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.
My Captain, 16 this month, is on Denmarin and Ursodiol too. I like to do an 'old age workup' when they're old (I thought he was only 15!) and the vet something about keeping the bile thin - he had his gall bladder out when he was 5.
I suppose he'll want to do bloodwork again, he's only been on it 2 1/2 weeks.
He acts healthy, and if these few drugs will make him feel better, I do it.
@zande I'm so happy you suggested this! Getting a permanent playmate was the first thing I thought, remembering my first basenji, and then second.
Sugar was a sweetie, but ornery. I had to be aware of where she was, and what she was doing, all the time, Luckily the crate was ok, when we were gone or in bed, but not when home. So we got another because I thought, maybe she just needs a dog to keep her busy.
We welcome a male pup into our home, and it the best thing for Sugar. Some one to keep her occupied, and someone to boss around who really didn't care!
Many, many years ago, I sold puppies to families. I always met them ahead of time, before the pups were born were born, and had a little 'class' in which we went over the beginnings of what to do, and not do, with the puppy.`
I remember one family came again, after the pups were born, but not old enough to leave Mom. They had a little boy (just him, no siblings) who did not come the first time (it was for them to approve me, and me to approve them). He was about 6, very smart and well behaved, and went out to the dog room. That was the year I had some oops litters, all born within a week of each other, and he was so excited to just get buried with puppies! I think they were about 6 wks old. I took photos of the whole experience that day, and made a special PRIVATE page of "Ethan's day with the Puppies"
We went over my 'getting a basenji puppy' class and he was so attentive. I never got a call from them about any problems - I'm not surprised, he wanted that puppy so much.
I lost 2 earlier this year, 15 and 16,
Now we are dealing with a 15 yr old and every night we ask each other "Is he in pain?" No
"Does he enjoy part of his day" Yes.
The first girl, we waited a bit too long. I knew this, but forgot - the vet told us her brain was shutting down. She had seizures (for the last 8 mos) and was losing the ability to control her rear legs. He said if all else is healthy, they start at the rear of the body, and gradually lose control of the body, working up to the brain.
So, we are letting the boy enjoy what he can. He sleeps a lot, but he did always like his pillow. When I show him where his food is, he enjoys eating it. Today he was just circling in a small circle. He has a bit of 'dementia' so my husband just grabbed him to sit with him for a bit.
Like Zande said, dignity with no suffering. You just evaluate on a dog by dog basis. The second girl was 16 and the vet said "You just know."
Give yourself permission to decide, and know you've loved him all these years, You just know.
We let her cross the rainbow bridge.
When I got my first basenji, she was the same way, but it was clear it was just playing. When she had her littermates, they'd play and bite each other, and I had to replace that, giving her something to bite that would be a challenge.
So, what I figured out, I tied a thin rope to a toy that as okay to bite. About 3=4 times a day we'd play 'chase the monkey," running around the house.
She loved it, got her energy out and bit as much as she wanted. It was good for me too, running around dragging the poor monkey.
It got to the point that whenever I said 'monkey' she got all excited!
Sometimes I'd get lazy and hook the rope to the end of a stick, and lay 'fish for the monkey.' She loved that too.
At that age, ti's easiest to substitute something she CAN bite, rather than always saying 'no.'
It was so rare that (X - sorry, can't remember which) was sleeping on the coveted heat vent, and had an audible fart. X immediately woke up, looked at the source of the noise with a "what the heck was that?' look!
(It was 3 feet away, and LOUD)
(Nothing like writing a 5th grade post)
When my dogs got on the furniture (don't now, all too old to get up), I bought some blue vinyl and cut it to the length of the cushions. Then I bought some cheap bed pillows, about $3 at Walmart, and put one or 2 on the vinyl for them to sleep on. I threw the pillows away when they got anything on them, or were just 'dirty' The vinyl is easy to wipe clean.
I've found that just a sheet on the furniture doesn't protect the furniture because it's too thin.
@donc I live in Ohio, and have one basenji-ocean experiece:
Years ago my husband and I drove to San Francisco, up the coast to the Basenji National in Oregon.
On the drive up we walked the dogs on a beach, no people around - perfect for walking them on a leash. When they got about 25 ft from the water's edge, they made it very clear they were going NO closer.
We finally figured it out - there was seaweed, or whatever it's called out there, all over the beach and it looked like the snakes they'd encountered in our yard.
Ohio dogs - go figure!
Sky Hunter, are you a character? I've heard, and found it to be true, that tris are characters - but fun!
I do not have a subscription to this, but from what is shown, one could get an idea of where to keep their dog treats!