Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dancing with Fred Basenji

In January 2009, a BRAT email came from my mom stating something about a pair of bonded 14 year old basenjis that were owner-surrendered to the Plano Animal Shelter and they were distressed. Who could evaluate them?

I knew that Basenjis had a bit of a reputation for being snarky, but my Mom’s B always responded to me positively, even when he didn’t with others, so I thought I wouldn’t mind doing this to help out, since it was just right down the road.

There was a sense of urgency, as they were distressed in the shelter, and not very agreeable, and so the possibility of euthanasia was there. Mom and I went and met Neon, who was thin and distressed and howling in the cell by herself because Scottie was out getting his neutering surgery done. She was fine with me, just didn’t like to be picked up.

A couple of days later, January 10th, 2009, in the name of BRAT, I went back to get them both, and bring them home with me to foster. I could see how distressing and loud the shelter was for them. Just the thought of them having to be split up in order to be more adoptable was not acceptable to me. I hadn’t done anything like this before, but I had lost my Golden in August of 2008, and so I had an empty apartment.

After bringing them home, and taking them for a long walk around the apartment complex, they came in and immediately ended up right here:

I was very happy to foster them, knowing that I couldn’t afford to actually own one for my own, and since I really was a Big Dog person (or so I thought!), I would love them as they needed to be loved, but I wouldn’t become attached, since I had my sights on a Chocolate Lab someday!

I introduced them to my significant other a few days later, and they explored his house and yard, and didn’t make a mess, and then Scottie proceeded to get on the couch and lean on Daniel (the whole male-bonding thing, I guess) and I think Daniel got sucked in. He’s a bit of a neat freak, and with animals, he’s give or take (how am I still with him? ;]), but these doggies with their cat-like cleanliness seemed to win him over. So much so, that in February, when someone in Phoenix thought they might be interested in them, Daniel said, “no, Phoenix won’t be a good place for them… I think we should just adopt them”.
And there it was.

So, I changed their names, since they didn’t respond to them anyway, to Fred and Ginger, (for Astaire and Rogers, and I’m a dancer myself), since they can’t go anywhere without the other.

Read the rest of Jennifer's story about Fred & Ginger at

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