I always wanted a dog, but my stepfather was allergic. My husband grew up with basenjis in the 50's in New Bedford MA. They never showed, just had them as pets. They did everything wrong– let them run loose, bred them without planning, but he had great stories about them, particularly one girl named Congo.
His family had a rescue B named Rusty, who was a great character (also loose, but luckily a homebody) when I met him in the 70's. I liked Rusty's aloof confidence, and got my first B in 85-- Kenji. He was backyard bred-charming but turned very dominant and difficult at adolescence, but we worked with and had him until he was 13.
We got our second dog from Matahari B's, and Caddie was a tricolor sweetheart for 15 years.
Now I've got the gentlest, most outgoing B I've ever met. Sol was raised by someone else, and they did a great job-- thanks Eldorado!
I adopted him at 5, and after a few weeks of thinking about it, he decided to stay (he jumped the fence twice, but came when I called the second time). He's my best friend, and even goes to work with me in the winter. And sometimes I wonder if he's really a basenji, because he wags his tail so much-- but only for me.
I was visiting my mother in the city for a couple of days this week and took Sol as usual. He is good in her neighborhood and we have our early morning route, but today they had just salted her condo walkway and he stepped onto it at the end of our walk and started screaming too, and when I picked him up to wipe his paws off was it so agonizing he was nipping at my face. He won't ever bite when playing, or at the vet, but obviously it was agony.
Luckily I could wipe his paws with some clean snow on the hedge, then take him in and wash them at the kitchen sink, and he was very good, and:(, I think, a bit ashamed at nipping (he didn't even break the skin). Last winter he got very sick about this time and they never found a cause, so I try to avoid all salt and wipe/wash his paws. Rubbing them with balm to protect helps too. Booties were pulled off by last b, and I suspect he'd do the same. Winter sucks for basenji's!
My tri Caddie was from them, and she was a joy for 15 years. Great with people, and very good about me taking food away (she loved dirty roadside paper!). Not great with other dogs, but we had two b's, and the other was very aggressive (from a back yard breeder– we dodn't know better then)so she didn't get many chances to socialize. She did have some medical issues, cataracts and seizures as she aged.
Thanks Andrew– I hate that when I come home tired and sick of people after a long day of being nice and understanding to everyone that I still have to walk the dog... until he jumps up in the air and spins around because he's so happy to see me and so excited about a walk!
I love this forum. I never knew there could be so many like minded people. Sometimes I feel like the biggest dork on earth… here's my latest.
I hate that on hikes they either pull me down hill to my death, or walk like they're dieing uphill, right in front of me, so I'm constantly dodging them, but I love that they are a good excuse to get my butt outside & active.
I've had good luck with the 'leave it' command with Sol for both junk picked up, and distractions while walking– so that he now knows that he'll get a treat if he focuses on me, not the distraction. This was tested yesterday at a pen of mini goats at a farm we walked by-- they sure smelled good to him! But once we were a few feet away he refocused on me for a treat.
Small world– I got Sol from Pam and Sheila too! Are he and Ruby related?
More than year later he is such a joy. At first he was confused about he change, wondering when he was going back 'home', but I was gentle and patient, and now we are very bonded-- when he got out the gate several weeks ago because it was left ajar, he just waited by the back door for me. He is actually better adjusted than the two b's I raised from puppies were.
Hey, I thought I'd put in my two cents. I had a wonderful tri-color, and when I lost her, really wanted another tri, or even a brindle. But when I went to meet availalble adults at the breeder, Sol came right to me, wagged his tail (to a stranger-unusual B behavior in my experience) and licked me. After that color did not matter. Be open to good things when they come along!
Sol is a climber, not a digger. I have 500 feet of 4foot cedar fence, and he jumped over it the first week by putting his paws on the cross beam and pulling– I then installed a 'hot wire' run by a small generator across the cross-beam, and he touched it once and never again. He now loves the yard so much that when he's gotten out a gate left ajar once or twice, he just goes back in-- but I think he might still jump and chase when the neighbor's cat is around, so i keep the fence 'hot'.