A determined twosome

A determined twosome

Jessy is a Basenji, a type of dog that doesn’t bark. Instead, she sings … even when times are tough.

December 1, 2019

Maryse, Jessy’s human, loves the welcome she receives first thing in the morning and when she gets home at night. Because Jessy’s upbeat singing is contagious. "After a bad day, hearing her sing makes me forget all my worries," says Maryse.

Jessy chilling at home

One morning Maryse noticed that her dog was walking down the stairs on 3 legs. She had Jessy examined by her veterinarian who prescribed substantially reduced activity—a hard pill for Jessy to swallow as she couldn’t understand why she was suddenly barred from running around.

"Jessy is proud," says Maryse. "Before her injury, she competed in canine agility events. Although I enjoyed the sport, I really did it for her. She loved the obstacles, to be seen and to show off. Unfortunately, when she was injured, it was no longer possible. It broke my heart to see her in that pitiful state."

Jessy at an agility competition

After visiting numerous specialists, the diagnosis was a heavy blow: Jessy had torn muscle and it hadn’t healed properly. The Basenji had to work hard to get back in shape and take part in the activities she loves so much.

During her rehabilitation, Maryse fed Jessy by hand and made her work consistently. Balancing on a ball, Jessy had to try to catch her kibble.

It may seem odd to imagine a dog on a ball, but when food is part of the picture, they’re really up for anything and understand quickly!” says Maryse. “Without Jessy understanding it, the series of stretches helped strengthen her damaged muscle.”

These days, Jessy is running again, at last. Within reason, of course. And, with all the attention the Basenji receives, she seems as happy as ever. The proof? She continues to sing every morning.

Jessy’s senses were on high alert during to Mont Tremblant with Maryse and Chloe, the Chihuahua

Cover photo: Catherin Arsenault

Photos 1 and 3: personal collection

Photo 2: François Fournier

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