Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Saga of the Solano County Basenjis, Part Two
It's hard to believe it's already been a month since the "Solano County basenjis" arrived as fosters at my house. First up, we've let their names evolve. I've been spelling Shacka as Shaka as in Shaka Zulu, the great African warrior, which seems like a fitting name for a basenji.
Everyone has been appalled that the scared, scrawny little girl deserved a better name than "Crybaby". So I started just saying, "Hi, Baby" which seemed to be a good transition and have since been calling her Audrey, thinking of Audrey Hepburn transforming from a little waif into an elegant young lady in a number of her movies. And this little basenji lady is really living up to that name. Everyone was so concerned about her since she was so thin, but she came through her spaying quickly despite being in pain for a few days.
I got a thorough exam of them from my primary vet who said that besides her being underweight and Shaka having some tarter on his teeth they are in great health. Audrey's coat is very uneven but likely from having had puppies this winter and/or living outside for her first three years. She is quickly filling out, her coat is slowly improving with proper diet, lots of brushing and supplements.
But most dramatically, her personality is emerging. That first day I picked them up at the city animal shelter, she hid at the bottom of the floor in the back of the car. Now she greets me with a wagging tail and sometimes paws my leg to say how happy she is to see me, even if I just left the room two minutes ago.
Shaka continues to be the gregarious gentleman with just enough naughty to remind me he's a basenji.
It's definitely not been all smooth sailing. We had some marking and other accidents the first week that have since passed. We've had some chewing and table jumping that we're working on. And they are pretty reactive to other dogs, and I'm still working on the best way to walk two in a busy, San Francisco neighborhood. But the rewards are still outweighing the challenges, and I feel we keep moving forward.
It will be great fun to meet folks this week at the BRAT convention in Chicago, and I hope to come back with many new skills to continue being as good as I can as a foster dad.
And for the first time, I think I have a pair of barooing basenjis. They've not let out a full fledged barroo quite yet, but some that are pretty close to announce, "Come on, let's play!"
Here they are bright and ready for the morning walk routine.
Here is Miss Audrey in action. Not sure which is more fun, playing with her pink baby or jumping at the camera.