Welcome Tekkster! My family stumbled across the basenji breed when we adopted a "rat terrier" from the humane society. When we brought Joker to the vet and showed him the papers from the pet store (where Joker spent his first 4 months of life)… we learned lots. First, a rat terrier was not an AKC breed back then, so breeders could breed different dogs together and affectionately call them rat terriers. Our vet informed us that whatever this adorable dog is... he certainly had some "basenji" in his blood lines.
When we did research about basenjis, we recognized many characteristics that described Joker. You may notice that many people on here have TWO basenjis, because basenjis love dog companionship. Well, Joker needed a companion, and we found Lucy, an 8 week old red/white girl. Lucy fit into our crazy household immediately. Lucy was not a hyper girl, but she certainly had energy! Funny enough, whenever we caught her doing something basenji-like (yes, naughty:))....you could see in her eyes that she was simply doing her chores: like emptying the bread bag, taking out the garbage, and cleaning my teenage daughter's room and "putting away" her panties, lol!
The funniest picture we have of Lucy: our family was sharing Thanksgiving with our neighbors and we forgot the spinach dip on the kitchen table... you know, where you use Hawaiian bread as the bowl? Anyway, my daughter and I came home to get it, and there was Lucy, contently laying ON the kitchen table, lapping away at the dip! When we yelled her name, she lovingly looked up, like, "Yes? Would you like some of my dinner?"
There are many other wonderful moments that I would never trade. In my opinion, Lucy had an innate understanding of our moods; often times, when someone was upset, you'd often find this blanket called a basenji curled up right next to that person. When it's time to exercise, the word "WALK" was like crack to her. And when she ran away, the only way we could coerce her to come home was with tasty treats.
Sadly, Lucy unexpectedly died last April, either of Fanconi or thyroid disease. (Please research these conditions if you haven't heard of them.) After 6 years of basenji love, our family could not understand what life was like without her... especially Joker... and so we searched on Craig's List and adopted one. Actually two, because the first Craig's List adoption went awry, and so we committed to a second girl in Chicago. When the owner for the first girl, Sophie, called later and asked us to get her... we said yes, but we weren't sure about having three dogs. Therefore, our 23 year old daughter took in Sophie, and she's been an only dog in her apartment. Sophie is about 3, and we don't know much about her past. When we met the old owner in a mall parking lot, it was apparent that Sophie needed love and care... she was underweight with fleas and worms, but boy was she HAPPY! Her little tail looks like a cinnamon bun, and whenever my daughter gets home, she welcomes her with cinnamon wags and wonderful roos. She has adjusted well to her new life.
The second dog, Lola, was from a family that physically cared for her, but didn't realize what they were in for until it was too late. Despite all of "the research", they didn't understand that Lola can't read…. nor write...lol:)... and she never realized what she was supposed to "do". Long story short, we are Lola's fourth home, and she just turned two! After 9 months, this bundle of basenji still has her issues... we are finally getting her to understand potty-training. Lola does her chores, though, and will diligently "clean the dishes in the dishwasher" and "empty the bathroom garbage can", lol... but I wouldn't trade her for the world! I think she knows that we ARE her "forever home".
My long post.... really... is to tell you that every basenji is different. Despite all of the research, you really have to meet the basenji to know if they will fit in your lifestyle. And as long as you go into this life-long relationship with your eyes WIDE OPEN, and that you promise in your heart that this crazy addition will be your companion for his/her lifetime, then I think you'll do fine.