Hi friends of Basenji's
I would like to share my story about my Basenji.
My Sweetheart and I were looking for a dog following the loss of our German Shepard.
We had looked in several shelters around Connecticut, and didn't find any dogs that appealed to us.
We visited the Connecticut Humane Society shelter in Newington and looked at several dogs, however none interested us.
Those of you that have visited a shelter know that they are noisy places, incessent barking of many animals yearning to be taken to a good home.
We asked the attendant if she had a small to medium size shorthair female, her reply was "Come with me". We were taken to a cage where in was a sweet little girl quiet and calm on a carpet in the cage amidst the clamor of the other dogs in the shelter.
My Sweeted heart wasn't too impressed with this dog, she is partial to Shepards.
We were told that this dog had been kept a few extra days because she was such a good dog, however she was to be destroyed the next day.
I don't know if this was propaganda, but it worked. I had an inkling of what she was, but was not sure. The only history available was "Stray, found roaming on the streets of Hartford"
We were told that she was probably about 18 months old, and appeared to have had a litter of pups recently. The attendants at the shelter named her "Little Moma"
We took her home, she hopped right in the back of the SUV, on the way home we stopped at a department store and bought a bed for her, she hopped right in, and curled up, just the right size for her.
When we got home we let her out of the SUV, she walked a few paces, sniffed the ground, looked around, then walked back to me. She then put her paws on my right calf, and put her head between her paws for just a moment, then went back to exploring her new home.
I am reluctant to attribute this action as a thank you, but it sure seems so, she has never displayed this behavior since.
We live within walking distance to the beach, we took her to the beach at low tide, she ran, jumped, spun end for end, and did all sorts of playful things.
She then took off and ran across the exposed sand bars, running like the wind with her head into the wind, tail strung out.
She did return when called, and then went to investigate a tide pool. She sniffed the salt water then walked into the water. She seemed quite surprised when she got her feet wet, and it appeared that she tried to lift all fours at the same time, quite hilarious, perhaps she had never experienced walking in sea water.
We already had a cat, a feisty little feral female kitten that I had adopted,and brought home from an assignment in Oman, a middle east country. The cat was the Queen, so the dog has to be the princess, a pretty blaze on her nose reminded me of a star, I gave her the Italian name Stella Bella (Pretty Star), and therefore her full name is Princess Stella Bella Cinderella.
We had her for several days and never heard a sound from her.
We took her to our Veterinarian, and he confirmed that she was a Basenji, or at least a Basenji mix.
She is a big girl, weighs 52 pounds, and her tail does not curl, otherwise she is a perfect tri-color Basenji, even having brown spots on her front legs. She does bark when left alone in a vehicle, or left alone on a wire run.
She travels well, we have taken long trips with her, she snuggles up in her bed and sleeps much of the time while traveling with an occasional wake up to stretch, a visit up front and a nuzzle to both of us.
She goes with me about everywhere I go in my pickup truck, mostly she curls up on the front seat, and falls asleep with her head on my knee when traveling. Occasionally she wakes up, sits up and nuzzles me in my right ear.
As you all know Basenji's do like to take a "walkabout" and often get lost. We have had to retrieve her from the dog pound several times, she is well known to the local dog catcher, who calls us to tell us to "Come get Stella". She may have learned from spending several nights "In jail", she has not taken a "Walkabout" in several years.
Loud noises do frighten her, she can hear thunder long before we do, and is promptly under the bed. Fourth of July is a bad time for her, she spends most of the time for several days under the bed.
She does chase game, she has treed Racoons several times, two experiences with the "Black kitties with the white stripe" has taught her not to chase them. She is quite protective, she chases visiting cats out of the yard, though she does snuggle up with Mister P our twelve pound male tabby.
On one occasion when the first grandkid was visiting my
Sweeted Hearts' brother stood up and started to walk toward the child, Stella nipped his heels.
I was doing some work in a tenants house, a young female Shepard lived in the house, Stella got along well with the friendly Shepard, however when the Shepard, wagging her tail and being friendly approached me to greet me, Stella made it clear that the Shepard was getting too close to me, the Shepard went to the Vet for stitches in her nose, Stella got her fur ruffled.
I have heard stories of clever Basenjies', one of which is about a woman who had installed an invisible fence, her Tri figured out that she could approach the fence until the collar beeped, then wait for the battery to run down.
The husband of a long time friend is a Veterinarian in England, one of his clients had a Basenji that when left alone in the car figured out how to roll down the window to escape.
I had an experience with Stella, I had left her in my pickup truck while I went into Home Depot. Stella figured out how to open the split rear window in the cab of my pickup and tracked me into Home Depot. I was pushing a cart down an aisle, looked up ahead of me, and we both froze in an instant moment of recognition. Stella looked up at me as if to say,"I'm here, I found you, is that ok?" As I escorted her out of the building a clerk said to us "Don't hit me Daddy" of course I escorted back to the truck, did not hit her, but spoke a few sharp words to her.
I am an Amateur radio operator (Call is KA1VKE), I have a mobile radio in the truck, and I often carry a portable transceiver. On occasions I have left the truck radio on an unused frequency, tuned the portable radio to the same frequency and left her in the truck. When she begins to bark I tell her over the radio to be quiet, she looks around quite puzzled, to see where my voice is coming from, and does stop barking. Sometimes takes several transmissions, but she does stay quiet.
When startled by a knock on the door, or an animal on the outside deck during the night she does vocalize with what sounds like a mixture of a yodel and a bark. If she hears something unfamiliar she will pace to the windows and make a noise like a Huff..Huff. Otherwise she is ghostly silent, we can call and call her only to turn around to find her sitting with a "You called?" look on her face. I have attached a small bell to her collar to alert her presence.
Soon after we brought her home she cleaned off the kitchen counter without making a sound, we went out to dinner that night.
I once gave her a nice piece of Prime Rib, she buried it in the yard, I was told by our Veterinarian that this typical behavior of street dogs, as they don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Must be continued on another entry due to length
Stella Bella's Human Companion