Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Milestone for Miles


 We have been Miles’ people for a bit over a year now. Miles and Tiegan do very well together, and we’re so glad Miles is part of our family. We’ve gotten used to his size, although the discrepancy between our little pony Miles and our tiny Tiegan always causes comments and astonishment when we reveal that he is the eldest by a mere two weeks. Eric says we have a basenji who likes to be picked up, and he weighs 32 pounds. 

 
 His lovely gait garners compliments on our walks. Miles is a snuggly sweet boy, but there are a few challenges. He loves walks, but does not like getting into his harness. We have “harness treats” that appear only when it’s time for a walk. These are favorites, so he agreeably complies when paid in this currency. Miles gets one treat when we put the harness over his head and another treat when we put his front leg through. Then praise is enough to fasten buckles and get underway. 

We’ve found gentle persuasion works best with our sensitive boy as well as our tiny girl. Riding in a crate is still considered torture, but we try to take Miles to the park as well as to the vet or to get his nails dremeled. We load the crate with a frozen Kong and chewies, and then lavish praise and reassurance during the ride.

Miles is a very dedicated chewer. The dozens of little donut dog beds that once covered our house have been relentlessly destroyed and the fluff has become another decorating medium. Stuffed animals are eviscerated with glee and their fluffy insides are also liberally spread around. Blankets on our bed have holes in the middle, and we’ve learned to carefully guard laundry as priceless textiles in order to have any intact garments.





Miles loves visitors, and wants to climb into their laps when they sit down. One visitor said she thought basenjis were aloof. This while Miles was being persuaded that sitting next to her was really just as good as standing on her, and Tiegan was lying on the back of the couch behind her, sniffing her ear.

Miles races madly around the yard with Tiegan. He jumps over her, swoops around the yard and gets so excited he jumps and spins in the air before he lands. The two of them terrorize squirrels and run from tree to tree with murder in their hearts. 


 


Miles is such a little goof.  He knows his feet aren’t supposed to be on the counter, so sometimes he stands like a meerkat, stretching his neck to see what’s up there without touching. This is so funny and cute, I usually give him hugs and snuggles because he really is trying to be good.

He knows he needs to sit to get his food dish and he is so sweet sitting at attention, waiting for his dish to be put in front of him. This happens three times a day, and I smile every time because he is so enthusiastic about food.

We feel very fortunate to have Miles, our Sir Sweet & Funny Chewsalot.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tiegan and the Alien Owie




 
    Several weeks ago, I noticed what I thought was a sebaceous cyst on the side of Tiegan’s little jaw. Ivan had these and they went away without a great deal of apparent discomfort or inconvenience, so we thought this would do the same. No, it did not. In fact, it kept growing and became this ugly alien growth about the size of a pencil eraser. It showed no signs of leaving. Off we went to see our vet. She did a needle aspiration, during which my little girl was magnificently well-behaved. I held her, waved yummy treats in front of her nose, and murmured soothing reassurances. Tiegan received her treats and soon the vet came back to say the monster was benign. Hallelujah! However, the alien monster seemed to be getting bigger so we decided it should be removed while it was still small enough to easily vanquish. The vet said the surgery would be short because it was still such a small alien.
   The vet tech started her info for the surgery date with, “When you drop her off,” to which I replied there would be no dropping off; we would wait. The surgery took less than an hour and our vet came out to tell us Tiegan had done very well and would be ready to go in an hour or so, as soon as she had recovered from the anesthesia. A little over an hour later, I saw Tiegan being lead out of a door at the end of the hall and ran to meet her.



    The alien monster was gone. The stitches were all inside with a tiny bit of surgical glue on the outside. If you didn’t know where to look, you would never see this little line. It was almost like cosmetic surgery. Our vet said she wanted “the princess’s face” to be as unblemished as possible and also wanted to avoid giving Miles any visible stitches to pull on. We took her home to Miles who was very glad to see her and sniffed her all over several times. While we were gone, Miles had been a good boy; he had finished his peanut butter Kong and his Buster cube, massacred a few stuffed animals, and came downstairs from an apparent nap in the middle of the people bed when we brought Tiegan home.

I got little inflatable donuts for my tiny girl to wear if needed. I was able to work at home for a day or two, and then for several days took Tiegan to work with me in the afternoon so she only had to wear the donut in the morning when I was at aerobics. She was very good and did not scratch at her incision. Miles was also remarkably good and did not bother her incision. She healed beautifully. The alien monster has been vanquished.



Monday, June 26, 2017

Tina Brown leaves a lasting legacy

Annabelle "Tina" Brown
Passion for our Basenji breed and BRAT runs deep. This was never more beautifully demonstrated than recently through Annabelle “Tina” Brown. Tina passed away December 30, 2016, but left a lasting legacy through a generous bequest to BRAT. We are humbled by her gesture and grateful that she will continue to make her presence known in the work we do for the breed that she loved.

Tina was a wonderful volunteer, especially in her home state of Texas, where she conducted shelter checks and home visits of prospective adopters. Her daughter, Jennifer Fermaint, also a BRAT volunteer and adopter, posted on her Facebook page June 22 more about her mom’s work with Basenjis, as well as providing information about BRAT.

Tina's daughter, Jennifer Fermaint, visited with BRAT treasurer, Debbi Johnson, recently.
Jennifer writes:
This month I will be highlighting the organizations benefiting from the generous bequests that will be Mom's legacy. She made sure that her favorite charities would be supported, even after she gained her wings to be with Jesus.

Basenji Rescue & Transport, Inc. - this is a beautiful, breed-specific organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes the intelligent African Basenji breed. They are a national organization of ALL volunteers that was incorporated in 1999. https://www.basenjirescue.org/Brat_Info/About.htm

Tina Brown became involved with Basenjis when, in 2002, a beautiful tri-colored boy appeared on her doorstep in McKinney. He was skinny, no collar, no microchip, but very obviously a purebred dog. She did everything she could possibly do to find his owners, including contacting BRAT, and there were no leads and no information about a missing Basenji boy. We think he knew exactly what he was doing when he chose the Brown doorstep, because he was treated like a king and found his forever home until he crossed the rainbow bridge in 2012. He was a piece of work, though, and Mom and I both found that we were able to train him, when many others have difficulties with this breed. It led to me starting to rescue with BRAT in 2009, because it seemed I had a special knack with these highly intelligent creatures. I had 3 failed fosters with BRAT, and I am sure there will be more!


We are grateful to Tina for her thoughtful and selfless gesture and will use her gift wisely to ensure that all Basenjis have the homes they deserve.