This is the story of Kizzie, one of the feral Florida basenjis.
In 2010, we adopted a feral basenji named Kizzie (the larger dog in the picture, with the darker coat and light eyes). Kizzie was born to a pack of wild basenjis who were residing in a cow pasture in Hillsborough County, Florida. They are very large, as only the strong and fit were able to survive. They have been described as “basenjis on steroids.” In early 2010, Hillsborough county animal control impounded a lot of basenjis from this situation, and several had litters of pups. Thankfully, B.R.A.T. stepped in and took the dogs to socialize and place them in forever homes.
Prior to our adopting Kizzie she was in foster care for several months. After submitting our adoption application, we were interviewed, had a home inspection, then we adopted Kizzie from B.R.A.T. on July 11, 2010.
Kizzie is extremely sweet and sensitive. She adjusted immediately to our older basenji, Pikachu, who is 10 years old. Since Kizzie was not used to living in a house, many things still terrify her, such as loud noises, company, and hats. She especially likes to play on our bed, as she feels this is her "safe zone." Each day we make a tiny step of progress with her, which is helped by the fact that Kizzie is somewhat food motivated.
We also have 3 cats, and as soon as she made herself at home, Kizzie immediately “adopted” Silver. It is fair to say she adjusts to animals much better than to people. Kizzie also enjoys the dog parks, especially when there are a group of B’s for her to play with. Although, catching her when it is time to leave does present some challenges!
Overall, adopting a wild dog may not be for everyone, but it has proven to be a very rewarding challenge. We are very happy to have Kizzie in our family, and she has certainly found her forever home.
Tricia and Joe Williams