Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Amber at 16!

Amber is the 3rd of our four basenjis (same parents, four litters) who joined us starting in 1993 when we lived in Boulder CO. Our two boys, Rufus and Brandy, passed on at ages 15 and 16, but Amber (just 16) and LittleBit (almost 15) are still hanging in here with us - our crew apparently came from a hearty gene pool. :-)

Nov. 14, yesterday, was Amber's 16th birthday. She is also known as "Missy Amber-Poo" (her diva, bad-girl, name). Amber has no shame - at 16 she's still...well, very full of herself. It's fun to watch her work a
crowd -- approaches anyone, everyone, with body language that says "Hi, here I am, of course you love me," and generally they do. She was the instant caretaker of our first grandchild. When Amber's brother, Brandy, died she gently licked his face, eyes, ears, mouth, and stayed by his side as long as she could. On a trip a month ago to NJ she took a running leap and flew through the air, around the "body guards," to cuddle up to our 90-year old aunt with Parkinson's who smiled (!) and said, "She's OK." On that same trip we were visiting relatives who had an outdoor swimming pool covered loosely with a canvas tarp. Suddenly Amber was in the middle of the pool, her skinny little legs going as fast as they could to propel her through the puddles of rainwater on the sagging tarp. Before any of us, yelling and screaming, could get to the side of the pool she was up and out. Missy Amber-Poo is also now known as the "Jesus dog."

She did the usual B-antics like emptying the garbage all over the house, and still is unable to leave toilet paper alone. I have the pair of brand-new eyeglasses she mangled into a wire sculpture after shattering the unbreakable lenses. She empties purses left on the floor -- and a while back chewed up a pair of expensive slacks belonging to a new dog sitter Amber clearly did not like. Heh. Then there was "Amber's Rock." She used to extract a particular rough, palm-sized rock from deep inside a large planter every night and place it in the middle of the living room floor where we'd find it the next day. This went on for months until we finally put her rock "away." She never did select another rock as "hers."

So that's Amber, still crazy after all these years. And then there's her sister, LittleBit -- that's another story. Here are some photos of her 16th birthday party yesterday:  

-Jacquelyn Schechter


  1. Thanks for sharing that sweet (+ silly) story!
    Happy Birthday Amber!!! :)

  2. Happy happy birthday to Amber! Wow, 16 years and still going strong!
    (I'll be laughing about the "Jesus dog" story all day!)

  3. Happy happy birthday to beautiful Amber! Loved her story : )

  4. There's just something so appealing about a spunky elder Basenji!

  5. She looks like she is enjoying her party! And then a nap after the celebration, how sweet. I guess we are entering the *basenji birthday* season, my b-boy just turned 12.

  6. What a beautiful old gal! I hope my Queenie (aka Miss Queen) will live that long because I just absolutely adore and love her!