Monday, May 9, 2011

Basenji vs. Sprinkler

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a sprinkler system installed at our house. We live at the beach in New Jersey where the backyards are mostly just sand/dust, and after a year of staring at our yard full of brown dead weeds we decided that we wanted to get serious about growing some grass. The only way to get it to grow in the sand is to put in a sprinkler system, so we bit the bullet and got one installed. Then this past weekend, we dug up the yard, planted some grass, put down some pet-friendly fertilizer, and turned on the waterworks for the first time.

Now, we all know how much basenjis love to get wet -- NOT! Imagine how fast your basenji would run away from a sprinkler that suddenly turned on in his yard. When the water came on for the first time yesterday, our basenjis Reef and Biko were utterly shocked at the unexpected deluge, and they ran like demons around the yard looking for a shelter from the "rain." They quickly found that it wasn't raining in the other half of the yard (the sprinklers come on in zones), so they took refuge in the sunshine still shining over there.

But then, 15 minutes later, imagine their shock when the gurgling sound happened again, and suddenly it started raining in the other half of the yard instead! They shot up like curly-tailed rockets from their sunshine slumber and bolted back over to the first half of the yard, only to find that -yuck!- the ground was all wet over there! Now completely confused and crazed, they tore a B500 loop around the yard, finally alighting on the patio where, mercifully, it wasn't raining and it wasn't all wet.

For the next 15 minutes they paced around on the patio, glaring at the sprinklers, determined not to go inside but equally determined to face off the water demons invading their yard. Finally, the "rain" stopped and the basenjis gingerly took possession of their yard once again, sniffing around the sunken sprinkler heads to determine if they could be eaten into submission. When it was determined that they could not, two angry little basenjis huffed and puffed and finally laid back down in the sun.

Later on that same evening, it came time for last-call potty break before bedtime. I opened the back door and Reef and Biko dashed outside as always... and then stopped dead in their tracks at the edge of the patio when they realized it was once again raining in their yard. Confused, they sat down on the patio and stared at the sprinklers, tilting their little heads from side to side, wondering how in the world it was raining outside but they weren't getting wet. I couldn't help but stand inside and laugh as I watched them stare and try to wrap their little basenji heads around the mystery of the backyard rain.

I'm sure that in a very short while, my two smart little pups will learn the secret of the backyard rain, and they will learn to head for the hills (or at least the house) as soon as they see the sprinkler heads pop up and they hear the gurgling sound of water coming through the pipes. Until then, I will enjoy their cute consternation and laugh with my evil glee when they accidentally get stuck in the middle of the rain zone. After all, it IS only water :)


  1. They are just happy that their chairs are in the rain free area. Very cute photo.

  2. Very Cute! When we lived in Houston, some of the sprinkler heads (in the bushes) were designed to stay up all the time Our first B decided they were convenient drinking fountains and he would chew the heads off!