This story is about my first Basenji, Tammie Jean.
When Tammie Jean and I first went to my mother's home, my mother was casual about my insistence that she was "not like other dogs, Mama." Mama, like me, had been raised with all types of animals from the time she was in the cradle. There wasn't an animal alive that she didn't love–except earthworms.
She told me that she was sure it would be okay and that her boxer would show Tammie the ropes. So we went home to visit for the holidays. When we got there, Mama and I visited in the kitchen while I had Tammie on her leash. Mama insisted that I let her off. After all, "I have dog gates up to keep Amber out of the bedrooms."
Knowing what was about to happen, I leaned down to let Tammie off her leash. She barooed at me and my mama then explored the kitchen and den area which were not gated off. As my mother looked at me with all that maternal superiority of being right, Tammie Jean flatfooted over the gate. No gathering up. No warning. Just SPROINGGGGG and she was on the other side of the baby gate. She barooed once more with a donut waggle then raced through the house. She jumped every gate. She rooted on every bed. Then she came back to the kitchen where she sat down to look at my mother.
My mother looked at me and said...
Wait for it...
"Oh my. She's not like other dogs, is she? She's more like a little deer."
The love affair between those two lasted for ever. My mother thought Tammie could do no wrong even when she met her one morning by doing the Basenji morning dance--from the top of the dining room table.