I first read about the breed while thumbing through a AKC dog breed book at a local used book store. I thought the description of the breed was interesting and went home and looked the breed up on the internet. I joined the mail lists and attended a conformation show and a lure trial. Even with the description of the breed as stubborn, destructive, and independent, I found myself drawn to them. About a year after I first read about the breed, I got my first basenji, Nicky. That was about 8 years ago. I was living in an apartment at the time. Nicky only ever had a couple of accidents inside and has never been too destructive except when it comes to dog beds and comforters. But Nicky screamed in his crate for 20 minutes at a time when we left the house. We never got any complaints and that probably had a lot to do with it being a college town and our always being on time with our rent. Nicky was a great introduction into the basenji world. He has always been game to give things a try with me. He has earned his AKC Championship, his AKC Field Championship, an ASFA Lure Courser of Merit, has given straight line and oval racing a try and just this April finished his AKC Rally Novice title. 3 years after getting Nicky, we brought home Rally and we realized there was still a whole lot more for us to learn. Rally took a little longer to housebreak, mostly because we were slow to pick up on her signals that she needed to go out. She would fall asleep with her head on the rungs of our dining chairs and end up mouthing them in her sleep. She has never had a problem with her crate, wagging her tail and waiting for her treat. She firmly believes that everyone just naturally loves her and exists to please her. She yodels in joy and after Nicky got over her being the "wrong" color he decided life was much better with her.
Raising a litter was a whole different experience. I am glad that I have great mentors. Talking to perspective puppy buyers about why I was breeding the litter and why I chose the stud dog that I picked gave me an opportunity to reflect on what I was about to undertake. When the litter actually arrived, it was challenging but rewarding also. It is a lot of responsibility, knowing that how pup is as an adult is so dependent on its early experiences with its littermates and breeder. Rally was an awesome mom and Uncle Nicky did a great job teaching the pups. We worked hard to provide lots of different experiences so the pups would go home well socialized and well on their way to being great family members. Rio, is teaching us all sorts of new lessons.
That is probably more than you wanted to know but I didn't really know how to shorten it.