Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update on Pona

Last month I told you about Pona, the little rescue boy with the broken leg. Here's an update on this sweet foster boy.

Pona has been a foster at my home for seven weeks now. So much has changed since last time I posted! He's still wearing the external fixator on his leg, but he's healed enough to have the rod and pins on his inner thigh removed. That has made him much more comfortable and mobile. His leg should be completely healed in the next couple of weeks, and he'll have all of the hardware removed.

It's surprising how much he can use his broken leg. He walks on it pretty normally when he's moving slowly (say, scrounging around the kitchen floor looking for dropped food). When he wants to move quickly he picks that leg up and goes "tripod", and can move fast enough to keep up with the other dogs.

Pona has easily fit himself into my pack from the first day he arrived. He has an awesome personality that is going to make the transition to his forever home very easy. When he meets other dogs he poses no threat, but he also is non-submissive. He is just pleasant. In the photo above, he's sitting for his daily ear cleaning from my alpha, Ike.

What is THAT?

Last week, Pona decided to remove the bandage around his hardware. I knew in my head what was under that bandage, but I had never seen it for myself. It's like a Frankensenji Halloween costume! Nuts and bolts and pins and rods. Sort of shocking to see.

Is there room for me?

I have FINALLY seen some typical (read: bratty) Basenji behavior come through in the last few days. When Pona is resting comfortably on the furniture (I still have to lift him up there), he growls when another dog comes too close. I suppose he's worried that the other dog is going to want to share his spot, and he's not willing to share. He growls, then the growl turns into a baroo, then the baroo turns into a gag. It is the most ridiculous sound. I know I should correct that behavior, but I'm usually too busy laughing.

As you can see, Pona is still very thin. I'm feeding him 50% more than the other dogs, but he hasn't put on much weight. I have to think it's the heartworms that are keeping him from beefing up. Heartworm treatment will start soon.

We had planned on starting the heartworm treatment while his leg was healing, but that has turned out to be too much to ask of the little guy (and me). While he's doing well overall, there has been one thing after another that has required extra trips to the vet, mainly having to do with the fixator. It does a great job of holding his bone in place, but it is also causing painful injuries to his skin. The vet has been tweaking things here and there to make it more comfortable for him.

But Pona makes the extra work and the sleepless nights all worthwhile. He wakes up every morning (sometimes too early for me) bustin' with baroos and wags. He's SO happy to see me and the other dogs, even though he's slept next to us all night.

Yes, all worthwhile.

I'm sure I'll have another update on Pona in my post next month. In the meantime, you can follow Pona on my website as well as my fickr page.


  1. What a wonderful job you are doing with this little boy. Thanks for the updates and give him a big hug for me.

  2. Hi Staci...what do you mean by baroos? I've read that these dogs are "barkless"...what do they sound like? Just curious..."-)