We started out as a one dog family, thinking if there were two humans and one basenji, we almost had a fighting chance. Our firstborn basenji Crown Prince Reno Bambino did not like other dogs, so adding to the pack was not an issue.
Then after we lost Reno, and Ivan came to save us, we still planned to be a one dog family. Never mind. That’s a story for another day.
Ivan and Dasa get along very well. There’s a wonderful dynamic between them for which we are very grateful. In 2004 when BRAT suggested we consider “temporarily” taking Dasa into the fold—and I can’t imagine that was said with any attempt at seriousness, I said she had to get along with Ivan. When Dasa and her foster mom arrived, we all walked around the block and Ivan sent every Play With Me signal he could think of.
On her first day with us Dasa and Ivan interacted well together, and so it has been ever since. They play together and often nap together, or at least in the same room or on the same couch. Occasionally, when it’s chilly, they sleep side by side. They both sleep with us, and while neither wants to be pounced on when they’re under the blankets, they manage to snooze peacefully, sometimes even touching.
Sometimes Ivan invades her space. If Dasa isn’t quite awake and Ivan jumps on the bed to paw at her and make play overtures, she lets him know this is not a good idea. We were worried Ivan would run over timid Dasa, but even when she’s timid around new people, she holds her own with Ivan. If he bothers her when she’s not in the mood to play, her little lip curls, she snarls a few times, and he usually decides he has something pressing to do elsewhere.
They get along remarkably well unless food or parental attention is involved. Ivan is food aggressive so we’ve always fed them with a closed door between them. If one of us sits on the couch, a small dog leaps up to sit by us or on us, as the case may be. If Dasa gets there first, Ivan huffs and either lies regally on the back of the couch or curls into a donut bed on the love seat, pointedly ignoring us, at least for a few minutes. Dasa doesn’t take time to sulk. If Ivan already has a spot with a parent, she just leaps onto the lap. There are time when our sweet angelic girl exhibits some bratty sister behavior by pawing at Ivan when he’s on a lap, which elicits little growly monster noises from Ivan. The spare parent must then scoop up a little girl and distract her.
We’re very fortunate they get along so well. When all four of us finally get to sit down at the end of the day in a companionable heap, it’s heaven.