Thursday, February 3, 2011


Over the past few years I have coordinated and foster many wonderful basenjis and mixes for BRAT and other rescues. However, as everyone knows, there are always those one or two that touch your heart. Gibby is one of those dogs.

I was notified by an animal control agency in northwestern Indiana just after January 1st that they had a young male basenji that needed BRAT. I picked the little guy up on January 4th, brought him home, and immediately fell in love with him. He didn't have a name, but a friend of mine has a basenji named Gibby who she adores. I loved that name and decided Gibson, aka Gibby, it was to be. Gibby stayed with me for about a week and visited family and hung out here until his foster mom was able to meet me on January 10th.

Pam Mounts, Gibby's foster mom extraordinaire, also immediately fell in love with the little guy. We both struggled with feeding him for a few weeks as he is a "picky" eater like none other. BUT, finally he decided he'd start eating kibble. All seemed to be going very well. Gibby had begun playing with toys and showing his little personality to Pam and her pack. He was posted to the BRAT adoption site and applications came pouring in for him. I guess everyone else saw the same things in Gibby that Pam and I saw - goodness, sweetness, love and all around wonderfulness!

On Sunday, January 30th, Pam said she thought Gibby wasn't feeling well. On Monday the 31st, she said he seemed lethargic in the morning but was ambulatory. She left for a couple of hours and when she came home he had lost the use of his rear legs. She, being worried, immediately took him to the vet and it was discovered that he had a compressed disc.

On Monday, January 31st, Gibby had emergency surgery for the compressed disc. Now, I know many of you may not go to the lengths that others may to "save" their pet, and many would, but this is what makes BRAT such an amazing organization. Taking into consideration his prognosis, bowel control and quality of life, as well as the love that those of us who "know" Gibby have for him, the surgery was totally worthwhile!

The surgeon reported after his surgery on Monday that Gibby's spinal column was not bruised. The decompression was successful, and the prognosis was "good". He stayed in the hospital for 2 more days and came home yesterday, February, 2nd! I have to say, the news that he came home and that the "ground hog" did NOT see his shadow certainly made my day!!!

Gibby has been trying to walk, with Pam's assistance. He is still "knuckling", but has heart and isn't giving up on walking again. The doctor reports that all dogs, like people, heal differently and in their own time. At no time has he lost bowel control, which is also very good news.

Now, you may all be wondering "why" is this lady telling us all the "details" about this basenji when there are many others out there in need as is because #1 Gibby means a lot to me and Pam. If ever there were to be a "perfect" basenji, I think Gibby is "it"! I say that because I know my two basenji boys are "devilish little stinkers". Gibby is amazing. He is as sweet and good as they come. #2 BRAT operates on donations and $2500+ is A LOT OF MONEY for surgery! I posted, initially, on Facebook, and many of my friends, and contacts, began inquiring about Gibby, his prognosis, healing status, etc. Mike Swan thought this would be the most comprehensive way to reach "the world" through the internet. I agree! AND...#3 I believe that helping these wonderful little critters is about the most selfless thing anyone can do. I want to make sure Gibby, and Pam, have what they need to help him get better as quickly as possible.

Some of you don't know me, and never will. That's okay. BUT, what I want you all to know is that BRAT needs us all. These dogs need us all. I will gladly post updates for BRAT about Gibby whenever possible. BUT, in the mean time, please know that there is a team of volunteers across this continent that love these dogs as if they were are own flesh and blood children, doing what is necessary to keep them safe, healthy, happy and LOVED!
Please donate to BRAT at


  1. Gibby must be very special and has had his doggie angel watching over him from the very beginning. Our animal control will not notify rescues because they feel that they should not give special treatment to any one dog over another.

  2. I love these stories. BRAT people are amazing. Wishing Gibby a full recovery. He's a very beautiful and a very lucky BRAT boy. Brat will get a donation in Gibby's name.

  3. I humbly direct you to the Facebook page for "Rainbow Diamond." Diamond Dachshund Rescue of Texas got Rainbow after a particularly horrible puppy mill seizure. Rainbow's back had been purposefully broken, and they kept her in a bathtub to breed her. When DDRTX got her, she was not expected to live long, and now, a little more than a year later, she is running, playing and a beautiful spokesdog! Contact them for any advice. They used a lot of different therapies to help rehabilitate her, and they currently have a partially paralyzed Basenji-mix, too! Thanks for sharing Gibby's story!

    1. How can anyone with spirit do such a thing to a dog just to make money out of her puppies?
      It baffles me! So glad that the outcome was excellent! ;-)

  4. All I can say is that you truly are an Angel!

  5. and Gibby is too...what a beautiful boy. Praying he will be doing the 500 in a few months!!

  6. Suzanne, you and BRAT are awesome. My basenji BRAT rescue, Indy, is curled up next to me, snoring loudly. Thank you for the great work that you and Pam did for Gibby. I would highly recommend any dog that you foster or touch as Indy is just precious. -M. Kohlmann

  7. Thanks all for your words of love and encouragement for Gibby and BRAT!

    UPDATE ON GIBBY: Gibby is doing very well. It has been about 3 weeks since his surgery and I am glad to report he is walking on his own and trying to run! Yes, "running"! BUT, wobbly! LOL

    Gibson is being very well cared for by foster mom, Pam, and canine siblings. He is flourishing and coming right along in his healing. He, and Pam, are an inspiration to me to keep working with these amazing animals. They never cease to amaze me - daily!

    Again, BRAT always needs donations for not only Gibson, but other BRAT dogs in foster care that may need anything from medication, vaccinations and/or surgery.

    This "machine" that is BRAT has amazing volunteers! I am so lucky to have become friends with many of them and had the joy of wonderful fosters since my involvement. You all are the BEST!

  8. How's Gibby????

  9. Gibby is doing great. He is in Florida now and has a very loving home with another Basenji. He still has his special way of walking but it doesn't stop him from doing anything he wants to, I miss my Gibbers but am very happy that he found his forever home!