Friday, March 13, 2009

Where it all began

What is the perfect dog for us? A boerboel. We discovered the breed Boerboel one day while searching the internet for a large, protective breed, but was great with kids and very loyal. The description of the Boerboel almost fit perfectly.  This breed originates from South Africa and we were lucky enough to find a local breeder here in Arizona that actually brought himself and dogs from Africa. The day we brought Tonka home was a great day. He was this adorable puppy that made us happy just by looking at him. My husband and I couldn't wait to get home from work to play with our puppy. Of course there was the potty training and the chewing on everything like puppy's do, but it was all still fun. We studied the Dog Whisperer, read Dog Training for Dummy's, and any other book we could find on raising a large breed puppy. We thought we did pretty good training Tonka. He got attention everywhere he went and impressed people with his obedience and loyalty to us. Then one day he starting walking differently. We were afraid we had walked him too much that day or that he had injured himself somehow. We took him to the Vet who said he was afraid this was the beginning of a neurological problem. He was too young for the tests needed for diagnosis, but it appeared that something was wrong his spinal column and he was perhaps not getting the signal to walk the way he should.  His ability to move became worse and worse and one day at the park led to a meeting with a Vet walking her dog. She said it looked like he had Wobbler's Disease. Wobbler disease is a condition fo the cervical vertebrae that causes unsteady wobbly gait and weakness in dogs and horses. There is no cure. Eventually he would be unable to move and his quality of life would be such that putting him down would be the only option. It was nice to know what was finally wrong with him, but awful to know his days were numbered. We made the most of his short life.  We loved him unconditionally and said our goodbyes one sad day in the spring of 08. He had lived for only 18 months, but he left an impression on us that would last a lifetime. After several months of mourning so to speak and a move to a bigger house and bigger yard we decided to get another one. Thus begins our journey of RAISING AFRICA.


  1. Oh Man! That's heartbreaking! But at least Tonka was able to experience love and care from you guys. Sob... Love, Dino

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