Saturday, September 18, 2010

Basenji Shouts and Murmurs

Ivan is by far the most vocal child we’ve ever had. Reno rarely said anything. The tiniest squeak at the end of a yawn was as much as we got. He did almost purr when I rubbed his tummy, but there was not a yodel or baroo of any kind. Leo, my sweet old gentleman, didn’t say much either.

Dasa talks to us when we come home or when she thinks we should go for a w-a-l-k. My dainty little pixie girl’s voice is surprising. She sounds like a combination of baby seal and rusty gate. She isn’t nearly as loud as Ivan, but she talks to us frequently. She usually says nice things, and is not impudent or cheeky like Ivan.

Ivan has a zest for life that shows in everything he does. He baroos at us when we are slow to get to the kitchen to feed him. He races circles through the house and trumpets loudly when we prepare his food. He roodles enthusiastically when we finally show signs of providing nourishment.

Ivan tells us off when he’s feeling uncooperative. He might not be speaking English, but we can tell what he’s saying, and he isn’t nominating us for Parents of the Year. Ivan sounds just like Charlie Brown’s teacher when he’s airing a grievance, “mwa-mwa-mwa-mwa-mwa.” Sometimes he just grumbles. “I don’t want to hold still while you put on my harness.” “I don’t want to go out in the rain.” However, he is always ready to forgive us; a kiss or two and a snuggle from his mom make him forget how mistreated he is. He happily grunts and snuffles when he’s on a lap. He says happy little nonsensical things when he gets hugs. He snarks at Dasa and grumbles when she tries to share the lap he’s occupying.

When he’s in his crate in the car, he makes dying waterfowl noises to let us know he’s not pleased. These can be roughly translated as follows: “Why aren’t we there yet?” “Am I going to like this?” No one asked me if I wanted to do this.” “I’ve been in my crate forever.” “Don’t forget and leave me in this crate. I could starve and die.” “Are you listening?” “Hellooo.”

1 comment:

  1. My B-boy is a screamer when he doesn't want to do something, like leave the kitchen when we eat, he will scream and growl all the way to the sofa as my husband nudges him there. If we are really lucky we may get three yodels a year...usually when he is in trouble and we always laugh so I believe it is his way of diffusing the situation, he is sooo smart!