Sunday, September 20, 2009

Remembering Ursa

Our first BRAT rescue, a little 13 lb.4 year old girl named Ursa. We applied when we saw her picture on the BRAT Rescue site but unfortunately there was someone else on the list ahead of us and she was already adopted. I checked in to see how she was doing about a week later and wonder of wonders she was back to be adopted again. Would we like her? You bet! So after 5 years without a Basenji or any other dog Ursa came to live at our house.

She had some health issues with her feet and later she turned out to be hypothyroid. We considered ourselves lucky, it isn't everyone who is graced with such a sweet Basenji.

She went everywhere with us and was a good companion and visitor to the late Mallory Hotel in Portland Oregon where we stayed several times. She loved people but was not wild about the dog park. Sitting on a bench with anyone who would accommodate her was her idea of a people park. She became a favorite of the Basenjipix site as I put up many pictures of her.

As the years went by, much too swiftly Ursa became upset and would not tolerate the cats moving into her space. She became growly and snapped and her weight increased. We thought she might be in pain as her feet troubled her more and walking long distances was out of the question. After suggestions that we should have her thyroid tested we did so and lab work showed low values of thyroid. Inexpensive thyroid tablets turned her around and she was back to her old sweet self. All of a sudden she was 13 and this time she pleaded with us to carry her, her feet had finally taken their toll and she was having a hard time getting around.

Our last trip to the vet was sad but we had promised ourselves when we first adopted Ursa that there would be a time, maybe too early when we would have to let her go.

Another BRAT rescue came to us about a year before Ursa left our house and I will tell you about him next time.

I think of Ursa often and am so glad we were blessed with her for many years. If you are thinking of adopting a Basenji that may have health problems or who is a bit older do it and consider yourselves so fortunate to share in the life of one of these wonderful creatures.

-Marj Baker


  1. Wow, look at those beautiful eyes! Ursa had a wonderful life.

  2. What a sweet face! I'm curious about the problem with her feet. She was lucky you came into her life, Marj.

  3. What a strange and beautiful coloring this dog had! Don't think in all my years with basenjis
    I've ever seen one close to this coloring.

    I can relate to many things in her story and these
    remembrances pull both sadness and happiness out of my memories of my own dogs as well. Keep the
    great stories coming!