I am amazed by the wide variety of basenjis in color, build and temperament. When I look at all the available basenjis on the BRAT website, I am struck that there is so much diversity.
I purchased my first basenji almost five years ago from a reputable kennel that showed and bred basenjis. Iggy, a red and white B, is show quality and people often comment on how beautiful he is when we walk or go to the dog park. Indeed, people stop in awe when he's doing a B-500 at the dog park.
Tiger, my second foster, was a brindle and very large. He was a good head above Iggy.
And then there's sweet Roxy, my red and white foster who I adopted. She came to me at 14.5 pounds and hair so spiky that we could hardly pet her. She has emerged almost a year later to be healthy and soft. Nothing like consistent good nutrition! But I will admit, she's no show dog. I love her more because of it, I think.
My friend who lives in Lafayette spent 12 years with the World Health Organization in Africa, and once we were talking about her experiences. I asked her if she owned a basenji there or if she brought one back. She looked at me quite oddly and said, Own a basenji? That would be like having a pet water buffalo.
She had occasion to visit my house some time later and Iggy greeted her at the door. She noted, I never saw a basenji in Africa that looked like that! Roxy came out of the kitchen, and she said, They look more like that! I laughed for a long time over that.
Yes, my sweet Roxy is no show dog, that's for sure. She's got a crooked nose, some broken teeth, her ears are small and no matter how much I feed her, she's very bony. She's lived a difficult life, but now is assured of nothing but pampering and unconditional love. She's mine and she's my heart. And she's no water buffalo!