• Back in the beginning of 2006 Alex and I decided to add a dog to our life. We already had a cat for a few years but we both really wanted a dog. We didn’t live in a large home so we knew that we needed a small breed. After taking some time and really researching small dogs we came across a photo of a Basenji. We immediately started to read anything we could find about this breed and everything we read, positive and negative just made us want one even more. These dogs were really special, not like any other breed.

    After doing some more research on the breed I contacted my vet who referred me to a Basenji breeder just a few blocks from us. We contacted her and she offered to allow us into her home to see a real Basenji!

    We fell in love with the breed at the moment we saw her dog. We just knew that we wanted a Basenji, but we soon found out that no one in Northern California was breeding that year. We tracked down every breeder in California and surrounding areas and finally were referred to Khani’s Basenjis in Portland Oregon. She was having a litter of pups that year and she put us on her waiting list. In December we flew to Portland to pick up our puppy who we named Leeno. Leeno was a red and white male who was the apple of our eye. A loving dog with a great temperament who loved to run around the house at sonic speed doing the b500.

    A few months later we started to see that Leeno wasn’t acting right. We took him to the vet because he had problems standing up straight. He would wobble and stagger. He couldn’t climb stairs and would fall all the time. We nicknamed him Clumsy Leeno thinking he was just a puppy and hadn’t grown into his puppy paws yet. The vet immediately diagnosed him with a neurological disorder and said that there was no hope. After hearing that, we immediately sought the advice of a veterinarian neuro-specialist in Berkley and it was confirmed that Leeno was ill and didn’t have much time left.

    We immediately contacted the breeder to inform her of the bad news. She told us that she would be in the area at a local show and would be willing to take him back. There was no way Alex and I could have watched our little puppy suffer anymore, yet we didn’t have the heart to have him put to sleep. The breeder was offering to take him for us and when the time was right and maybe gives us another puppy.

    During the time that Leeno was diagnosed with Cerebellum Ataxia, Alex and I searched all over the web for any information on this rare disease or any other clues related to Leenos condition. I would be up all hours of the night trying to find a cure or even just try to locate any type of information, but noone knew anything about this and trying to reference this to Basenji’s, I had just no luck. That was when Alex and I decided that a forum needed to be created to where people could come together and ask for advice and help each other in an open forum format which was something that was not around at the time. Basenji Forums was then created and to our amazement it has taken off. With over a thousand members from all over the globe, you now have an abundant amount of resources, get to meet new people and most importantly have fun.

    If many of you can think back to the beginning of Basenji Forums, we never formally introduced ourselves to the forum. I would post a few questions here and there but we never said anything. A few people knew about our situation and we really appreciated all the love and support.

    In 2007 while watching Basenji Forums grow we became more and more anxious to have a Basenji of our own. Alex and I just couldn’t wait till the litter was born. A year sure was a long time but when we received the news that we would soon have another puppy, we were really excited. This past January we were able to bring our little boy home. We named him Chance because this was a chance we were willing to take. His litter name is Flash, Khani’s Viva La Rock. Chance just loves to run around, chase the cat, get into things and do all the other mischievous things that Basenjis do best. We are happy and blessed to have him in our lives.

    Now it’s 2008 and our community continues to grow daily and thanks to the encouragement from the forum members we have now added a second tri colored Basenji girl to our family. Her name is Kiya…

    From Alex and Vanessa

    Leeno 2006

    Chance and Maddox 2007 (rare moments together)

    Chance and Maddox 2007 (getting warm from the sun)

    Chance and Kiya Bed Stories 2008 (learning to share)

  • Alex and Vanessa,

    Sorry for your loss, Leeno seemed to be such a lovely puppy.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to put up this forum, I sure enjoy reading all the stories, find a lot of good advices, seeing the pics (love the member gallery area), sharing experiences with other b's owners. I learned so much and I can't be thanksfull enought 🆒 🆒 🆒 🆒

    Than you also to take the time to answer my questions when I was stuck with not seeing the pics, it seems to work now. 🙂


  • Alex and Vanessa…
    Thanks for started this list, its been fun.... I remember when your boy was sick and then you lost him... so very sad... but you got a keeper with Chance.. he is a sweetie.... and you and Alex are wonderful Basenji parents!
    Hope to see you at the puppy match/lure trials in June!

  • OMG - Vanessa & Alex!

    Who would've guessed? How genius to think of doing this b/c resources like this didn't exist. Mucho kudos to you both! I am so very thankful and as I've said before, this forum is a blessing for me and Duke since bringing him home and discovered he is of a breed I didn't know. This forum and the people in it have helped make Duke's life (and my family) a positive experience together. I can imagine that for your caring and concern for the health of Basenji's, many more lives have been happily transformed.

    I think this forum should be called "Leeno's Basenji Forums". Leeno will never be forgotten. Your experience with Leeno, your 1st Basenji is so very sad, but his life has clearly touched yours in an amazing way. So happy for you both for getting your Chance. These pictures are so adorable. Thanks for sharing your time and efforts here and know you've helped many-many lives.

    Thank you and God bless you. 🙂

  • The loss of Leeno has brought us all together… so even in death, there is hope. I am so glad you have Chance. He is one of the cutest basenji's I've ever seen. 🙂 Thank you for bringing us all together.

  • **I am so sorry for the loss of Leeno. My heart goes out to you.

    Those pics of Chance are absolutley adorable. And thank you very much for starting this forum. I had a feeling it was new when i joined but not that new, it has taken off amazingly well, and what a wonderful group of members.**

  • Well,Well,Well. Finally the Wizard behind the curtain.:D

    Something that does so much good, inspired by a such a heartbreaking loss.
    Kudo's to you both for not only creating this Basenji information resource, but a Basenji Community as well. My hat is off to you both and a great big THANK YOU!

  • Vanessa and Alex,

    Thank you for providing the Basenjis Forums…there clearly was a need for an easy to access information source. This is a great site, and I am so glad it is out there! I am sorry for Leeno's loss...that must have been so hard...but so happy you were able to get Chance.

  • @Basenji_Boy:

    Well,Well,Well. Finally the Wizard behind the curtain.:D

    Something that does so much good, inspired by a such a heartbreaking loss.
    Kudo's to you both for not only creating this Basenji information resource, but a Basenji Community as well. My hat is off to you both and a great big THANK YOU!

    Love that! And perfect words too!

  • Oh my! Leeno was stunning! I'm a sucker for the solid faces as the eyes stand out so much more – and he had beautiful eyes.

    Thank you so much for creating this forum. I know I find it invaluable, and am on here every chance I get through the day. Obviously a lot of people had a need for it; look how quickly it has grown!

    I am so sorry for the loss of Leeno, but ever so grateful for the fact that he led you to create this forum for the rest of us!

  • If you had not had Leeno this forum probably would not have happened, even though his illness and death were horrendous something wonderful came out of that ordeal. I can't imagine how it must of hurt to lose your little guy, I am so very sorry. But your baby Chance is just beautiful, that face would surely melt my heart. Love the Chance and cat pic, my B would never allow such a picture, Sahara, knows only how to chase my cat. Well, I just want to let you know that I am soooooooo very grateful for this forum. I am a first time B owner for a 1yr. 3 mos. old girl, and this forum has helped me many times. I come her almost everyday for info or just to see what is happening, I really enjoy what you have done for us and our Basenjis. THANKS, GOD BLESS YOU AND HUBBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D 😃 😃 😃

  • leeno was so gorgeous. he truly must have been an angel. you guys are so caring and clever. we are all so grateful. i do know some breeders are recommending this place when they place a dog. i tell new brat families about it, when i get the opportunity. it has turned into such a great resource. thank you! (hugs)
    and thanks to all of the people and basenjis who keep it informative and entertaining

  • Thank you so very much for all your kind words. This forum has become more like an extended family than just a message board. We watch everyone’s Basenji grow and offer kind words of encouragement when we have those "my B is making me crazy days"
    All that Alex and I wanted out of our loss was a way to help others. It’s such an awful feeling knowing that you are all alone and have no one to ask for help. Especially since this breed isn't that common. Now here is a way to talk to experienced Basenji owners who are willing to take the time to help each other out.
    I have to say thank you to everyone in this community. If it wasn't for you, Basenji Forums would not be here today. If we help one Basenji out than we have served our purpose.

    Basenji Boy- Your picture put it nicely. I just love the little B insert.

    Thank you again,
    Alex and Vanessa

  • @Vanessa626:

    Basenji Boy- Your picture put it nicely. I just love the little B insert.

    I couldn't resist:D …...you and your little dog too!:D

  • I am so soory to hear about your loss…Leeno was such a beautiful baby...I am happy for you that you now have Chance...

  • Very sorry to hear about Leeno. But very thankful that you started this forum.

  • Alex & Vanessa….how could we ever repay you for such an incredible contribution you have made to the Basenji community. I have gotten more out of this forum than you could ever imagine.

    I pray that your kindess will be repaid to you both a 1 million times over with the addition of little Chance to your family 🙂

    Although it is heartbreaking to experience the loss of your little Leeno I hope you can be comforted that his little life was not lost in vain. His life with you however short had EXTRAORDINARY meaning and purpose. It is because of Leeno that all of us can be here for each other. Thanks to you too Leeno..always remebered & will never be forgotten.

  • Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sorry and thanks for starting Basenji Forums!

  • Vanessa and Alex,
    I can't thank you enough for starting this forum, I had no idea it was as a result of such sorrow. Leeno's legacy is that he has helped at least one Basenji be more understood and appreciated. I have such fun and get so much support and advice from all of the members. Nala and I truly thank you both from the bottom of our hearts.
    ((Hugs)) to you both – and to Chance too!

  • This site gave me encouragement when I felt completely helpless during Beta's illness. I was desperately looking for an outlet to share my experiences in case someone else had to face symptoms or decisions like I did.

    I enjoy sharing my happy moments as well and enjoy the site you have given us, but really appreciate the ability to share facts about the breed with others.

    Basenjis have such a sweet spirit in them that is unlike any other pet I have owned. They have had such a mysterious appeal to them with the curious descriptions of their demeanor and health.This site really helps people understand the breed as an asset.

    Thank you so much for supporting me through my terror and pain as Beta passed so suddenly, Caesars depression and Cairos joining the pack which has brought us back to a healthy basenji family. I will always be a supporter of this site and share as much as I can to keep the site active.


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