Sparkle is a special holiday treat that’ll warm your heart and instill confidence in all; challenge your ideas of what a warm home should be; and a taste that will delight all who bask in her self-fulfilling glow. Sparkle is warm nuzzle, a rolling joy in your lap, an eager appetite for your love, a gentle stretch for attention, a confident stroll through all of your world, and a welcome companion of likeminded souls. Yet, Sparkle is exceptionally difficult to create and one should consider leaning on an expert to ensure a perfect experience. If you are smitten and feel the need to add Sparkle to your holiday, here’s what you’ll need…
• Wait till Fall
• Preheat your world to about 74° F
• Add a few parts of Astarte Brazen Beauty
• Add a few more parts of dLucks Svengali Zindika’s Overnight Sensation
• Gently stir for 55 to 63 days
• Add lots of special diet stuff for Momma. Don’t underestimate this. You’ll need more.
• Visits the Vet with Momma to make sure everything is baking nicely
• Make absolutely certain that you (deleted because proprietary)
• Add one Rhodesian Ridgeback (Must be named Biz)
• Add several Basenjis. Some older, some younger, most female and maybe a male.
• Add LOTS of love. More love. Then when you think you’ve added enough… add even more.
• Allow to age for about two years
Once you’ve replicated this you will have created “Sparkle Perfect”. A most unexpected holiday treat that anyone might be served. ...And, now we have her! Yes, we have added a second Basenji to our family. She’s perfect, her name is Sparkle, Logan loves her and so do we.
Have you considered chain mail or armor?
I honestly don't know. We do have sweaters and jackets for ours, but they only work for walking. If they're in the house and we leave them on... they remove them. Then chew them. Then destroy them. Them play with all the bits.
After we lost our Jengo I began toying with the idea of rescuing another Basenji. I wasn't convinced I was ready, but I miss him, missed having a dog and wanted to just see what might be available. Kinda dip my toe in. I spoke with Karen at MedFly and she said she was winding things down, but that she hadn't had a call for rescue for quite some time. I started checking in with several other rescue sites regularly, but not much there either. This was bit concerning. Would there be one once I was ready? Maybe not. This drove me to reach out to a few breeders. Initially I didn't get any response despite more than one inquiry. But, eventually a few others either responded or gave me a referral. I began trading emails with one particular breeder. I won't mention the name until I have permission. Coordinating a time to meet took some time. I was really hoping to work with this breeder, so I decided to wait. Plus, articulating what I was looking for was awkward. I didn't know. A puppy, a mature dog, or a dog needing to retire? Yes, yes, and yes. Male or female? Yes, that would be nice. Chestnut, Tri, Brindle, or black? Sure, I'd take one of those. I'd heard that breeders had lengthy reservation lists, so I was prepared to wait a year or two, and I was in no position to make any demands. Was just looking for a nose. I did make a few other contacts as backup, but was honest with them that I was speaking with this particular breeder and wanted to see where those discussions might lead before moving forward with them.
Well, after several more weeks, emails, and waiting; the stars finally aligned and we were invited to meet the breeder and the Basenjis. We drove down last Friday and were able to visit with the breeder Saturday, Sunday, Monday and again on Tuesday. We got to know one another and all the dogs!
Several years ago my wife, son and I visited the Big Island in Hawaii. One of the things my son and I wanted to do was see real lava. We drove to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and found our way to the Jagger Museum at the edge of the Kilauea Caldera. Way off in the distance, about 6 to 10 miles away, in the far back left corner of the caldera was a pit. We could occasionally make out a bit of boiling lava as the steam cleared every few minutes. A binocular really made it easier to see. It was still breath taking, but my son said "Dad, I can't really see the lava that good. Is this as close as we can get?" Didn't need to ask me twice. I was thinking the same thing. I asked the Rangers if there was anything happening elsewhere on the island where we might be able to get a bit closer and was informed that we needed to go to the Leilani Estates area along highway 137. We headed there, got parked, and walked to the observation area. We could catch glimpses of lava oozing through the trees about a quarter mile away. It was about dusk, so the red aura lighting up the sky above the lava field was impressive. But, once again my son said "Dad, I can't really see the lava that good. Is this as close as we can get?" Didn't need to ask me twice. We'd passed a few popup canopies between the parking and observation areas. They were offering close up lava tours on private land. So, we walked back there and asked how close to the lava we might be able to get. They assured us that it would be close. Really close. Okay. When our group was called up we followed the guide to a property about a quarter mile up a side road. Once there we were given some history, science and rules. Then we were led to a split rail fence at the back of the property where we were told to grab a stick. I asked, "Do we need a stick if we feel comfortable hiking the lava field without one? The guide responded, "No, but what are you going to poke the lava with, your finger?" We all grabbed one and were led across the lava field to an active area with flowing steaming lava where we began probing it with the sticks. There we were standing in what had become the blackness of night, the lava lighting our way and 360 degrees all around us were dark clouds occasionally erupting in lightening strikes. This was the most primordial thing I'd ever done. So, by now you're asking yourself, "Great story, Monkey, but what the heck does this possibly have to with a dog gone Basenji?" Hang on, gimme a minute, I'm gettin' there. In life, there are things that make an indelible impression on us. Things we look back on like it was yesterday and say to ourselves, "I am SO fortunate to have experienced that."
A Clown Car
Getting to the breeder's house was one of those indelible moments... that will live in my mind forever. We pulled up on the driveway and called. We were met and invited through a gate into a side yard where we encountered another gate. I could hear all kinds of Basenji noises coming from behind the gate. My excitement and eyes grew in anticipation. Now this next part is no big deal for breeders cause you've seen this everyday for decades, but for me... I've never seen this. Always wanted to and this was finally... my moment. The gate was opened and all of the sudden here comes a pack of yacking Basenjis climbing over top of one another and spilling through the gate like a parade of clowns exiting a Volkswagen. It was adorable and hilarious at the same time. There were a few standing on their hind legs with necks and noses outstretched as if to ask, "Do I know you?" It was glorious! We'd parked the RV at a park not far, so it was easy to visit while we were there. Each of the next four days we were met with the same basenji clown car gag. It never gets old. We were treated with oodles of affection, a bit of trepidation, lots of excitement and a dash of puppy breath. This story isn't over yet. It's another adventure that will unfold over time and it's fun not knowing where this trail will lead. I'm pretty confident that we're going to be able to become monkeys for another Basenji at some point. This was truly THE best weekend 2020 has offered me this year.
The AKC National Championship is being broadcast today. I watched the Hound Group. They split the Group in half and the Basenji was in Group 2. A really beautiful Tri male. His name was displayed as GCHS CH Dark Moon's Black Tri Affair. I looked him up and I think his other name is Zoro. I don't want to violate any Copyrights, so rather than copy and paste a picture here, click this link which will take you to the Lehigh Valley Kennel Club site where they have a great picture of him.
Looks like the breeder is Veronica Nagy and you can see more about Zoro here.
Congratulations Zoro and Veronica! I think the Basenji should have won Best in Show. I smell a plot!
I’m thankful that, despite Covid, I was able to spend a month with my folks, help them make their home more comfortable and easier to live in, and help dad get a handle on his meds. That brought much peace of mind. Thankful to Karen for referring me to Stella, and to Stella for Logan. I’m thankful to Logan for helping to heal my heart. And, I’m thankful to Jengo for being my Jenga Jeng. Happy thanksgiving. 🦃
Hi, My name is Greg. I joined last year, but haven't posted until now. I initially came to the site after my rescue Basenji, Jengo had a nasty nasty stroke followed by a nightmarish seizure. I was looking for guidance about Basenjis and stroke recovery, and information about seizures in Basenjis. The health section was pretty informative. I was also successful in connecting with Pat Fragassi, who was extremely supportive. Something that I'll never forget. Thank you, Pat.
Jengo ended up in ICU for 5 days, but we saved him. Although, we had to teach Jengo how to walk again we were elated to have our little man back in the house. It didn't feel like a home without him. The following months were filled with triumphs and set backs. We celebrated the triumphs, and just... regrouped and started over following the setbacks. In a way, the setbacks were triumphs because we still had Jengo. As time went on... as hard as we tried... we could see Jengo slipping away. Kidney issues with the anti seizure meds, blindness from the stroke, eyesight failing in his other eye. Loosing muscle mass even though we walked him two and three times a day. Very heartbreaking.
I had to carry him home several times after we'd walked a little too far and it exhausted him. Sometimes just to the end of the park in front of our house. I had to carry him outside to do his business. Often at 12, 2, 4, and 6 am. Frustrating, but we still had him. Sometimes we'd spoon feed him if he was having a bad day. I suppose... as I look back maybe it was selfish of us to let him live that way. I don't know. But, if given the chance again, I don't think I'd do it any differently. I loved that little dog so much.
We lost Jengo early in July. I don't think I can express the grief we felt when he died. I've had dogs my entire life. I've sat with with some of my favorite dogs and cats while they were euthanized. This one was different. Although he was never the same following the stroke, we all fought hard for him. He fought hard. We left California in our RV almost immediately. It was much too painful to be in the house without Jengo. We headed for Colorado to spend some time with my parents, who are in their 80's. It helped keep our minds off of losing Jengo, but not completely. I wake up several mornings a week dreaming of Jenga Jeng. Still do.
Boy he was a fun entertaining little Basenge, as we called him. He had a plethora a pet names. He demanded attention. Maybe required it is a better description, but we adored that dog. He'd climb up on window sills, onto set tables, sleep in the bed, not on it. He destroyed a pillow one day when we ignored him. he could surgically remove tags from pillows and clothing without any damage to article itself if that suited him. He destroyed window blinds and curtains he couldn't see through. He chewed through anything leather if you left it on the floor. We never hit him. Never yelled at him. It took him a while because we're dense, but Jengo was eventually very successful in training us, his monkeys, how to service and please a Basenji. He went everywhere with us in the RV. I'd bet he's seen more of the Western United States that most people.
We were lucky enough to get Jengo from Karen and Chuck at Medfly when he was about 4 to 6 years old. We were even luckier to share a home with him for 8 years. I say "share a home" and not "share our home" because it was his home as much as it was ours. His presents made it home. Weird year 2020.
Don't think I'll ever have another breed after Jengo. I hope to have another Basenji some day...
I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and for allowing me to share Jengo with you. It means a lot. The pillow deconstruction was funny. We were laughing so hard when we found that mess. We played with him in the mess for awhile afterwards. He never did that again though.
We're not sure how old he was... exactly. We got him from a Basenji rescue after he'd spent weeks in an Irvine, CA animal shelter recovering from some vicious bite wounds. There was conjecture that he might have been a bait dog for dog fighting. Someone had left him tied to the shelter gate one morning with bloody open gashes. After weeks of recovery the shelter labeled him "Unadoptable", but reached out to Karen at Medfly. Karen canceled our appointment to meet with her to go fetch Jengo, who was named Lester by the shelter. However, we met later that same day and fell in love with Jengo. Had to have him. The shelter estimated his age at the time to be about 4. As soon as we got him home I took him to our vet for a once over. He estimated Jengo's age closer to 6. So, he must have been between 12 and 14 when he died. I get that that's a good long life for any dog, but only 8 years for us. Not nearly long enough.
Anyway, back to happier thoughts... Here's another favorite picture. Jengo LOVED long walks, but he hated being cold. This was one drizzly winter day...
Shortly after we first brought him home, my son and I learned that Basenjis could sing, or yodel. We'd watched some youtube videos. We wondered if ours might. My son was taking piano lessons at the time, so we gave it a shot. So glad I made this video...
I may have to rethink my use of crates if and when we get a new doggie. I didn’t crate Jengo because it just made him absolutely miserable. We imagined him crated at the pound for weeks enduring a cacophony of barking dogs and going nuts. Treats didn’t matter, bedding didn’t matter, encouragement didn’t matter. Nothing we tried worked. My vet also noticed he hated crates and would allow him to freely wonder with the vet techs unless he was recovering from anesthesia following a dental. I wish he liked a crate. Would have made our life a bit easier occasionally. But, we just could not bring ourselves to do it. It really did seem like punishment. I don’t fault people at all for using a crate. It just didn’t work for us.
... It sounds like you let the dogs work out their issues themselves instead of letting the dogs know that you were in charge and they had to follow your rules.
That's a REALLY good point. For me, it's easy to slip into anthropomorphizing my dog. I have to remind myself that as much as I love him... he's still a dog. I can't expect him to reason like a human.
Jengo and now Logan always sleep in the bedroom... on the bed. We have an ottoman with a dog bed on it, but both prefer the people bed. My wife doesn’t like the dog next to her so it’s usually piled on me. I understand not everyone is a fan of their dog on the bed. I agree that you should consider moving his crate to your bedroom.
Lets see... For Logan... will not go to bed until I do. Will not get out of bed until I do. Will not let anyone hook him up to a leash unless I'm there. Will not leave the house unless I'm at the front door with him. The one I really like though is when he and I are standing in the kitchen, he's standing on his hind legs with his fronts on the edge of the countertop, I step back, and then he cranes his neck backwards as far as he can while looking at me completely upside down. I had to go back to Sally's site and check his pedigree, cause I'm pretty convinced he's related to Linda Blair (The Exorcist) the way he can twist his neck any direction he wants.
@emmett Hope you're still reading our responses. I'm impressed that you're doing research and reaching out to people who have the breed of dog you're interested in. In my opinion you're doing exactly the right thing. I also like that you're considering a Basenji. I really hope you'll keep that seed of interest in the back of your mind, and that when the time is right that you'll revisit having a Basenji.
As other have pointed out, and you've concluded... a Basenji may not be the best choice for where you are right now. Another thought might be to find a local dog park, go there, observe the dogs, the way that they interact with their owners and see if particular breed looks interesting. Some are laid back, some are high energy, some crave attention, some want independence, etc. Watch them. Get use to spotting the behaviors that you want in a dog. Then, when it comes time for you to choose your dog for life, you'll be better prepared to spot the personality, or temperament as we call it, that best fits where you are in life. In turn you'll be making the best choice for your new pal as well.
We have great members here with decades of experience breeding, training, showing and co-existing with dogs. I hope you'll stop by anytime you have any questions at all. They don't have to be about Basenjis. Good luck and let us know if you get a pup!!