Saturday, November 9, 2013

Welcome home, Remi

As I prepare for a transport today to bring Remi from Kansas City to Baton Rouge, I realize that 2013 marks my 5th year as a BRAT volunteer.  I am still a relative newbie, and remain humbled by the depth and breadth of the expertise of the BRAT organization.  I found BRAT like many of you, searching online on the website, wanting to add to my single dog family.  Iggy definitely needed a playmate.  As my first B, from an established show dog breeder, he rules the roost.  And I was tired of being his playmate 24/7. 

So I found BRAT.  I registered to help…as a transporter, home visitor and foster.  Because there are so few basenjis in Louisiana, I thought my chances to foster would be limited…and considering other parts of the country, they are, but I have had the wonderful privilege to foster.   It has not always been easy…there’s the epic basenji battle that landed Iggy and Tristan in the emergency room, the destroyed furniture, the chewed up electronics…but I can honestly say, it’s always worth it.

My first opportunity came quickly, just two months after registering to volunteer.  Roxy, forever first in my heart, was found wandering the streets of New Orleans.  Heartworm positive. 14 pounds.  Almost didn’t survive the heartworm treatments.  She didn't make it to the View Basenji Rescues postings on the BRAT website; I adopted her. She had a great life for four more years until she succumbed to a damaged heart from those heartworms.

I was hooked. 

There have been more opportunities to foster during these five years:
·         Tiger, aptly re-named for his aggressive nature that caused his owners to surrender him.  Turns out he just needed thyroid medication, and he’s doing fine now in California.
·         Tristan and Genny: forced to produce babies in a puppy mill somewhere in Texas.  A bonded pair.  Happily living in Pennsylvania now after a failed first placement in Maryland.
·         Macy, underweight, was still lactating though no puppies were found with her.  Found locked in a shed in an abandoned house in south Louisiana.  Lived at a shelter for a month til she was pulled.  She came into my life at the exact moment I needed her.  She never made it to the adoption postings; I adopted her just as my sweet Roxy was leaving this life.
·         Bebe, the 18-month-old puppy who had already had a litter of puppies.  I am convinced there’s a backyard breeder in St. Bernard Parish…if I can only find it.  Three of my fosters have come from the same area, wandering the streets, unknown origins.  Bebe’s now a Southern belle in Savannah, Georgia.

And so today, I travel to Little Rock as the last leg of an owner surrender that starts in Kansas City, MO.  Remi is 15 years old.  She is going to be confused, leaving the only home she has ever known.  But thanks to four willing volunteers who are helping to safely and lovingly transport her, we will get her to Baton Rouge. 

I already know how this story will end.  She’s coming to foster with me almost at the exact time Roxy did five years earlier.  She won’t be a replacement for Roxy, but I’ve learned that I have a tender spot for the older Bs. 

She will have a soft pillow, a bright sunny window and even a warm fire to live out her days.  She likely won’t make it to the adoption postings either.  I don’t know her yet, but my heart already does. Welcome home, Remi.


  1. Bless you, Janet. Remi's days will be comfortable, and she will know love. I hope there will also be many.

  2. You are a "basenji angel" bless you.

  3. My wife and I were honored to be the first leg of this journey. Kansas City, MO to Carthage, MO. Just a hair over two hours, Remi rode contentedly on my wife's lap the entire trip, though a few times she tried to sneak to mine as I drove. Her temperament and disposition were wonderful for being in a car with two strangers, but evidently we were good in her opinion, as it didn't take long to start getting hand licks and nuzzles wanting more attention... Oh, and she likes to butt sit, like a people.

  4. You're going to love her so much! Although we knew she couldn't come to live with us we still had mixed emotions after turning her over to her next taxi person. What an adorable girl she is and how fast she wormed her way into my heart. Thanks for letting us be a part of this wonderful transport.

  5. Janet, you are an angel. And now you have another Basenji Angel in your choir.

  6. I agree, you are a Basenji angel. I hope little Remi is settling in comfortably in her new home.