hi to everyone!
I've been a little absent on the forum lately, and I do miss all of you, your wonderful basenjis and all of the chatter about our sweet companions. Real life catches up sometimes and there have been lots of things, mostly good, happening in our household.
Kipawa's update: Kipawa will be 2 years old at the end of September, and over the past couple of months we've noticed the kid in him being replaced by a well mannered teenager. Hurray! Of course that does not mean that the 'basenji' in him is gone. What we're seeing are some very good characteristics in him that I hope he hangs on to for the rest of his life. I guess he is just becoming a little man. One example is when I visit my sister, who has and 8 year old blue chow with a few hip problems. Kipawa used to keep pawing at her until she played with him a little. Now he paws at her once, and if she does not follow him, he leaves her alone, but always comes back to check on her - so could it be that he 'smells' that she is not well, or is picking up visual cues that she is not well. If you have ideas, I would love to hear them. He is just so much more respectful of her.
Many of you know that I used to take Kipawa to off-leash parks, pretty well any we could find in a 25 - 30 mile (around 50 kms) radius as he loved so much dog company. At each park we found situations where there were things like unbalanced dogs, unbalanced owners (far worse than unbalanced dogs) or oddities like electricity in 'the air' from high voltage power lines that wound up burning Kipawa's paw pads. I'm happy to say that our usual walks now involve a wonderful fenced 40 acre dog park that has both on leash and off leash areas. We live in a small(er) suburb of Vancouver, BC, and I've found that our particular suburb has wonderful dogs and wonderful owners, so we really utilize this 40 acre park, called North 40. We have dikes all around us, and they make for great long walks as well. So, it's great to have consistent places that we go to because the familiarity really works for Kipawa. His walks and runs seem more enjoyable for him.
But what Kipawa has also discovered lately are the B U N N I E S (shhhh…. can't say the word!) that come and wander around our cul-de-sac. When I sit on the couch in the living room, he likes to get on the back of the couch and look out the window. One day, he started to go absolutely crazy/bonkers - whining, talking, running around the house only to return to the back of the couch to start whining again. Of course I looked and there was a B U N N Y.
I found it both enjoyable to watch him, because there was that 'basenji' side of him wanting to hunt, but also a reminder to continue with the extra diligence that we always use when we either open or close our front door. He knows the command 'door' 100% - he knows he must be well back from the door and go into sit/stay, but I know that you can never be sure enough. Eyes are on him 100% when the door is opening or closing. I do take him for small walks up the cul-de-sac and he is fascinated with the smell the B U N N Y leaves. He can investigate the area for a good hour - everyone's lawn, and shrubs are thoroughly checked out to ensure the evil B U N N Y is not hovering around trying to destroy 'his' territory.
Hmm... 'his territory' ... well, it isn't anymore. Our lovely neighbour next door rescued (from a human) a French Bulldog. Theo is adorable, but he is not neutered, and that has caused a bit of a ruckus when the two have met. As Kipawa is on leash any time we are outside I can control him. But his hackles go up and he growls very seriously. Our neighbour is a very nice single man in his early 60s who loves Theo, but thinks there is a chance the owner might one day knock on the door and want his dog back. John has had Theo for 2 months now, so I think the owner really wanted to be 'dogless', but John is unsure as to getting him neutered. Theo and Kipawa are almost the same age, and I tell John that he needs to get Theo fixed, and I tell him the good reasons why. Unfortunately I think I am dealing with a human man who is thinking his 'man' dog needs to have his testicles. But I'll keep on suggesting it to John - I've told John I will take my garden snippers to Theo (a joke of course)!
Here are some newer pictures of Kipawa. My husband competed in a 5k wheelchair race and was the first quadriplegic to cross the finish line. He can still use a manual wheelchair, and his outlook on life is different now - yes, Kipawa brightened his life TONS, but now he wants in on everything Kipawa and I do together. So there has been lots of walking/rolling around and it's interesting how Kipawa really enjoys another member in the pack. Just last weekend Darrel, his brother and sister, and I went for a walk at the North 40, and Kipawa did not run ahead as much as he usually does. He wanted to provide safety and security for the bigger pack. It was adorable!
Kipawa is also providing care for his 18.5 year old kitty Maxo. He loves her and knows she is not well. She is having chronic pancreatitis and is right now going through a period of not eating too much. We have her on a pro-biotic, reduced protein food, pain meds and other meds. Every now and then he licks her, to remind herself to wash. We watch her very carefull to ensure she does not need to visit the Rainbow Bridge yet. She is our last cat of the 3 senior cats.
Later today I will re-size some pictures I've taken over the last little while and post them.
I apologize for not keeping up - you folks have provided so much information for me regarding Kipawa, and I do want to continue to be able to do that kind of thing (though there are people on here with far more knowledge than myself) for others, where I can. I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer with your basenjis, family and friends.