I have never done this before, but then again I had never been owned by a basenji before. My husband and I had always kept bullmastiffs for 20+ years and also had a German Shepard/Doberman cross that we rescued as a pup from downtown Calgary. As sometimes life is surprising we lost 2 of our bullmastiffs to the rainbow bridge in less then 1 year and found ourselves with just our 16 year old Shepard cross, it was to painful emotionally to get another bullmastiff and as we were in our 40's we decided a smaller dog. I have worked with the Calgary Humane Society (SPCA) and know how to do breed research and settled on the Basenji or a French bulldog. So no Frenchies available but there was a 4 week old Basenji litter (CKC registered). So off to see these puppies and a whole new life with THE BASENJI. When we got to the house to see the pups they had every door in the house closed and the pups were in the kitchen with kid gates up to block other rooms, and yes they are clean dogs as all the pups were already paper trained at 4 weeks. Well we were in love with a cute red male called Quantum and decided to take him when he was old enough, so we would drive the 100km to see him as he grew and finally we were able to bring him home. Almost immediately every door in my house was shut and our poor old Shepard had to have kid gates up to the dining room for some peace and I was stunned that this 1 little pup needed 100% of my attention every second that he was awake. No basenji book can prepare you for actually living with one, never off the leash, sleeps in bed with us under the covers, our yard is Alcatraz for dogs, 200 dog toys, protecting him from himself, crate phobic, giant leaps to steal food as we are eating, 1 entire year to dremmel his nails every week before the snarling stopped, growling and fanging up every time he got in trouble, only works for food, I started graveyard shifts at work so someone is always with him, an extremely cranky sleeper, massive prey drive (almost killed neighbors cat that jumped in our yard), I could go on and on as he is one hardcore basenji, BUT he is real good at the vets. When he was 2 we got a female Rhodesian Ridgeback sister for him and she still idolizes him and lets him be the boss in everything they do. And he still goes back to his birthplace to see his littermates and first set of parents who became our friends (he was the only pup they let go) and never forgets them. And everyday for almost 12 years now he makes me roar with laughter over something with his "out there" personality. I am a basenji convert but am still trying to convince my husband that life would be dull without one !!
Contributor: Kelly Friesen - firstname.lastname@example.org