I'll admit that I didn't know much about dogs, let alone Basenjis, before bringing Paco into my life.
The only reason I know what I've learned over the last year, is because I have an obsession with being "book smart" on as many things in my life as I can be. I'm a total nerd. I love libraries, I love good internet resources (such as this site), and I love informational/educational television. I soak it all up.
Not everybody is like me, though. In fact, I'd say MOST people aren't like me, and it leads to so many clashes between what I've learned is right and what other people think is right. This is especially true in the realm of pets, I think.
I took Paco in for his annual a few weeks ago. Everybody adored him. He was so well-behaved, so "pretty", and "the perfect size" (he is small for a Basenji - or so my research tells me), and everybody was cooing over him.
"But you castrated him!" The vet boomed.
"I'm not a breeder, and I have no intention to show him - he's too small anyway."
"People like small pets, you could've found a breeder and made more perfectly sized, beautiful, well-behaved pets for people!"
I didn't reply, because I didn?t quite know what to say. It was almost as if he was angry at me. It took a lot of convincing to finally get Chris to understand why I felt we needed to fix Paco, and I still catch flak for it from friends of mine (usually male). Now, even the VET seems to think I shouldn't have done it?
I've written in the past about my co-workers believing that beating a dog is the only way to train it, and I have friends who swear the dog can differentiate between them feeding him from their plate and other people not, so he won't bother other people when they eat - but this one really took the cake.