The day after I posted about Promise (a few weeks after she crossed the Rainbow Bridge), we took Captain (Rugosa Rose to the Occasion) in to be euthanized.
He was a Rosa son, from her litter of 1. I gave her spring second heat a try, figured the litter would be small, and he was born. Normally when she had a litter, she was in charge, the puppies did what she said! But not Captain. At 2 weeks he was bossing her around, and she was complying! That’s how he earned his name, Captain. He and my youngest son were close and if I had known Ben was going to join the Navy, I would have named him Chief (Navy equal to a Captain).
He had the nickname ‘Butt head.’ He had a wonderful temperament, respected all humans in his life, so when he didn’t want to do something, he just ignored us. For instance, when I wanted him to go outside, and he didn’t, I had to get his collar, and since our floors can be a little slippery, I just had to pull him all the way to the door, and lift him out. Every time. I could never figure any other way to do it, that’s why my right arm is a bit stronger than my left. He did things like this whenever he had to do something he didn’t want to.
The last time he did it, for the vet, was near the end, and he needed an ultrasound. The vet called me and asked if it was ok to sedate him, he was being a bit stubborn – Butthead!
He was an example of a male basenji, as opposed to a female. He was calm, didn’t seem to hold grudges, easy going, and not a game player. That’s why, when he was 7 or so, he had surgery( was told it ight be $4000+). He was in for a dental, and I always do the blood work for older dogs going under anesthetic. The vet called me after he got the results, something was off, indicating a gall bladder problem. He did an ultrasound and found a mucocele in his gall bladder
He did get his dental, some more bloodwork, and when I dropped him off for the gall bladder removal, they told me he would go home in 5-6 days. I got a call while he was in surgery, was told that the hormones could affect his recovery, so we neutered him(you know what, that probably was during the dental – can’t remember). The next morning after surgery they called and said he was ready to go. We didn’t really have to do much different diet wise either.
When he was originally diagnosed, he was having no symptoms that we could see. That was the reason I do the bloodwork before anesthetic, and why he did so well after the surgery. Also the surgery was almost $2000 a lot less than we were quoted, that’s another reason I do the bloodwork.
I was told the gals there fell in love with him, I guess he saved most of his Buttheadness for us here at home.
He was an absolute pleasure here, and lived to his 16th birthday. He was like my other 2 girls I put down this year, his body was just worn out to the point of causing him pain if we waited any longer. He just turned 16.
He loved to run with Promise and Gretchen, I like to think he still does.
Now, just Freida
This might be kind of long, but a lot comes to my head:
Rosa was my first show dog, a Diva, more than willing to snub a laughing judge, if she thought it was warranted! (I’ll always remember this, because that judge and her husband were killed a few years later in a car accident) Her head was not an ideal basenji head, but she had enough ‘other stuff’ that she got an award of merit at a Basenji National, I believe in St. Louis.
So we were at a National somewhere, and I introduced myself to Katie Campbell as the owner of a pet boy, sired by her Spencer. The very first thing she said “Is he smart?” OMG he was smart, that’s where he got it from!
So at an appropriate time, I bred my Rosa to Spencer. He passed on his intelligence, he was old (ended up living to 17), and healthy.
Rosa was shown the way to the Rainbow Bridge, at a time I just couldn’t fret about it. I think she knew, as she always seemed to not want to make a fuss – it was 3 weeks after I got home from the rehab place after my car accident.
In one of her litters, she had a little girl so much like her. Promise had the same ‘not correct’ head, but it housed that brain! One of my goals in breeding was to produce puppies that could be thrown out back, near a creek, and survive on their own. I can’t remember if it was Rosa or Promise, but one day I watched her – she had her head tilted down, listening to the moles in the ground. She was the only one I saw doing that. (My original pet boy, the Spencer son, climbed a spruce tree 15 ft, and ate the eggs from a robin’s nest – I saw him. I also saw the blue eggshells in his poop)
Why this story? Promise was like her Mom, she was let go to cross the rainbow bridge, about 5 weeks ago. At the time, I couldn’t think too much about it, we just let her go. She was 16 and 4 months. A few months earlier, we had to let Gretchen go. They were the best of friends. The picture I posted then showed Promise behind her, maybe saying, in their silent way, “You go, I’ll be there in a bit.”
Cinta has 2 dogs from me, I think Dempsey is Promise’s littermate, she might even have 2 from that litter – I can’t remember.
It’s hard to let them go when they’re pups, but knowing the years of love they have gotten, makes it bearable.
It’s really hard to see them go that one last time.
But bearable, when they’ve been here 16 years.
After reading all these good responses, one thing came to mind- if you get a basenji before your girlfriend moves in, make sure she can handle all the 'basenji-ness.'
If you wait until she moves in, make sure she is in agreement of what has to be done with a basenji puppy.
It would be almost unbearable to get rid of one because they can't live with the other.