Monday, June 28, 2010

He’s Old, But Still 100% Determined Basenji

My BRAT boy, Marco Polo, is a very old guy. In fall 2005, I pulled him out of a southern California shelter on BRAT’s behalf and took him in as a foster. Can you say failed foster parent? **grin** At the time, his estimated age was 12 or so, but he was an energetic and happy fellow. Here’s a picture of him when he was 8 months out of the shelter and 4 months into his forever home with me.

Time, however, marches on. Marco is around age 17 now. He does not see or hear well, he has a heart murmur and kidney failure, and he doesn’t get around very quickly anymore. Yet he still enjoys napping in the sun, cuddling with me, eating as much food as I set in front of him, and letting out incredibly loud yodels when the mood strikes him. Here’s a picture of Marco patrolling the yard from this January.

This morning Marco was puttering around in the yard, enjoying a warm sunny day. I try to pay attention to the time when Marco’s out doing his morning routine, because my sprinkler system kicks in at 10 am and he can’t move fast enough anymore to get effectively out of the way. Well, I was engrossed in reading something online when 10 am rolled around today, but I bolted out the door to grab him as soon as I heard the sprinklers start up. Marco, of course, was standing directly next to a large sprinkler head, and he and I both wound up soaked. I took him inside and dried him off, apologizing profusely to him. I set him down in the living room with a hug and went back to reading.

So what happened next? Marco, moving slowly yet with purpose, walked across the living room, past where I was sitting, went out the door, and stood at the edge of the patio – where he was showered with the gentle spray of one of the small sprinkler heads. Apparently I had it all wrong – he wanted to get wet this time! Ellie and Taj helped me dry Marco off when the sprinkler stopped, and Marco looked rather pleased with himself. He’s still a 100% totally determined Basenji boy.

Linda S. Krajewski
Hemet, CA
Owned by Basenjis - Ellie, Taj, and former BRAT foster Marco Polo
and co-owned by 2001 bay roan Appaloosa mare Curly!


  1. That is such an awesome story These Basenjis are so much smarter than we are. They have us figured out for the suckers we are!

  2. Linda K, I am so happy to hear that Marco Polo is still with you. What a wonderful story you have shared, and for those of us who know.. how much more Marco has helped with so many other fosters you had during his years with you.

  3. Thanks, Linda. Marco, Ellie, and Taj are certainly an effective foster adjustment team. :-)

  4. An update - my beloved Marco Polo crossed the Bridge on July 26, 2010. I love you, sweet boy.