Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy to be Basenji Parents

One of the many joys of basenji parenthood is the greeting we receive when we come home. When Eric comes home, there are mad dashes around the house and ecstatic greetings at the door. Daddy’s Home! Yippee!! Ivan and Dasa leap in the air and cavort happily around Eric, a greeting enthusiastic enough for an appearance by a favorite movie star or visiting royalty who just happen to be in the neighborhood and decide to stop by.

Among his many talents is Ivan’s ability to tell time. On evenings when I work until eight, Ivan starts pestering Eric precisely at the hour, as if demanding him to make me appear. He knows what our cars sound like, and starts racing circles through the house when he hears me coming down the street. It’s a wonderful feeling to be so heralded when I come home in the evening.

The munchkins get along very well. However, they have the usual sibling rivalry, each trying to get sit closer to Mom or Dad, staking their claim. If Dasa claims a prime spot by one of the parents, Ivan grumps, irritated that she took his spot, because every ideal spot next to Mom or Dad should be his, ready when he wants it. He huffs indignantly and turns his head, making the traitorous parent wait for his affections, even if he only holds out a minute or two.

Dasa was afraid of Eric when we adopted her several years ago. Now, she has Eric wrapped around one dainty white paw, and she has become very adept at getting her favorite spot on his lap. Dasa talks to Eric in her funny little voice that sounds as though she’s a baby seal, and delicately puts one petite paw on his knee when he returns her greeting. She has gone from perching stiffly near us to melting contentedly into a doggy noodle draped across a lap. Ivan is determined that Eric should snuggle him, and gets somewhat disgruntled when his sister slips onto Eric’s lap, claiming her share of his daddy’s attention.

Dasa is not as prone to dramatics or pouting. If Ivan gets Dasa’s chosen spot, she whirls about on the floor, bouncing into a play bow, inviting him to join her. It took Ivan a while, but he eventually learned that when he jumped eagerly off the couch, ready to play, Dasa leaped into his spot and settled in with a satisfied expression. Life with the munchkins is so much fun.

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