Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happiness Is Snuggling Your Basenji

As I sit at my computer with a small dog on my lap, I feel very grateful that my precious boy is here, snuggling and sighing contentedly. In June he had emergency surgery to remove a section of twisted bowel. The subsequent weeks of recovery left all of us perpetually exhausted, but also grateful that Ivan survived this major surgery.

He was in the hospital several days. After he was finally able to come home we began feeding him bland mini meals every 6 hours for over a week and then progressed to feeding him slightly bigger bland meals three times a day. After several weeks, Eric stopped sleeping in his clothes, and I actually began sleeping again because things seem to be continuing in a positive direction. (The attached photo of Eric and Ivan was taken a week after the surgery when Ivan was still wearing a tube collar to keep him from chewing his stitches.)

Have you ever noticed it’s the little things, the everyday, hardly think of them things that are so important, precisely because you don’t think of them? Ivan’s recovery has been full of those things. Our world revolved around waiting for a small dog to poop.

We celebrate each victory on the long road to recovery. (The first time his poop was normal, we broke out the champagne.) Ivan’s digestive system is still on the mend, and we occasionally suffer set-backs. However, despite these occasional complications, he has slowly gained a bit of weight, and while still thin, he is no longer appears frail or ill.

Overall, our puppy boy is doing well. His appetite is good and his energy is usually good. The last battery of tests indicated that his B12 was low, so he is in the midst of four weekly B12 shots, to be followed by three monthly B12 shots. Then we’ll retest. Ivan’s enthusiasm for food has continued throughout the entire ordeal. If part of the formula for success is eating more often, he’s happy to oblige. He has to eat a bland diet, with no regular treats. We keep boiled chicken for treats at home and dehydrated chicken for portable treats. These are both well received. Dasa also approves of them.

Dasa has been quite patient with all the changes in routine. We are so blessed with our sweet little girl. We can once again sit with two small dogs snuggled against us, and it is heaven.


  1. I love this story, it is so true. Having been through similar surgery myself...I understand. However, there is nothing like that wonderful kid in your lap or against your back in bed.

  2. A wonderful story. Thank You for sharing. We went through a similar episode with our Jasmine. She is 14 yrs old and a BRAT rescue. She ate a plastic bag and a washer, and some unknown object. Emergency exploratory surgery, a series of barium xrays, and many, many long nights. and that wasn't the end of it. This all took place in the last two weeks. It began Labor Day weekend. She is now on the road to recovery. We too are blessed with our sweet little girl. Hubby, Robert and Apollo, our 10 yr old B and I can once again sit with two dogs snuggled against us, and it is heaven. Life is good!