Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Ending Story: Augie Ben Doggie

Not so long ago but quite far away, a basenji known as Augie, was rescued from a “home” where he had been confined to the yard with little shelter for the past ten years – he is now eleven. BRAT rescued him and he went to a foster home until he could find his “forever home”. This all happened in January of this year in Kentucky – quite far from his new “forever home.”

In late March of this year, I lost my beloved basenji, Nikko. Nikko was rescued from a local shelter – he was thought to be about a year old. When I decided to try that “little reddish brown and white dog,” I asked the shelter staff what breed it might be. They looked at a chart on the wall and said it was a basenji. Whatever. Little did I know! When I took him home he would leap from one level of the house to another. Interesting, I thought – very active dog! So I went on the Internet and did a little research and realized I had acquired an interesting but challenging dog. One-on-one and classical music calmed the beast and we lived, for the most part, in harmony for the next ten years.
But back to Augie. After Nikko died, I was surfing the net and came upon the BRAT site and there I came face-to-face with Augie. It seemed like a perfect match – a geriatric dog for a geriatric owner – he was eleven and I had just turned eighty – a quiet senior dog for a reasonably quiet senior. I filled out the application, had my home visit and everyone agreed it was a suitable match. However, the reality of Augie was somewhat different than my expectations. Augie has the energy of a dog half his age and he is all basenji. Kleenex is his favorite and he will fight you for it. Shortly after Augie arrived, I left him in the car with the windows partly open (a nice spring day) and a chew toy. I went into a school meeting and was shortly alerted to the fact that my car alarm was on. Indeed it was. Augie had also opened the lever for the gas tank and chewed some of the plastic molding. Fortunately, it is an old car. Augie does not like being left in the car for more than five or ten minutes.

I had another interesting experience with Augie. One day, I returned home from shopping and Augie greeted me warmly, anxious to see what might be in the various parcels. My last stop was to return an unsatisfactory item and, being in a bit of a rush, I stuffed the $20 bill and two fives in the top of my purse. On returning home, I placed my purse on a lazy-boy chair and began unpacking the groceries. When I turned around, I noticed Augie was chewing something. He was chewing a $20 dollar bill! He had gone into my purse and took the $20 just resting on top. Since he is a dog of good taste and high living, he took the $20 and ignored the two fives! However, this saga has a positive ending since Augie was good enough to leave the serial number of the $20 bill intact and the bank replaced it.

However, let’s not dwell on the negative. Augie has a charming personality. He does the basenji dance and shakes his tail. He loves his stuffed animals and doesn’t chew them – only mouths them, throws them up in the air and catches them or will play tug-of-war with you. He is well behaved at the groomers to have his nails trimmed, and is easy to vet. Overall, he is a great companion as we march into the sunset.

There is a long list of people to thank for bringing Augie to his “forever home”. First, the BRAT organization itself, his foster mom, Linda Webb-Hilliard, her sister Betty Webb who did the actual rescue, and Sibylle Michel who did the home visit and the last leg of his transport to Perth, Ontario. Also, a special thank you to all those involved in transporting Augie from Kentucky to Canada and to the foster home who cared for him overnight during the transport.

Judging from the photo, I think everyone will agree that Augie has found his place in the sun and hopefully his senior years will make up for some of the deprivations he experienced prior to the BRAT rescue.

-- Beryl Tritton, Perth, Ontario, Canada


  1. What a beautiful story. You and Augie are both very very lucky.

  2. So happy that Augie is loved and living a pampered life now. I hope he brings you as much joy as you have brought to him.

  3. What a great story! What a great life for Augie! Thanks so much. Was his name Augie Ben Doggie when you adopted him? Sometimes my husband says 'Augie Doggie Doggie Daddy?" to our two BRATS and they go crazy, running around the house like they are searching for the space ship to beam them up!