Basenji story from byb and happy destruction ending


  • Sana, not a puppymill basenji, but a basenji who was bred by an
    uneducated I shudder to call this a breeder..oh, I know, intact dog owner..
    :mad:
    Laura posted.. As it was
    explained to me, her previous owner actually walled in his back yard and
    turned a pair of African Basenjis that he was given loose to do what
    came naturally. He "gives" away puppies when he can, and calls in BRAT
    sometimes when he has too many. Even though the dogs were often nearly
    starved and un-vetted, he manages to stay just on the right side of the
    law since he doesn't "sell" them. But, since they're neglected and
    probably never touched, the adults like Sana have a tough job adjusting
    to a different life. It was thought that she might need to be put down
    right after she was pulled, but Dana Cole fostered her and gave her a
    chance. After she showed signs of being able to adapt, Dana put her up
    for adoption and we were lucky enough to get her.
    We decided to give her all the time and space she needed, and
    it's paid off so well! One of the first things I did was to join a "shy
    dogs" Yahoo group, and reading through the archives gave me both hope
    and nightmares- I was reading about experienced dog trainers who were
    still working on being able to get a leash on a dog after three or more
    years of care, so I count us as lucky. It's been the type of adventure
    that I never could have imagined, and I've learned SO much from both her
    and the whole process. I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade her for
    anything other than still having our Kima with us.

    Laura's second post 2 yrs later:D

    Now the good news…I'm overdue for Sana's two-year update, and shouldn't have been
    surprised that she reminded me by being BAD <gg>. In terms
    of "badness', Sana hasn't even registered on the charts since she's
    been too busy learning how to relax, trust, beg for food, etc. On her
    very first night with us, she managed to destroy my cellphone charger
    and one of Bill's leather slipper. Otherwise, her "destruction" has
    been limited to random paper napkins, occasional newspaper flyers,
    hapless pens and pencils, and a few innocent-looking stuffies that
    apparently needed de-stuffing. But, on Saturday....
    Bill and I left home about 7 a.m., and apparently Bill
    automatically closed the child-gate that we use to keep the dogs
    either in or out of the bedroom. Normally, that wouldn't be a
    problem, but this time Kirby was asleep on the bed (otherwise known
    as the Place of Great Comfort and Safety). Sana, unfortunately, was
    in the living room as usual. We came back about 11 to no visible
    dogs, and immediately went looking. Kirby was sleeping cozily on the
    bed and Sana was pretending to be a rock in her hidden bed in the
    living room. But in the doorway of the bedroom were the remains of
    the TV cable that had formerly run along the baseboard, firmly taped
    down with duct tape. The duct tape was shredded and the cable was
    thoroughly chomped in multiple places. Oh, my goodness! Sana had been
    BAD while we were gone! Thankfully, Radio Shack carries replacement
    cables, and we were able to laugh about this major breakthrough in
    her behaviour! (Although the clerk at Radio Shack truly couldn't
    understand why we weren't angry about having to buy a new cable. Not
    a Basenji-person, I guess <gg>).
    So, after two years, my scared little girl could express her
    frustration at being shut out of the bedroom with an appropriate
    Basenji response. Woohoo! She has come so far - even Bill can pet her
    in bed now (but only in bed). She will come right up to me when I'm
    talking to her, although I'm still not quite able to reach out and
    touch her then (but I don't think it will be much longer). At night,
    I now have to either curl up around her sleeping body, or shove her
    over with my legs, and she won't race away in fear. At mealtimes,
    we'll see a little starving-doggy dance as food is prepared, and
    she's actually discovered a few foods that she'd rather not eat
    (shrimp, most veggies, spicy sauces) -quite a wonderful change from
    her original frightened "do you mean I can actually have food
    AGAIN??!!" cringing. And once, she actually placed her paw on my leg
    in an attempt to get a pizza-bone just a little faster. The cats can
    still steal food from her bowl, but she's begun suggesting to Kirby
    that he let her finish up his meals for him. (Kirby says "NO!", of
    course). Walkies are still her second-favorite thing (after food) and
    most days she'll let Bill take her out (as long as I'm not there).
    Rachael visited for over a week not too long ago, with Katie
    and their dog Asher coming for the last weekend. That was a challenge
    for her, but she did very well. There were plenty of "drive-by
    glarings", as the girls call them, and she made it clear that she
    preferred to have the house empty of all visitors, but she was more
    annoyed than stressed. Rachael had hoped that Sana would join her in
    jogging, but that was not acceptable AT ALL. Any time she or Katie
    took her leash, Sana's response was "OMG you're NOT MY MAMA!!!!
    DOGNAPPER!!!!!" and she would strain every muscle to stay as close to
    me as possible. And when I was no longer in sight, she obviously was
    praying desperately for either divine or FBI intervention, counting
    the seconds until she was back at my side, pressed against The Mama's
    legs. (Sweet, but she could have used the jogging <gg>).
    So, all in all, I continue to be delighted and awed by this
    little dog's courage and sweetness. She's still extremely shy (and,
    I'm sure, will never be "normal") but most of the time she is HAPPY
    and usually alert but unstressed. She often dances as we leave for
    walkies, and zooms around me in big circles at the length of her
    Flexi whenever there is room. (And, I swear that she'll do her best
    to wrap the leash around Bill and Kirby whenever possible, in typical
    Basenji fashion). She loves Kirby, and is very gentle and patient
    with him as he shows his age, and doesn't get nasty with the cats
    when they decline to play "chase the kitty". Mealtimes are quick
    parties (she still eats faster than any dog I've ever known!) and
    nothing is sweeter than that deep sigh once everyone is in bed and
    the lights go off. Her life is sweet, and she makes me want to both
    laugh and cry on a regular basis.
    Even when she's BAD!<gg>

    Laura Whitney
    Arlington, MA</gg></gg></gg></gg>


  • Awwww what a happy ending for Sana 🙂


  • This is the kid of story that delights me…here you have DESTRUCTION...and most folks would freak..but we b owners who have dealt with damaged dogs see this as progress...
    We are the kind of folks who get the cameras out and share torn pillows and toilet paper down the hall and into the kitchen...

    Rescue is often heartbreaking and often anger making, but this type of owner with these type of stories, well, it keeps me going...

    Thanks for reading this...


  • I have been involved in Australian Cattle Dog rescue so I understand what you mean. It's heartbreaking to see what damage people can do to a dog by not understanding anything about the breed before they get it. I think people who have ACDs must be a lot like Basenji slaves. Every year we have a virtual award for the dog who did the most damage in dollar value. The mantra for ACD puppies is also " a tired ACD is a good ACD"


  • That is my motto for b's as well.
    ACD…often smarter than their owners...which gets them into such trouble.
    Wonderful dogs for the right owners.
    Hugs for helping this smart, busy breed.

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