount (gulp) and got some initial verbal training on what to expect. Linda gave us some pictures she had from the birth and early days and she explained we would get her papers after we had her spayed. We were instructed to get it done before the first time the dog goes into heat. She had some real fancy name on her papers, but I had picked the name Heidi and my wife liked it too. So, off we went with our newest family member, Heidi.
We have a fairly large back yard, but no fence so we were taking Heidi out with a leash a few times a day to go potty. For the first few nights we had Heidi in her crate to sleep. But we could tell she didn?t like it, so that ended rather quickly and she only goes into a crate now, if we?re leaving the house for more than a few hours. Within a few months we got a 6? privacy fence and things got a lot better. She was house broken very quickly and was quite an active girl. We had a patio and to this day Heidi loves to lay in the direct sun light. And if a squirrel or bird dares to land in our back yard she?ll be chasing after them. Her worst trait is chewing on material. We have a collection of sheets, blankets, underwear, socks and more than I can think of, she has chewed through over the years. I get upset for not keeping most of it out of her reach, but I know she'll never grow out of it, at this point. We were BRAT volunteers for a while and during a transport we ran into Skeeter and added him to our Family. We knew having a companion for Heidi would be good and he was her same age at that time 1.5 years old. Skeeter has the same coloring as Heidi but is much more laid back. Heidi is definitely the Alpha dog in this family! They've gotten along very well over the years and have never had a serious fight. After spending over 10 years with these guys, you really learn their idiosyncrasies. Their personalities are just as complex as a human. To this day we have never regretted adding these wonderful animals to our family!
So now you can appreciate how sad we are to see Skeeter going blind from Diabetes. We are going to do our best to get his Cataracts removed as soon as we can financially deal with it. My wife did say Skeeter was checked for Fanconi when we first took him to the Vets with Diabetes. At that time, it was negative, but I will certainly have him checked again as soon as I can. One comment said, drinking a lot of water is not a trait of Diabetes, but that is incorrect. I am a type II Diabetic myself and when you have a high blood sugar reading you do get very thirsty and my Vet agrees to that as well. As far as going potty in the house, we've noticed that even after going outside he will at times go potty inside within a few minutes, strange? In the past he would be prancing all around to let us know when he needed to go out and hold it until we let him out. Now, he seems to not even care? It's one thing to not want to navigate his way out, but why go again inside, after just being outside? Heidi doesn't seem to realize the situation and since Skeeter has always been laid back, nothing seems different to her.
Thanks again for all the feedback and support. I'll post any changes in the future, right here . . .
Jerry and Dana in KC
I did take Skeeter back to the Vet for a follow-up after his being diagnosed diabetic 6 months ago. He did warn me at that time about what would be happening to his eyesite and it has happened, so I just wanted to bring the Vet up-to-date. We checked his blood sugar and it was at that time a little low (70), which can be dangerous. Originally the Vet did a whole day test with him (not sure what they do) to establish how much insulin to use and he figured 5 units twice a day. I buy it at Walmart, Novolin "N" for just under $25 a bottle and that lasts for almost three months. The Vet doesn't approve the insulin made for dogs and said the Human type at Walmart is the best bet and the lower price. Since Skeeter is always drinking water as fast as he can get it, I tried to raise the amount of insulin a bit to see if his thirst would give me an indication of his blood sugar. Well, it didn't seem to matter and after seeing he was too low, I am sticking with the Vets recommended amount.
So, all things considered he said Skeeter seems OK, but now that he seems to have lost about 80 to 90% of his site, he has become very inactive. When I offer him a treat, I put it right in front of his face and he can't see it. Once I get it within his smell, he hunts for it and gets it, very sad. The Vet gave me the low down on cataract surgery. A Vet about 50 miles away, does it and the patients he sends there are very happy with the results. I guess once you remove them, they do not come back. The only problem is the cost, about $3,000. I have not been working after losing my job with IBM a few months ago. He deserves the surgery and hopefully things will change for us, financially.
But, one of the problems that has developed is, he's now peeing in the house almost daily. We have a fenced in yard and leave the outside door open most of the day. But, still we find alot of spots on the rugs and it's really becoming a problem. I guess he would rather not have to navigate his way outside to go, so he does it inside. I wish there was some way for him to understand. Because, if this continues, we will have to buy a doghouse and he'll have to stay outside in the backyard. And that will just break his heart, cause he's a couch potato normally. Our female Basenji Heidi, goes in and out constantly, but Skeeter is not as active.
So, that's where we are now with the issues and any advise from the group, is appreciated. Thanks
Jerry & Dana in KC