When I first contacted Liz Newton at BRAT about Ivy, we had just lost our sweet red and white basenji Jasmine Rose just before her 15th birthday. I wasn't looking for another pup yet, but I had always checked the BRAT website just to look at the pups and read their stories. When I saw Ivy and read about her heart condition, I just sent a casual note to Liz to say that she was beautiful and that I was sure she'd find a good home for her. I said that her heart murmur wouldn't deter me at all, if I were looking for a pup and if we didn't live so far away. Liz responded quickly with a note saying that mine was the first email she had received about Ivy, though she had been there for a while. She said no one had inquired about adopting her and if I were interested, please send in an application. Took me all of 5 minutes to talk to my husband and agree that we'd love to have her. The next thing I knew we were arranging for transportation from MI to NH on the weekend before Thanksgiving, and here we are a year later!
We're celebrating a very happy anniversary, indeed. One year ago today we welcomed Ivy into our home, and we're grateful every day that we have her. She's relaxed and happy and very much at home here. Her lush winter coat is back - glossy and soft. She has a collection of chew toys that she thoroughly enjoys and she has no interest in chewing anything else. As a matter of fact, she's so trustworthy in the house that she no longer goes in the crate when we go to work! She has a number of comfy beds scattered throughout the house but I think she spends most of her daytime hours snoozing in her bed in the living room.
She's still taking her two medications twice a day, and she's eating Royal Canin Early Cardiac prescription food. She also gets a bit of Welactin on her food a few times a week. She gets Mother Hubbard mini-biscuits and Zeke's salmon training treats, both of which she loves and she spends hours trying to get them out of her kong after I wedge them in there. I'll have to look for one of those kibble dispensers that she can roll around and get the occasional tidbit to come out - she'd love that! Anyway, her diet is working just fine - her coat is beautiful and she weighs a healthy 23 lbs! She goes on walks twice a day and she's come a long way from the time when every footfall made her jump!
She greets me at the door at the end of the day with a series of b-500 laps around the livingroom interspersed with hugs for me. When Neil gets home she gets up from her bed and greets him at the door, too. Much different from the early days when she hid under the table when he entered the room. They're fast friends now and it's fun to watch them together. She's first in line for his affectionate greeting when he gets home from work, and I don't get my hug until he's finished with Ivy!
When I tell people that Ivy has a heart condition, they always wonder why we'd take on a pup with a known medical issue that could shorten her life. I never thought of it that way. The more I talked with Tacie, the wonderful woman who fostered her, the more I knew she was the pup for us. Before I ever laid eyes on her in person, she was my pup and she had moved into my heart. She needed us, a quiet home as the only dog, and the kind of life we could give her, for however long it lasts. If someone were to knock on my door with an offer to trade for a different basenji with a perfect bill of health and a guaranteed life of 20 years, I'd refuse. Ivy is a treasure and we wouldn't trade her for anything!
We want to thank you again for your parts in bringing this precious girl into our home. She is the most wonderful basenji in the world and we are very lucky to have her. I'm hoping that we'll be able to enjoy her for many years to come.
Happy holidays to you and yours.
All the best,
Elaine & Neil
P.S. My father and I have been involved in some basenji transports this year, bringing Stormy and Brady to their new owners. We very much enjoy doing it and look forward to many more opportunities to help basenjis get to their forever homes.