My two BRAT dogs have gone over to the Rainbow Bridge. I miss them both. I'd like to take this time to tell a story about how they came into our lives.
We had purchased our first basenji from a petstore. Like many people, that is how we came to love the breed. We decided, very quickly, that we wanted our Bashir to have a friend.
We found BRAT by doing a simple websearch for basenjis. I knew that I wanted a rescue, especially feeling guilty about supporting a petstore. But we lived in a tiny little basement apartment, and there was barely enough room for Bashir to be with us, let alone a friend. More than that, our landlord didn't exactly know we had a dog...
We knew that we had to find a new place.
So we went looking for houses. And, for a friend for Bashir. When I saw the photo of Rosalyn and Calvin on the BRAT website, I knew they had to come home with us. They were described as older dogs that had to be placed together.
(Piglet, or basenji? You decide.)
We drove to Cape Cod to visit the dogs, and introduce Bashir. That first meeting? Well, less than stellar. I think Rosalyn almost skinned Bashir alive. My husband, though, fell for her instantly. He sat down, and she came up to him and "hugged" him - by butting her head up against him.
But it was Calvin who stole my heart. He was 45 pounds when he came into rescue, and by then, he was still a chunker! He looked like a little piglet, disguised as a basenji. As another creature on this earth who struggles with their weight, I fell in love with him instantly...
We decided to get them. Be before we could make arrangements, we had to find a place to live. So, we went out and bought the cheapest house we could find. It was a real fixer upper. (We marveled, though, at how clean the windows were. We later realized that there were no windows. Just window panes. But the price was right, and it meant we would have plenty of space to bring the dogs home.. without worrying about the landlord).
I drove to the NY-Mass border and met a wonderful volunteer. She handed over the two old pups. I had no room in my car for crates, so I brought some doggy seat belts. I strapped them in and pulled out of the parking lot. By the time I got to the first light, it sounded like I was transporting the Tazmanian Devil and her younger apprentice... I turned around, and they had chewed through the seatbelts, and were on their way to the upholstery...
We renamed them Momma Roz and Mr. Calvin. We lost a lot of upholstery. We lost mission-style furniture and futons. Our vet once lost a crate that Rosalyn chewed her way out of. We lost 2 crates that were far from basenji-proof. We still have chew marks on the window panes of the house. (Perhaps the previous owners had glass-eating basenjis?).
But we gained a lot more.
I miss my two BRATs. A LOT. And Bashir misses them to. For the first time in almost 7 years he is starting to act badly.
Even dogs mourn.