A little scared, but intrigued
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  • J

    Hi, my name is Debbie, and I am soon going to have a four year old basenji male come to live with me. I've always loved basenjis from afar, even as a child (after watching the movie Goodbye My Lady). I paint pictures of dogs and sell the pictures online, and basenjis have always been my best sellers! Well, one day I got a phone call from a friend who had seen a basenji at the local humane society and she wondered if she could adopt him and give him to me. I said OK!

    So, she will bring him up in late May when she visits from her home in California to mine in Nevada. From her email stories of him, I gather he is a very busy doggy, loving and gentle, but liking to get into things and going everywhere, like a Jeep (but his name is Cody). I started reading stories on the internet about basenjis, the good, the bad, and the ugly, as one site said. And I'm afraid of the ugly!

    My friend said that the society people told her that the man who brought Cody in, didn't even want to fill out the card to say why he was turning the dog in. He just said, "You don't want to know." After reading the stories, I wonder if Cody destroyed something valuable and someone got maaaadd at him.

    Anyway this forum looks like a place to come for advice and fun. What would you tell a new owner about a rescue basenji? I have two cats and an energetic female Border Collie, and my mom, who lives with us has two male Poodles. My friend has a dog and says Cody is not agressive with dogs or her cats either. That's good!

    Am I in for it? My husband is worried. :)

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  • Who has the boy now?… I am assuming your friend got him out of the shelter?... Was this in No or So. California? What kind of situation is the Basenji in now?... if not still in the shelter? Hopefully your friend has been able to evalute him to the extend of temperament, manners, socialization?... etc...
    Remember that a rescue comes with a whole different set of "baggage" compare to a puppy... they have been displaced and they don't understand why.... so you will have problems with maybe house training at first... maybe with temperment issues as he learns his place in your pack...

    Also I would suggest that he meet your Border Collie in a netural place.... along with you... Also if you could go and visit him in person at your friends before he comes to you that I think would go a long way with bonding....

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  • THE SECONDHAND BASENJI HANDBOOK by P. J. Cotter and M. Cotter is a comprehensive guide (280 pages w/photographs) dedicated to making the adoption of a "rescued" Basenji a success.
    is available on the brat site
    if you shop thru their liink brat receives a portion of the proceeds
    www.basenjirescue.org

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  • Yes, if you could give more information about his current situation and how he is doing with your friend, that might be helpful. I wonder if the guy who gave up Cody was an original owner. I really can't imagine someone giving up on a dog after four years, but I guess I think too highly of the human race.

    I think any dog will have trouble making changes; especially after living in one home for 4 years. Does your friend have a dog now who is with Cody? Do you know if she is crate training Cody? Also, is she a stay at home person who is spending a lot of time with Cody? Are you a stay at home mom? Cody might be getting use to the company and making another change to your home, if you're not there, might create problems.

    I think basenjis test your patience. I believe that your love for the dog is what keeps a person comitted to keep on trying with this breed.

    Also, take a look at your home and your surroundings (backyard) and make sure that it is basenji-proof. Basenjis are known to climb fences so your yard needs to be secure. I also recommend your dog and Cody meet on neutral territory. Spend a good amount of time with them socializing outside of your dog's backyard. Take them for a good long walk together before bringing them home. Cody needs to respect your dog's home and not try to take over. This can cause problems. Oh and do you know if Cody has associated with cats?

    I think its a wonderful thing you are doing by taking Cody. Keep us posted on his arrival and if you have any questions.

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  • J

    My friend, who loves animals and has rescued many cats and her present dog, who is a Shiba Inu with one leg missing, has told me stories about how Cody is doing as he lives at her house while she gets ready to come up. She works long hours and puts her dogs outside, which seems to be working for Cody and Zorro (her dog). She also has lots of cats which stay in the house and Cody has been in the house in the evenings and nights with some chasing of the cats, but also responding to her "No" and not at all being mean to the cats.

    I wonder, too, why he would be four years old and turned in like that, unless it was a couple breaking up and no one to care for him. Cody has tried my friend's patience just a little with being "busy" and into boxes and grabbing a teddy bear and taking off with it. He also slipped out the door and ran down the street. She thought she lost him, but followed him in the car and was able to catch him. She thinks I will love him as he is gentle and loves to be petted, gets along with dogs and cats. I can't travel to her house as I am disabled. However I am a stay at home gal and kick around actively as much as I can. I go for walks with my dog up the street and back, too, with a neighbor.

    Do you think I ought to get a crate? My friend sent a photo, and he's a very pretty red and white with a tightly curled tail and beautiful eyes. He is standing calmly beside one of her cats in the photo!

    Thanks for responding. :)

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  • You would be surprised why people give up dogs.. of all kinds… geee, like you have to take care of them???... You know in reading this and if he is a typical Basenji and "busy"... my quess is that he most likely made a "pest" out of himself and the person or people had no idea that geee, you have to make time for the dog?... they just don't sit in a corner until "you" feel like paying attention to them....

    Does your friend have a crate for him now?... regardless you should have a crate... but if he was never been in one, then you are going to have to start at crate training 101....

    Sounds like he will be a good fit for your, but like anything, it will take an adjustment period

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  • Be excited and recognize that you might be a little crazy if you own a basenji. Treat him like your child and everything will be okay. :)

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  • Another question, do you crate your dog, Zorro? If not, it might be difficult having Cody crated. My dogs have access to a secured back yard thru a doggie door. They keep each other company. The same is probably going on with Cody now and your friend's other dog. I think if you're a stay at home mom, you'll be able to keep an eye on him and watch and teach him what he can do and not do. My dogs have learned and we can now leave shoes out all day and they will not chew them.

    You just learn what you need to eliminate from their reach–i.e., books on lower shelves, remote controls, papers, TP, etc.

    I think when he arrives you should give him time to adjust. Keep things calm and do not get him overly excited or make a big fuss. I'm sure he'll be perplexed as to why he's being moved. Poor guy. But I'm sure he'll adjust and having company of another dog will help. I hope they all get along.

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  • J

    Zorro is my friend's dog and she has both dogs sleeping in their own beds in her bedroom. She said each evening she has to shoo Cody from the bed several times but then he understands his place is in the dogbed. I also keep my dog Jenny in her own bed in the bedroom. I leave her in the house when we go out to town and she is perfectly behaved, though this took about a year to accomplish. At first I tied her to the bed leg, then left her in the bedroom, then finally in the whole house. Jenny has been a big challenge for me (another breed that needs extra work) but now she is a good girl at four years old. My mom's mini poodles are/were so good compared to how Jenny was…

    Thanks for all your replies. I don't know whether I should go the crate route or not. I could leave him outside in good weather when I'm gone, but I'd really rather have the dogs inside in case of the gate being opened or something.

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  • Go read my post on Miles: A Rescue… I hope it will help. :)
    You are doing a good thing. There are always trials and tribulations when it comes to getting a new dog. And living with any animal is, well, work. Inevitably there will be "bad" days where you come home to poop or a destroyed item. But hopefully with love and patience, you will be rewarded with trust and "obedience". Most dogs are good natured. But a "good dog" is one who's had a lot of time and devotion from someone who cares. It's a relationship that must be nourished. Good relationships are made, not born. Life is work and going into it knowing and expecting that should make the difference. Stick to your guns. Learn about your little guy and find out what works for HIM. And figure out a way to make that work with YOUR LIFE. Don't give up too early!! :) We're all here for ya!!

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  • You are going to have stress if you lock one out and one in…. either both out, both in... especially the Basenji will be looking for a way into the house ....
    Has your friend tried leaving him in the house with her other dog alone?....

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  • J

    Pat, no she hasn't and I wouldn't want her to, as she is gone so many hours a day. Thanks, will go read about Miles now!

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  • Maybe she could try him like if she just goes to the store?…. on a weekend or something?... and also that is something that you can try... when you get him home... he might just be fine...

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  • ?

    Did your friend find Cody at a Humane Society in southern California?
    I was just wondering because I saw a beautiful red and white in Pasadena Ca and I was going to bring over a blanket and toys/treats for him but before I knew it he was adopted :-)
    P.S. I love that movie Goodbye My Lady too! I know you all are going to hate me for sayin' this but it would be so cool if they did a remake I would go watch it like 10 million times!

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  • J

    Cody was found at the Ramona Animal Haven in Hemet, s. Ca. He had just been turned in the day before my friend went there on some other errand and saw him.

    I love the dog in Goodbye my Lady. She is such a natural actor! Anybody know her history? :)

    Yes, I will try Cody out on a short trip to see if he is a good boy. I have so many books in my bookcases that are precious to me, and the furniture is important to me, too! But maybe he'll be OK with Jenny as his role model (hope it won't be the other way around if he's bad!). I'm looking forward to meeting and loving him.

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  • J

    My friend wrote that she took Cody to the vet this week. Here's what the vet found:

    I took him to the vet on Monday and the doctor said Cody's right pupil was larger than the left one, which usually indicates a recent head trauma. He thought Cody may have been hit a glancing blow by a car or it could have been a result of abuse, though he doesn't act as though he's been abused. The vet said he's fine–no neurological damage or any other health issues. He said it also could be that he was born that way.

    Is this a basenji trait, or something that happened?

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  • Well unless someone takes him to an Ophthalmologist for a full eye exam, you will not know if this is something to be concerned about. A regular Vet can't really tell you that… and uneven pupils is not normal... and I would be very surprise if born that way..?? It is not a Basenji trait

    I am a bit surprised that the Vet would say no neurological damage unless he was a specialist???

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  • If you're going to leave him alone, even on a short trip, I would Basenji proof your house. If you leave things down he can reach he may shred them. And It may happen that one time-or even for a long time-he won't touch anything and then all of a sudden-BAM! Everything is confetti. As I said in another thread, nothing, and I mean nothing, is left on the floor, within reach, or within possible reach, in my house. Including shoes, things hanging on chairs, newspapers on tables, etc. And also remember-plastic is a food group!

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  • As is anything made from paper…. part of that same food group!ggg

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  • J

    Hi all, I googled the movie title and found the story of the dog in the movie from the magazine The Basenji's article. So fascinating, and I'm glad that My Lady stayed with Brandon de Wilde and lived a good life after the movie! Here is the link:

    http://jssmith.home.mindspring.com/page58.html

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