Monday, April 4, 2011

Vegas: Our First Foster

Vegas, our red and white boy, recruited me to be a BRAT foster mom.  It was March 31, 2002 and Good Friday.  I was visiting at my parent's home and just before lunch found I had an email from a BRAT Coordinator who lived in the Chicago area asking if anyone was near Fairfield, IL.  I wrote back immediately saying I was only 45 minutes away and asked what was needed.  The reply was soon received that a male basenji was in a county shelter there and it was his "last day."  I said I would go evaluate and spring him if he was purebred and I thought I could handle him.
Upon arrival at the shelter I was presented with a pathetically skinny male basenji who the ladies said had been there a month.  They reported his owner brought him in and and said he did not want him because he was mean.  However, it did not take the shelter workers long to decide he was "too nice to put down".  By 2:30 that same day I was driving down the highway with a very scared, but mild
mannered basenji in a crate in the back of my SUV.  Since we were the only BRAT volunteers in downstate Illinois, Vegas seemed to be a very lucky boy that day.

Vetting later revealed Vegas was heart worm positive and our family agreed to foster him for the duration of his treatment.  Since we had a male poodle and female basenji puppy in a two pet limit neighborhood we were not really looking for another basenji at the time.  Vegas convinced us otherwise.  We found that he was indeed a very rare basenji who processed and retained every correction of naughty behavior, carefully avoiding any harsh tones or sprays from the dreaded water
bottle.  By the time he was cleared of heartworm he had also convinced us he was at home with the Newtons and we completed his adoption.

To demonstrate that Vegas truly has a conscience, unlike most basenjis, once when he had an accident on the floor, he put himself in the corner.  He is such a good boy I think he even gets upset when someone else has an accident.

Vegas in the corner because he pottied on the floor.  He went there on his own.
Our very positive fostering experience with Vegas has led to many more foster visitors through the years.  Vegas always welcomes the puppies, tolerates the adult females, but does not like having extra boys around.  We are willing to accommodate his wishes, at least most of the time.

Vegas is having a discussion with Lindy, one of a group of 12 rescued from a puppy mill.

-Liz Newton

No comments:

Post a Comment