The great adventure of Amazing Gracie as told by Gracie


  • It has been just one week since my husband, I and our 15 year old black and white boy Basenji, Dandy drove 7 hours to IN to adopt a two and a half year old girl Basenji named Gracie. Gracie belonged to her breeder and had been in the kennel her whole life so was not socialized. From here I will let Gracie tell you her story:

    Let me tell you about my great adventure. It all started when I left Westfield with the two strangers and their black and white boy. I am sure I was dog napped ! Our trip was a long one. I stayed just as quiet and still as I could through the entire trip. We arrived at my new home at approximately 1 a.m., at which time the new people thought I would surely have to pee. I allowed the man to get me from the kennel and hook me up. We proceeded to outside where I quickly turned my head and snapped the lead, freedom at last. I ran, sniffed and did lots of Basenji stuff which lasted the rest of the night. My new people searched until 4:30 AM with flashlights, calling my name, shaking treat containers and even bringing that black and white boy to help. I was well hidden and they never found me. I heard later they even called the police to report me missing. My new people had been awake over 24 hours by 4:30 AM and needed some sleep. Their last ditch attempt to get me back was to place the kennel in which I had made the trip in their garage, complete with food, water, sausages and my toy from home. They left the man door of the garage open with the front lights on and went to bed. I at some point during the early morning hours went into the garage, into the kennel, ate the food and sausages. I must have been tired and full so I decided to take a little nap. The next thing I knew the man door slammed shut like someone pulled it from the outside and I was in the garage. I was not going to give up my adventure so quickly! It took about 2 hours for the new people to get me back into the kennel, shucks. I then had some breakfast, heated in the microwave, it was yummy, I ate the whole thing, along with fresh water. Now a nap. I slept, except for the new people sitting with me, chatting and petting along with tasty treats, for the entire day. I did not even potty. After a yummy dinner the new people took me outside, aha, here is my chance. Oh no, they have a chain collar and leash. No chance of snapping that even though I did try. Out to the back yard we went, which is fenced. I remained on the chain leash because I think I scared these people and they wanted to make sure I had no more adventure. I resisted the leading but with gentle encouragement it wasn't so bad. As we walked I found a space under one of the three gates where I was able to get my head and shoulders under but the lead did not allow me to get through, shucks. I did pee but was not about to poop for them. We stayed outside for quite a while then back to the kennel for a treat and a good night's sleep.

    Now it is Saturday. These people get up early. Breakfast was served around 7 AM with a slight rest afterward. Now back to the fenced yard with the collar and leash in place, which again I tried to bite and again it did not work (these people are no dummies). I was not going to walk willingly. They nudge me from the rear and that seems to get me going. I peed and pooped today and they seemed so pleased that all was working well. They brought that black and white boy out, he was on his lead also and let us get close (ha, ha , ha). I let him sniff my face but when he got to my butt that was enough, a growl let him know, and he walked away, Humph, no fight in him. We then took "family pictures", staying out for a good hour. I am now back in my kennel after having a tasty treat. Time for my nap. I am trying to be the best girl and I think these people like me. They keep telling me how beautiful I am. Life is good as it can be. Before I went to sleep I heard this new man attaching something to the bottom of the fence where I thought I could escape, I will certainly be checking that out. Basenji bye for now.

    Love,
    Gracie aka Amazing Gracie.


  • Oh my goodness, what an adventure (nightmare for the humans) and so glad Gracie is safe. At least she came home!


  • Thank you Anne. It was a nightmare, we had that terrible feeling in the pit of our stomachs and didn't think we would ever see her again. A strange dog with strange people in a brand new state all sounded like a perfect storm. By the grace of God and a few prayers she brought herself home. Thank you again.


  • Really lucky dog! Both because she found her way back and because she has you. I believe you did exactly the right thing by leaving the crate with food and familiar things in it. I hope this girl is soon a committed member of your family who never wants to leave! 🙂


  • Thank you so much eeeefarm for all the positive encouragement. Gracie is a beautiful, sweet girl, just so scared. She has definitely gotten calmer in the past week and only hope we are on the right track in socializing her. This was almost love at first sight for us. Are there Basenjis who never want to leave? Ours are always looking for an advenure.


  • Basenjis can be such wiley little creatures. I hope Gracie's wandering days are OVER!
    I'm glad you got her back and hopefully she'll realize she's got a good thing going.


  • Thank you agilebasenji, I hope you are right. We do have our work cut out for us. Oh my, I wonder, what were we thinking. lol


  • @Candy:

    Are there Basenjis who never want to leave? Ours are always looking for an advenure.

    I would say most Basenjis will want to look for "adventure" and will take any opportunity to do so, which is why we need to protect them from the dangers they can get into. However, it has been my experience with several "off leash" Basenjis I have had that although they love to run and are not eager to come when called, they don't like to get too far away from you if they are "bonded" to you. If I take advantage of my guy's temporary distraction…....sniffing or whatever.......and disappear on him (hide in bushes or behind a tree), once he notices my absence he puts a lot of energy into looking for me until I am found. He gets almost panicky if he can't locate me. My previous off leash girls were like this too. Unfortunately, unless you have access to a "safe" area, it isn't a good idea to trust a Basenji off leash. Too many hazards. I'm lucky, as I live in the country......


  • @Candy:

    She has definitely gotten calmer in the past week and only hope we are on the right track in socializing her. This was almost love at first sight for us. Are there Basenjis who never want to leave? Ours are always looking for an advenure.

    I hope she settles down more and more once she feels more comfortable and knows that this is her 'home'. Sounds like she is a scared and confused little girl and likes her crate and smaller spaces where she can feel safe (den).

    As for basenjis that never want to leave…..my female never wanted to leave our side when we got her. In the dog park we would go for a walk around the perimeter and she would play with the other dogs, until she couldn't see us anymore. Then she would start looking frantically for us and come flat out once she saw us. We took her down to remote creek for a hike and let her off leash and she always had her eyes on us. But my boy......he is another story. If he could get out of the yard he would be on a Basenji adventure. Once, hubby left the gate open off the deck after I have knee surgery and the two B's were gone. Lucky we had our Toller and when I let him out they came back to investigate what was happening with him. (Tollers....not just good for getting ducks to come to shore...) I got them back into the yard that way. Moral of the story......they are not off-leash dogs.


  • Thank you Krunzer. Great story and you are right they are not off leash dogs. We have a fenced yard and will be testing Gracie to see if she is a climber or jumper. She is now on her leash even when we take her into the yard as she would not willingly come back to us when we call her. I know she needs more exercise, I have lost 4 pounds in the past 10 days walking her, which is good but she needs more than I can give. What a challenge this is.


  • @Candy:

    She is now on her leash even when we take her into the yard as she would not willingly come back to us when we call her.

    I adopted my currant boy from his breeder at 3 years old. I swear it was a good year before he really accepted that he was staying, and that his "mom" wasn't coming back for him. He had been socialized and had had a couple of hours free in her house daily, so not quite the same thing as your situation. But he was used to having lots of other dogs for company, even when crated, and being an only dog took some time to sort out. In your case, you have another dog for her to be with, but that can work against you as well as for you, since she isn't as reliant on you for company.

    Perhaps do some work with her alone, if you aren't already, so she has to rely on you more. I would spend some time, perhaps with a clicker, and address the problem of her coming when called. Until you get that down, any unintentional release is going to be more problematic than usual with a Basenji!


  • eeeefarm,
    Thank you for letting me know it can be done, she has come a long way already. Our 15 year old dog is not a lot of company for her, he has his own schedule which involves a lot of napping. Think I will try that clicker, never used one before, probably don't know what I have been missing. I do know that when I release her it will be intentional and within our 4 foot chain link fenced area. Just hope she can't jump or climb fast.


  • @Candy:

    Think I will try that clicker, never used one before, probably don't know what I have been missing. I do know that when I release her it will be intentional and within our 4 foot chain link fenced area. Just hope she can't jump or climb fast.

    My current boy thinks chain link is just a ladder! None of my previous Basenjis were climbers, but he is. One trick if you find she climbs is to hang PVC pipe on the inside of the fence near the top. This works with my guy…...he isn't sure how to get over it. Another thought is that a fenced yard is the perfect place for "invisible" fence. Properly positioned, It keeps them away from the physical fence.

    Clicker training will be fun for you and her. Lots of info on line about how to do it, but I wrote a little something, mostly for amusement, that will give you some idea of how to start, if you are unfamiliar with the concept. You might enjoy reading it. Although I embellished somewhat to create a humourous article, the actual training part is pretty much how my first attempt with Perry went....

    http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?12547-For-your-amusement&highlight=


  • I know an owner who has both a physical fence and an invisible fence. She had climbers so this was double protection. My guys are too lazy to climb the fence even when they are chasing an animal in the yard and it goes over the fence. Either they are lazy or they know by the time they climb the fence the animal is long gone! None of mine climbed even when my foster Harper climbed over the fence. They made a lot of noise like whining and crying and would run back and forth at the fence whenever she was climbing over the fence. Luckily I was always able to get her!

    Jennifer


  • Thank you eeeefarm and Jennifer for your suggestions. We are not ready yet for the test, still keeping her on the leash at all times.


  • eeeefarm,
    Enjoyed your story, sounds like it worked. Are you still clicking?


  • @Candy:

    eeeefarm,
    Enjoyed your story, sounds like it worked. Are you still clicking?

    I get out the clicker when I want to teach a new behaviour…...the latest one was "waving" at me. I don't train on any schedule, as he knows everything I require of him on a daily basis, but once in awhile it is fun to grab the clicker and some treats and see what we can learn today. He starts offering behaviours as soon as he sees the clicker come out. "What do you want me to do, Mom?" 🙂

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