Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet Nailah

Meet Nailah (pronounced nigh-lah), an Egyptian name meaning “successful”.

Seven month old Nailah’s previous owner surrendered her to Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT) as being “aggressive”. We suspect that the woman simply didn’t know what she was getting into with a puppy – especially a basenji. She lived in a condominium and kept Nailah crated all day while she was at work, and all night while she went out or slept. Nailah is an active girl and was probably beside herself with excess energy.

However, I am eternally grateful to the woman, whomever she might be, for doing the right thing by surrendering Nailah to a breed specific rescue, and making my husband and me two very, very happy people.

We drove all the way down to Dallas, Texas – a two day drive -- to pick her up from her foster home. Nailah barooed at me the moment I stepped out of the car, and pushed herself into my arms as soon as I got through the gate. She is sweet, gentle, loving, calm and never lets us out of her sight. After only two days with us, she was already fully housebroken, instantly figured out the double doggie door, learned “sit” in less than a minute, and “speak” in just over a minute. She loves her daily 3 mile hikes, and her flying squirrel “sisters”.

Our previous basenji, Smoke, battled Fanconi for over a decade. We long planned that we would adopt a rescue when she finally succumbed. We knew it would be hard, not to have another dog to comfort us when she passed, but we couldn’t risk any added any stress when she was already in such a desperate fight. Smoke required all of our love and attention, and she had that right up to the end.

While no one can replace Smoke (no loved dog can replace another, as can no loved person), Nailah has been a much-needed salve for the devastating heartbreak caused by Smoke’s passing. She is special and beautiful in her own way.

Smoke passed away the evening of Sunday, July 8; Nailah was posted on the BRaT website on Monday, July 9 -- you’ll forgive us if we feel it was fate.

Our beloved Smoke  gave us 16 years of love and joy. If Nailah makes us half as happy, we will have been supremely blessed.
-Kayne Sirocco LaTrans


  1. I cried happy tears when I read your post, and my heart smiled. This is a beautiful happy ending story for Nailah and for you. What a great tribute to Smoke that you opened your hearts to another little dog.

    1. Smoke was herself the very dog that -- as a pup -- pulled me from the deep depression over the untimely loss of another of my many basenjis, Kia.

      Not only does the love of another canine companion greatly ease the pangs of grief, but I am reminded of the words of "A Dog's Last Will and Testament":

      “Before humans die, they write their last will and testament, give their home and all they have to those they leave behind.

      If, with my paws, I could do the same,
      this is what I would ask …

      “To a poor and lonely stray, I’d give my happy home, my bowl, cozy bed and all my toys, the lap which I loved so much and the tender loving touch.

      Also the hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice, which called my name.

      I’d will to the sad, scared shelter animal, the place I had in my human’s loving heart of which their seemed no bounds.

      So, when I die, please do not say,

      ‘I will never have a pet again, for the loss and the pain are more than I can stand.’

      Instead, go find an unloved animal, one who’s life holds no hope or joy and give my place to him.

      This is the only thing that I can give ... the love I left behind. This is my inheritance — my last will and testament.”

      If only every dog could find a heart to love them, and a home to call their own. Alas, we cannot save them all, but to each one we do, we make the world of difference. And to each person we enlighten about the availability of rescue animals, we offer hope for yet more.

    2. I got dizzy watching Nailah haha!
      WONDERFUL story! And so well written! I have a 12 year old tri and had red & whites and a black & white (Sarah from BRAT)! in the past. They are all different... and easy to love :)
      The best to your happy family!
      Laurie in Canada

  2. What a heartwarming story. I'm so sorry for your loss and very happy you and the new puppy found each other. Fate indeed.

  3. You are so lucky to have had Nailah come into your lives. Smoke had a good long life in spite of his illness. What a beauty Nailah is and what a cutie Smoke was as a puppy!

    By the way, what IS that contraption in one of the pictures?

    1. Thank you, basenjipack.

      If you're talking about the contraption with the red blanket underneath it (4th photo from the top), that is a "hotel" for our flying squirrels, Bushwhack and Shy. If you follow Nailah's gaze in that photo (you can click on the photo to enlarge it), you'll be able to see one of the flying squirrels leaping to a branch.

      We're definitely not at the stage in Nailah's training while I can have the flying squirrels loose in the house while she's about, but we're working on it.

  4. I am sorry for your loss, but delighted for your gain. Undoubtedly Smoke would be, too. Thank you for sharing, Kayne.

  5. Thank you, Chey. I have truly been basenji-blessed.