Your best chance with BRAT (IMHO) is to become a foster/volunteer, then consider keeping whatever pup(s) they put in your care. But... there are other resources available to you:
Typical local resourses:
- Dog Rescues,
- Animal Shelters,
- Humane Society
Places dog owners frequent:
- local Kennel Clubs (ask if they have any breeder members),
- local Veteranarians (might have breeder clients)
Outside your area:
- Basenji Rescues (BRAT isn't the only one),
- Basenji clubs (local and national)
- and the list could go on and on and on....
You indicated that you are interested in a Basenji -- or a Basenji mix -- but, you also indicate that you want to "rescue" one, as opposed to aquiring, buying, or adopting. Which leads me to ask a few things.
- Does the dog need to be of Basenji heritage, or just "look" like a Basenji?
- Does the dog need to come to you via questionable circumstances, or are you really hoping to "rescue" a pure-bred Basenji?
- If you are "ok" with a mix/mutt, does it matter if it has any Basenji in it at all?
- Would you be equally satisfied with a similar breed, if you came across one, like a Rat Terrier (which is similar in size, I think).
- Are you willing and able to travel to pick up a pup that isn't in "Southern AZ"?
I'm only offering food for thought. Answering the questions for yourself could help you find just the right dog at just the right time. Let me know when you do (I always love hearing about new pups).
@elbrant thank you for the suggestions. I have been looking at all the local & regional organizations, rescues and shelters. Locally we have a ton of chihuahua mixes and AmStaff/pit bull mixes and not much else. While I know pit bull looking dogs can be the biggest sweethearts and make wonderful companions, their reputation means I can't bring a "scary" looking dog to work with me.
I wouldn't say no if I came across a purebred Basenji that needed a new home, but I would rather offer a home to a dog that is currently in need of being re-homed as opposed to putting myself down on a waitlist for a puppy. Even better if the dog is a couple years old and already house and leash trained! I have no interest in showing or breeding. I'm looking for a companion, incentive to walk and hike often and an excellent reason to skip out of the office instead of doing more work than I should.
My criteria for choosing a Basenji/mix include the physical size of the breed, relative comfort of the dog in the desert region in which I live, personality quirks, relatively long life span and traits of being a low-shedder with no doggy odor & low coat maintenance needs. Sadly, I have people with allergies in my world, so while I am not allergic, it is an important consideration. And those Basenji ears are ridiculously fantastic. I have dog-sat for a friend's Basenji/French bulldog mix which likely influenced my present search for a canine companion.
My preference for between 20-40 lbs narrowed my selection to include: Basenji, Whippet, possibly mixes that include low shedder/no odor like various Ridgebacks or other sighthounds. I would really rather not have a dog smaller than 20 lbs. I am willing to consider any non-Basenji low/no shedder, doggy-odor-free, socially adjusted mutt that is medium sized and hopefully has a good 6+ years to enjoy life left. Sure, there are poodle mixes and terriers that are also low/no shedders, but I honestly don't find them as aesthetically pleasing (aside from my labradoodle nephew and Norfolk Terrier nephew, of course). The Rat Terriers I've met have been adorable, but extremely high energy & quite destructive diggers, quick to bark and shed quite a bit (yes, they were still puppies, but the shedding and nipping was problematic).
I'm not sure what you mean by differentiating between "acquiring" "adopting" and "rescuing"? I'm the one who needs to be rescued
I would be acquiring a dog through adoption, potentially but not limited to a rescue from whatever traumatic circumstances. There will likely be an exchange of money to cover expenses in this process. I can't afford to spend thousands on purchasing a purebred. But I can offer a safe home, plenty of sunshine, daily walks, weekly hikes, other dog and human interaction, training if necessary, food, water, lots of affection and minty bones.
I am definitely willing to drive! I've inquired after a few in Texas and optimistic of at least one reply soon.
It seems like you're at the same point I was at when I brought our "doodle" home. I needed a smaller dog, but not "too small", that I would get me out of the house (daily walks) and join me on occasional travels out of town. A companion pet. I ended up with the perfect dog for me. An "adult" dog that was already housebroken and young enough for a decade or more of love and friendship. her!
But... back to you.
... taking a Basenji to work (yikes) could go wrong very fast. Basenji's tend to become rather "destructive" when they are bored or feel like you are not giving them what they need. It could work... just plan on a reaaalllllyyyyyy long walk before you sit down at your desk. And make sure to provide a toy or two for after they wake up from the walk enducing nap.
... low shedder? Well, my Basenji sheds. Quite a bit actually. Possibly because I'm geographically in a Southern State (NC, USA), but still. She sheds. Her "fur" is extremely fine, and she's a red&white, so it's barely noticable. Until I get up out of the "lotus position" and happen to pass a mirror. It's a great reminder to vacuum!
... no odor? I don't know.... every once in a while, "doodle" will smell of Fritos. ah! I love it! You, however, might not. And,
... allergy issues? Perhaps you could take the family member with you before you pick up your dog and see if playing (with a Basenji) results in any allergic reactions for them. I've heard that Poodles are allergy-free, and Spanish Waterdogs(?), but I don't think Basenji's are in that category. Personally, I would do a test run just to be sure.
I'm not trying to discourage you. Bringing "doodle" into our family has been one of the most positive experiences in my life. It is, however, always good to know what you are getting into.
I appreciate your insight and experience with your own dog, El; please be reassured that I am approaching my search pragmatically, with thoughtful consideration for a Basenji's needs as well as my own capacity to fulfill those needs.
There's no need to play devil's advocate or to test me. It would be fair to criticize if you witnessed me being a bad dog parent or I was clearly deluded, but it is not fair to make assumptions or to challenge well intentioned strangers on the internet through the lens of your own biases and experiences of a particular situation. I'm pretty sure we're all here because we want the best for the dogs in our lives. My initial post was to inquire after available dogs and to let anyone who hears of a Basenji that needs a new home know that I am available and willing.
To clarify: I don't work a desk job. I used the term "office" loosely to refer to my job but I don't actually have a desk and am constantly moving around the campus.
The infrequent yeasty bacteria corn chippy smell is different from the permanent dog odor of many dog breeds (especially wet dog!) - which because of their grooming habits and short coat, Basenji do not share.
It's impractical to drag various family members and friends to meet prospective dogs, I'm relying on fosters and rescues being honest. Obviously, that may backfire on me. If I connect with a dog that sheds more than is bearable for those around me, I may have to crowd fund a roomba or something.
I think it's fairly impossible to completely anticipate what you're getting into until you're in the middle of it. Fortunately there usually are workable solutions to many problems (human and canine).
I am not playing "devil's advocate", "testing", "making assumptions", or "challenging" you. I'm attempting to offer insights based on the limited communication you provided. (i.e.; If you believe this breed doesn't shed, isn't it relevant to let you know that it does?) You are clearly not interested in getting information... you just want a dog and you'll figure out everything else afterwards. Perhaps spending more time researching breeds would help you narrow down the best breed(s) for everyone involved.
Have you considered a more mature Basenji? For example: our Bunmi is 15 and going strong (a little arthritis, but we manage). I would happily take her anywhere. More frequent potty breaks might be necessary because as we age (humans too), there may be a little less time between gotta and go.
I also have what we call our Fauxsenji. She is just a little street dog who got lucky with color and shape. She is more energetic and completely potty reliable. She went outside during Hurricane Harvey because she refused to use the potty pads. If you are willing to spring for transport, there are dozens of dogs just like her in almost every shelter in Texas. Both my girls are here to stay.
Good shelters will temperament test dogs. I'd be willing to do a personal opinion check if you found an interesting dog(s) in the Corpus Christi area. Then again, if you aren't in a hurry and would consider Texas for a vacation spot, you can test drive any number of dogs. There really are an unimaginable number of dogs available down here.
@elbrant all of the research I have read points to Basenji as a breed being low shedders and many with allergies report not being affected by Basenji as they are with other breeds (there are examples of allergic folx living with Basenji and suffering and those living with multiple Basenji and not suffering reactions elsewhere on this forum). Dander and shedding is a case by case issue per dog and affected human. Things like season, health, nutrition and environment can and will affect shedding. Oatmeal baths and nutritional supplements, air filters & purifiers could make a difference. I do not have unrealistic expectations, but please, tell me more of what I want instead of asking directly.
I am not going to take one anecdote from one pet owner who happens to be a moderator on a power trip, over that research and my personal experiences.
My takeaway is that this forum is exclusive for an in-group and moderators are not selected for reading comprehension or clear communication skills. I will no longer engage with @elbrant
@MrsCastro I am open to older dogs and visiting Texas. There is an adorable fellow on the BRAT mix site in Laredo, but it seems he's used to having a pack and large open yard to run in so it doesn't sound like a great fit.
@giza1 Maxine is doing an overnight trial, Sweetie's & the Texas Lucy's fosters haven't replied to emails from mid-January. I owe Hobson's rescue a call to see if he'd be comfortable being an only dog or also needs the support of a pack.
You might bear in mind that a mix may have characteristics or allergens that a purebred would not have, and also that a "mix", unless DNA tested, may not even have a drop of Basenji blood at all. If you have selected a Basenji as your ideal dog based on your research, perhaps you need to concentrate on finding a "real" one?
@eeeefarm I appreciate the reminder. I am aware that dander/ shedding and human reactions will be different for each dog, purebred or mix. The available Basenji I've seen on BRAT or in an unlimited area PetFinder search tend to be East Coast or Northern California and a bit far to drive. In a following reply I mentioned that local rescues and shelters tend to have mostly chihuahua mixes and AmStaff/pit mixes, which is why I've started looking beyond locally.
As much as I'd love a Basenji, I'm not excluding other breeds - whippet, poodle or terrier mixes. Timing, location and making a connection will be the important factors.