My Rhodesian Ridgeback

Today I’m feeling sorry for and worried about my dog, Zuri.
Tomorrow morning he goes to vet’s for surgery. He’s had a growth on his right
elbow for about four months, and it has one area that occasionally breaks open
and bleeds. Not just a little, but a lot. Although he’s had calluses on his
elbows for years, this is different, and the vet wants to have it sent to the
lab for a biopsy.

Zuri is ten years and three months old. A Rhodesian
Ridgeback’s life span is between 10 and 14 years (although a few have lived  longer). Zuri is showing his age (aren’t we all), but he’s basically a healthy  Ridgeback, and we’re hoping we have 4 or more years with him. But they’re going  to have to put him under to do this surgery…and that always worries me.

Zuri is pet quality, and that’s what I wanted this time.
Back in the 70s my husband and I owned, bred, raised, and showed several
Rhodesian Ridgebacks and loved the experience, but this time around we simply
wanted a companion. Zuri has filled that requirement many times over.

Ridgebacks are very intelligent dogs. All of mine, over the
years, have been easy to train, though they aren’t like some breeds that rush
to obey. No, a Ridgeback will sometimes look at you as if to say, “Now, is
this in my best interest?” Zuri is oversized for the breed. (Remember, I
said he’s pet quality.) Whereas a male Ridgeback should be around 27 inches at
the shoulders and weigh around 80 pounds, Zuri is 31 inches at the shoulders
and comes in at 145 pounds. People are constantly saying, “That’s a big
dog.” (As if I hadn’t realized that.)

When he was a pup, I knew he was going to need to be well
trained if I was going to be able to handle him, so I started with the basics
the day we brought him home from the breeder, and I’ve never been sorry. Over
the years he’s been a wonderful ambassador for the breed, and for a time we
even visited a nursing home on a regular basis.

I love this breed, so when I decided to write my first
mystery suspense, I naturally gave my main protagonist (P.J. Benson) a Ridgeback  puppy…and named him after the first Ridgeback we whelped, raised, trained, and  showed to his Championship—Champion Roho’s Baraka. I hope, through my two Crow  books (The Crows and As the Crow Flies) I’ve helped readers  understand the Rhodesian Ridgeback a bit more. It’s not a breed for everyone,  but those who are owned by them, love them.

Please send good thoughts Zuri’s way.

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11 Responses to My Rhodesian Ridgeback

  1. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way, Maris! Hope everything turns out fine with the surgery.

    • Ameen says:

      I have two 18 month old brothers, each is uqniue too, and they get along 100% perfectly, even amazingly.They are a senstive dog to their surrounding and will notice anyting new or out of place.They are guard dogs, tracking dogs, and alert dog, but they are not attack dogs. My two were attacked by a 4 year old Pitbull when they just turned 9 months old on private property by my garage with me standing by them. Suprised me, I never had seen the pit bull or its owner in my life.

      • Maris says:

        Your description of the Ridgeback is right on, Ameen. . My RR was attacked by a little dog once. All he did was look at the dog as if to say, “What do you think you’re doing?”

  2. Diane Burton says:

    Also, sending good thoughts for a speedy recovery. It sounds like Zuri has been a faithful companion. All the best.

  3. Loralee Lillibridge says:

    Wishing Zuri speedy recovery and many more years of good health. Hang in there, Zuri’s human mama. Hugs to you, too.

  4. Annette says:

    I sent a prayer for Zuri. There is no love more pure than that of a loving dog. Hope he has many more healthy years.

    All the best, Annette

  5. Prayers, hugs and positive thoughts for Zuri. He sounds like he deserves the best. All of you take care and keep a hopeful attitude.

    You’ll be fine, Zuri. Believe that!

  6. Kevin Casey says:

    Wishing Zuri a speedy recovery and many more years with you. Give him a big hug for me.

  7. Lynn Kinch says:

    I hope all goes well for Zuri. You’re both in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Michelle Klug says:

    Did you ever find out what it was? My dog has a similar problem.