Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Uncovering the "Pack Mentality"

Sometimes dogs just truly amaze me. One moment they're at each others' throats, the next moment they're licking each others' ears. I always thought that basenjis, true to their rather aloof nature, act more like independent little hunters, but when push comes to shove they always amaze me at how much they truly do function like a little pack unit in caring for and protecting one another.

Case in point: My two are constantly on each others' cases, instigating play, knocking each other out of a sound sleep, vying for my attention, grabbing each other by the ears, growling over a choice spot on the couch next to mommy... you name it, they're usually competing over it. Two of my friends came to visit this weekend, and they were amazed by the fact that it was 1am and the dogs were still just going nuts, literally trying to eat each other right on top of my friend laying under the bedcovers. Now they understand why I don't need to have kids -- I already have permanent 2-year-olds! When they fight, usually it's harmless, but sometimes it gets pretty ferocious, and a few times they've even drawn blood from each other. For that reason I always thought that I should never leave them alone together, because they were more "out for themselves" and I was afraid that they were so individualistic that they might compete over a toy and hurt each other during the day.

That was until my little Reef got into a fight with the pit bull next door. She was on her leash (we were walking), but the other dog was unleashed, and he came at her and grabbed her by the shoulder and wouldn't let go. I rushed in and pulled her away, but not without some puncture wounds and pretty deep gashes. My poor baby was in recovery from this for weeks, and every night when I unbandaged her my little Biko would come over and lick her wounds like crazy, and mommy her all day long. He's always licked all the little scratches she gets from daily play, and they've both always licked each others' ears clean, but this was the first time I saw him really take the pack animal role with her and tend to her in this brotherly way. Even now, she is all healed up, but he still seems to act more protective of her around other dogs, and he is now more loving towards her in general. I was so amazed by his show of "pack love" towards her, that I truly believe that despite their little scuffles, he would never, ever knowingly hurt her. Now I leave them home together during the day, and they greet me at the door with tail wags and baroos :) Anytime either one of them gets a scratch, the other is always there to tend to it, and they've started grooming each other more, too. And, every time they see that pit bull, Biko gets in front of Reef and "protects" her from him with a startling display of ferocity! Such funny little dogs, but yet so amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great story!! I have a basenji and two other mixed breed rescues,...the basenji always gravitates to cuddle up with somebody...sometimes the "girls" dont always appreciate it!!