As stated at the bottom of this post - Susan Patterson has been in the breed since 1966. She has bred (under the Calypso prefix) at least 30 champions, some with multple championships in other countries. IMO, this track record makes many of us, if not all of us (myself included) on this forum, still in infancy with regard to breed matters.
Originally posted (in part) by tanza under the now closed "For Sale…..Nampa ID thread" re: lack of any Avuvi's being submitted to BCOA:
… So there was obviously some reason that this little bitch was never put up though BCOA to be judged and voted to be admitted to the stud books.
Why dont you call Susan Patterson and ask her? …. If she hasnt submitted yet, perhaps she has her reasons. Assuming there is something wrong is awfully presumptious and, in this case, wrong.
As some of you might know by now - I like to go to the source whenever possible. So I did. I emailed Susan, gave her a brief synopsis of what has been implied throughout the Nampa, ID thread and asked for her input, if she so desired. I have her permission to post that reply here; any questions - email me privately and I will be more than happy to give you contact information so you can discuss the matter with her personally.
Since my personal business is really none of anyone else's, I hesitate to grace the mindless prattle with a response but the Avuvi dogs should not be penalized for the violent left turn that my life took in the spring of 2007 that for all intents and purposes took me out of dog breeding and showing, as well as torpedoing my plans for my Avuvi stock.
I made a good faith effort to do what I thought was necessary to complete the process for submitting Honey and Kuoabo for consideration to the African Stock Committee by taking the time off work and driving out to the National Specialty this past September in Colorado where the dogs could be evaluated but then was informed that, no, all the paperwork has to be submitted PRIOR to evaluations, with evaluation appointments already made and listed in the paperwork. (I thought the evaluations had to be done and the write-ups included in the application paperwork).
Another monkey wrench in the works is that Honey and Kudo had a litter and it is required that pictures of the puppies be submitted. One of the puppy owners has 'gone missing' as any breeder knows happens more often than any of us would prefer. Getting the sorts of pictures that we show folks are accustomed to taking of our dogs from owners who are not involved in showing can be an exercise yielding less than the desired results. Would an application be allowed if current offspring photos are not provided for each and every one of them? The glacial breeze that blows whenever the Avuvis seem to be discussed would lead me to believe that our applications might be held up or rejected.
When I talked with Anne Humphreys at the National (she owns Honey's litter brother, Kudo), we had expressed to each other our frustration at the logistical obstacles imposed by the application process, and the difficulty we have by where we live in getting our dogs evaluated.
Honey has had her fanconi test, OFA, CERF and her color genotyping done by Dr. Melekovits up in Toronoto. Kuoabo has had his color genotyping, but all other testing needs to be done. I recently found a vet who will do his hip x-rays without anaesthesia and who will allow me to be present. However, since I lost my job in October, quite frankly I absolutely do not have money available for anything like this, nor the application fees. Until I'm employed again, this sort of thing is not EVEN on my radar.
All the Avuvi puppies had their blood samples submitted to the Univ. of Missouri's bank of samples for fanconi testing back before the test were developed. At the time, Elizabeth notified Robert Dean via email (of which he sent me a copy) that all of the puppies were
clear of HA. However, repeated requests for official notification of this with emailed copies of that email to this effect have yielded no response. In my application I planned on printing out the email as part of the health paperwork.
I will continue to try and find the owner of the puppy with whom I've lost contact. Since I still hope to make the application for the two Avuvi dogs I have in my home in the coming year, I have plenty of time. Show people in other breeds near me have suggested that I approach all breed, hound/basenji-approved judges who live nearby to submit their names to be approved to evaluate native stock so that this part of the application process does not remain nearly impossible for me to manage. In my previous jobs since moving to my present location, I worked most weekends and finally gave up any dreams of showing AT ALL, let alone at the practice I enjoyed for the previous 30 years.
I can say that I am enjoying the hell out of living with my Avuvi basenjis. They are a joy and their behavior is absolutely no different than that of any other basenjis I have owned - and this is saying something since I have lived with basenjis continually since 1966, and bred 41 litters.
A new wrinkle in the Avuvi ownership I enjoy is that as of January 3rd, I will be greeting at the Kansas City airport the army officer from Benin (the country from which the Avuvis hail) who will be spending a year at Ft. Leavenworth at the US Army's Command and General Staff College. I am to be his civilian sponsor, supporting his experience at the Fort and introducing him to American life. I have already warned him that two native dogs from Lissegazoun share my home, and that dog ownership in America is very, very different from that in Benin. Can you imagine my enthusiasm and excitement at the thought of being able to develop a friendship with such a contact from the country that gave me Honey and Kuoabo? What a rare and fantastic opportunity! And this is the first time that Benin is participating in this exchange program of the Army's that dates back to the 1860's. Truly, I am blessed with this chance to learn so much about where my dogs come from - the country and the people, from someone already on the fast track to become a high ranking member of his nation's armed forces.
So, several things: Until I am employed again, the health testing on Kuoabo will not be completed, nor will I be submitting applications to the native stock committee of the BCOA on my dogs. I need to get All breed judges from nearby approved to do the native stock evaluation . I need to find the missing puppy owner, but if this is not possible, then all I can do is submit the puppy pictures from before she left our house in North Carolina. I had taken pictures of both Honey and Kuoabo in 2008 in anticipation of application, then updated them in September 2010 the week of the National Specialty.
In the meantime, I wait. The dogs are doing well. There are no health or behavioral problems. They are easier to live with than any other dogs I have ever had. I am thrilled to live with the only native-born basenji with a conformation title in the Western Hemisphere - and that she beat AKC champions in order to WIN that title. I am even more thrilled to know that her DNA and mitochondrial DNA has been used by canid research scientists all over the world to aid them in canine and wolf migration studies. What a thrill to know that the dog in my bed descends from ancient dogs who came with two wolf packs down out of eastern China, southwest into Africa, and that all of the northern and northwestern African dogs, including the Turkish breeds, descend directly from her same mitochondrial DNA. (that last courtesy of an Italian group of researchers from a 2005-06 study)
When I first met Avongara M'Bliki (and was lucky enough to get a son out of her - Reveille Calypso Trapper), I was ever reminded that she was a living, breathing connection to the jungle, and to thousands of years of dogs before her. When I was lucky enough to get Avuvi Afonhaan, it was startling how closely she resembled Trapper. He was half Congo, she was all West Central Africa, and yet everyone presumed them to be father and daughter. At the Rhode Island National Specialty, I always walked them together and all those basenji people presumed theirs to be a familial relationship. I took great delight, every day, in pointing out that the young bitch, in fact, was the Avuvi import. At our large North Carolina kennel, visitors were always asked to pick out the Benin import from among the 15 or more basenjis we had. No one EVER could do so correctly. Inevitably, they would choose our brindle Kibushi Get Sirus daughter, a 1/4 African. Even Honey's sickle tail was not enough of a deterrent in the face of her strong basenji type.
It is very easy for people to dismiss the Benin dogs as 'not basenjis' until they see with their own eyes the recognizable type. The photographer for the Rhode Island National remarked to me on the phone when I was ordering the fabulous movement picture he made of Honey when she was in the ring about her incredible reach. I replied that it was pretty good for a 'fake basenji' - and then explained that probably most of the basenji people at the show refused to accept the Benin dogs as "real" basenjis. He was astonished, then angry. He told me that he'd spent hours upon hours taking thousands of pictures of alleged basenjis and that this bitch was as good as any of the better ones he'd photographed. I thanked him for his opinion, and was so glad that I'd been able to make the trip that year; Trapper died from a stroke only a month later,and the next April I found out I was going to have to dismantle the kennel due to my cousin's transfer overseas for 3-5 years, and I moved out to Missouri. I have only four basenjis now, 2 Avuvis and 2 brindles of my own breeding. All that was before is not now.
Robert Dean's life changed just as dramatically as did mine and at the exact same time. Through no fault of their own, the Avuvi imports that Robert worked for so many years to finally bring to the US are happily in homes where they are loved, but all the expectations he had for what he was going to do with them have been short circuited. Whatever people wish to entertain themselves with concerning this is their business. How interesting that certain people prefer to wish ill and manufacture negative innuendos while never bothering to contact the source (that would be me, Anne Humphreys and Brenda Jones-Greenburg) and check the facts. This reflects more on their lack of character and integrity rather than any aspect of the animals in question.
Of the six basenjis imported from Benin, plans were never always for breeding interest in only 5; the sixth puppy had an incorrect bite and both Robert and I felt that breeding a problem that had already impacted his survival in his native environment was irresponsible. I have two of the puppies, Humphreys one, and Jones-Greenburg the other two. Submission of any of the dogs to the Native Stock Committee has everything to do with the owners and their own particular circumstances and nothing to do with traits and/or characteristics of the dogs themselves. Sorry, conspiracy theorists. I can only speak for myself on this, but if anyone wishes to visit and examine my two Avuvi dogs with their own eyes and hands, they are welcome to do so. I have absolutely nothing to hide.
Thank you, Linda, for taking the time to email me and apprise me of your concerns. I certainly appreciate your effort and gesture. All the best to you and your basenjis in the coming year.
Sincerely, Susan Patterson, Calypso Basenjis
Happily at home with basenjis since 1966. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
I hope some of you find this as interesting as I did.