I have a new foster Basenji through Basenji Rescue…that happens all the time. No biggie, right?
But this one was a stray, and not an owner-surrender.
Well, not that uncommon.
But this one tested heartworm-positive.
Yikes, I’ve been here before.
But this one was hit by a car, and needed surgery for a broken bone.
Oh, lordy. Been there.
This one also needed a broken tooth pulled, and had to be neutered.
Really? Anything else?
Oh, yeah. Whipworms, a toenail broken off at the foot, and scrapes and bruises all over his body.
Stop! No more bad news about this dog!
|This is Pona, quite possibly the sweetest dog in the world.
I picked his name because “pona” is the Swahili suffix for words having to do with healing and recovery. He just had all of his surgeries on Tuesday.
He’s such a brave little champ.
|Pona was brought to a shelter in a small town in Texas after he had been hit by a car. Due to costs, the shelter was going to euthanize him. Basenji Rescue was contacted, and Wendy Hodges, a coordinator here in Austin, drove nearly six hours to bring him to Austin for treatment and fostering.
This is Wendy with Pona before his surgeries.
|Yeowch. This is Pona’s broken femur. See that spot that looks like two bones next to each other? That is supposed to be one long, straight bone.
The vet put a pin through the bone, and now his leg can heal.
|Here’s his little shaved butt and his owey (okay, incision), as well as the location of the pin.
He isn’t allowed to walk or stand for a week, which hasn’t been a problem so far. I’m able to leave the crate open so that he can interact with the other dogs, and he doesn’t try to walk.
|Now that we’re past the medical stuff, can I tell you that he is an awesome sweet dog? Just about a year old, and mellow as can be. He fit right into my pack without any trouble.
I’m really so lucky. He’s gotta be in pain. He could have turned out snarky and snappy. And he’s just the opposite.
|My dogs really like him, but they still give him plenty of space to get the rest he needs.
Here’s Tippy, supervising the “bath” I’m giving Pona with some doggie wipes. (Poor Pona – he STINKS. If you can imagine the stinky bodily fluid, he’s wearing some of it. He can’t have a proper bath yet.)
|See that giant lump on his side? That’s his RIBCAGE. He’s skinny.
Fortunately, that is going to be an easy thing to fix. Feeding him regular meals and not allowing him to exercise means that he should put on weight pretty quickly.
|This is Pona’s future. He needs to heal a bit from his injuries, then he can hopefully start heartworm treatment in a couple of weeks. I’ll continue to foster him until he’s well, or close to it. Then we’ll find him an awesome forever home that will give him all of the love and attention he deserves.
His life is going to get better and better from here.
This is my website, and I can say whatever the hell I want, right? Okay, here it goes. I want to cause physical harm to Pona’s previous owners. I have no idea who they are, but if I ever meet them, I will punch them in the throat. They let Pona run loose without even a dog tag, and didn’t claim him at their small town animal shelter for three days, where he was forced to stay with a broken leg before he was brought to Austin for treatment. They also kept him underfed, and never had him neutered. They also didn’t bother with heartworm preventative, which is a huge thing here in Texas. WHY THE HELL DID THEY GET A DOG IN THE FIRST PLACE? Pona already suffered neglect at the hands of these people, and now he has to suffer more to get him back to good health – and it’s all their fault. Anyone want to go punch them with me?
All the punching aside, I feel fortunate to have Pona in my home. I think this is a good spot for him to recover, and he’s a joy to have around. Since my dogs are the laziest Basenjis on earth, my house is chaos-free…but the fact that I have three Basenjis means that Pona still gets nice interactions with other dogs. I also mostly work from home, which means that I’m here to tend to his needs – like carrying him outside to potty until he can walk again.
Last thing…Pona’s treatment is costing a fortune, of course. If you’re able, can you make a donation to Basenji Rescue, or buy one of our calendars? Information on both is available on the Basenji Rescue website. By the way, that’s Ike and Tippy on the calendar cover. 🙂
Thanks for listening to Pona’s story (and my rant!). Have a great weekend!