Hello everyone. I came across this forum while searching for Basenji rescue information. I am new to this breed of dog and have found our little foster dog to be quite a challenge?that is, unlike any other dog I have ever encountered. A dog, much like a cat! In fact that?s how I discovered she was a Basenji, by googling ?dogs that clean themselves like a cat.? Let me give you a little background on how Little Lita has entered our lives.
My sweet Dalmatian/Spaniel mix Cocoa passed away quite unexpectedly on Dec. 8th, and, needless to say, I have been devastated. Cocoa was my constant companion, my shadow, and she lived to please me?I trained Cocoa using shunning as a tool and it worked fabulously. She only had to bolt out of the front door after a walking dog and his master ONCE to get the picture. The next time the screen door popped open while she was barking at a walking dog, she didn?t make a move. Cocoa LOVED attention, ignoring her for bad behavior worked like a charm?quick and effective.
Only 4 days after Cocoa passed I decided to foster a dog from a local rescue shelter. I was told she was a Terrier mix, and Lita is listed as that on her petfinder page. She is definitely a mixed Basenji, as her tail is not curly, but she has the wrinkled brow, white chest and feet and the independent, aloof attitude, along with the HIGH, HIGH energy characteristic of Basenjis.
I was told at the shelter that Lita was originally rescued at 6 mos. from a home in GA that had over 20 pups. She was adopted out from the shelter I am fostering through at 7 months. She was returned (called a bounceback) to the same shelter on Dec 9th because the person responsible?an 8 yr old boy according to the mother?would no longer care for her. (Nice lesson, huh? Just taught that kid dogs are disposable.) Lita is now 2 yrs old and was very hand shy at first. I had the impression she was hit?a lot. She was very anxious at first and fearful of ALL the new noises inside and outside our home. It seems, too that she really isn?t used to affection, and it seems she is only interested in food.
I have been very sensitive to poor Lita?s anxieties and have been allowing her to become accustomed to us and our friends on her terms. She does warm up to friends quickly if she is ignored and allowed to approach and sniff when she is ready. But, petting is still a no-no for most guests?she?ll run away and bark if they try. Even with us, if she doesn?t want petted she?ll just back away. I?ve never encountered such an independent dog who seems to only tolerate any affection.
Anyhow, please don't hate me because I?m pretty sure this is not the right breed for me, but I am worried about poor Lita being adopted out to another home. I hate to see her get comfy here?only to get shipped away to another home where she has to learn trust all over again. I wish in my state of over-whelming grief, I would have stopped to think more. I thought fostering a needy dog would help me overcome my grief sooner and benefit the doggy, too.
Can anybody tell me, would a dog like Lita, with a questionable beginning and subsequent fostering, adjust well to another transition? I feel so terrible for not wanting to keep her at this point, but am torn about causing her more anxiety. Thanks for any response. I think this forum may be helpful to us. You all seem very knowledgeable about this breed.