January 16 th


Jabari Basenji

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“This beautiful and audacious name is Arabic and Swahili for ‘Strong’. Having great power or influence. Having the power to persuade. Marked by the ability to withstand stress without structural damage or distortion. Not showing weakness or uncertainty.”
Jabari 6 days after arriving. He survived the OAS hoarding situation in Washington state and was one of 124 dogs rescued by Guardians of Rescue and brought to RUFFF, a rescue in our area which provided the space needed to set up kennels to house these dogs. We took him in as I have been involved with this breed for 38 years and he has some behavioral issues which are already improving.


We suspect (and our vet does, too) that thyroid tests will prove him to be low thyroid and his health & mood will improve on thyroxine supplementation. Jan. 17- Update- thyroid tests were in low normal range, but we were told he may benefit from low dose supplementation and will update in a few days. He has been spending a lot of time on his heat mat and has skin issues and skin darkening that also goes along with low thyroid… Dr. Dodds describes some dogs as “subclinical hypothyroid” if they fall in the lower 50% of normal and have symptoms of low thyroid, especially aggression or fear. Dr. Dodds said we could try a low dose of thyroxine because of his clinical signs. His temperament improved over night and he stopped spending all his time on his heat mat. His skin is also improving after 9 days on thyroxine. We also had Hemopet lab run a full CBC/serum chemistries and heartworm test. A few values were out of normal range, but he looks remarkably well considering where he came from. HWT was negative, thankfully… update Jan. 21- unfortunately, when I tested his urine for glucose, he showed that he was “spilling some sugar”. A normal blood glucose with a postive urine glucose is indicative of Fanconi Syndrome, which can be genetic in basenjis. It used to kill many of them, but there is now a somewhat complicated protocol which can give them a longer, quality life. Fortunately, since I have had this breed in the past, I knew about the need for monthly urine testing…we must now have his blood gasses done on Feb. 4 to determine what amounts of supplements he needs to treat him. We also are doing the OFA genetic oral swab test to see if he is genetically afflicted or perhaps just has acquired Fanconi, from the poor care he had received. BCOA has the protocol on their website- Fanconi Disease Management Protocol for Veterinarians
By Steve Gonto, M.M.Sc., Ph.D. Revised September 22, 2003

Jan. 18.. after just a few small doses of thyroxine.




Jabari enjoying his grain-free food

Jabari enjoying his grain-free food



Here is an article about the horrendous conditions at OAS, where he came from with 123 other dogs right before Christmas.


March 2014 update. Jabari was somewhat afraid of our other dogs and deserved a family of his own. Our friend Keith (a BRAT volunteer) picked him up after he had been with us 5 weeks and delivered him to the best home ever! Bernard was raised with basenjis and his daughters and Jabari have really bonded. They love him and were willing to deal with his health needs. Thank you, Keith, Bernard, Kenzie and Kiana! Doesn’t Jabari look happy and proud?


Categories : News


  1. Petey First says:

    thank you for rescuing this guy……
    Horrific place—that OAS!!!
    He is in exactly the perfect place for him!

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Petey

  3. Lydia Marano says:

    Thank you for rescuing this beautiful dog. All of us on OASIS DOGS were pulling for him to find a real home.

  4. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Lydia… he really is a good boy!

  5. Annechien Smith says:

    Wonderful, such a joy to see him being so happy and so very basenji. You are doing a great job! I know nothing about the OAS situation but have over the years too many of them. Wishing you luck!

  6. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    thank you! he’s a great dog.

  7. Saw your Basenji JAN 1ST or 3rd. after the dogs arrived at RUFF, Spotted
    him right away as I too was a breeder. Many people don’t known the uniqueness of the breed NAMELY THEY DON’T BARK BUT YEODEL.

    I wanted to adopt him but was told it was too soon. well, I am glad someone who knows the breed adopted him. NEVER heard of the illness common in the breed but time passes and knowledge grows. He looks lovely and happy.

  8. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you! Fanconi has been a problem for many years, but BCOA allowed new imported dogs into the registry from the Congo in the late 80’s and early 90’s, which expanded the gene pool and has helped with health issues. Jabari has actually gone on to a new home, with someone who grew up with basenjis and has 2 daughters who adore him. He is getting lots of love and attention now. Unfortunately, I start having allergic reactions to him, my immune system is haywire after 42 years of Lyme disease.. I hated to let him go, but he got a great home with the help of BRAT (Basenji Rescue and Transport).

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