It's been quite some time since we have done an update on the basenjis of the Wimauma, Florida group. We had a mini-reunion of quite a few of the group at the BRAT convention in June in Chicago. It was great fun to see so many of the them. Fortunately, most of our adopters keep in touch with Pam and me. Here is Pam's update on the remaining ones.
* * *Greetings,
It has been awhile since the last update. There are just a few Wimauma "adults" left here, with possibly only one still not yet committed to a forever home. We still refer to them as adults, even though all of the Wimauma pack have now reached adulthood. It is getting harder to let go - they are so happy, settled and easy here. They so often take a backseat to so many other things (needy new fosters...) without any complaint. Five Wimauma adults take less time than one new foster with medical issues. They are incredibly well-behaved and have done a fantastic job of helping new, fearful or not-so-well-mannered fosters settle into the routine here, teaching them how to socialize, how to play and how to enjoy life. While they are still quite keen for the hunt, they are also quite content to spend the day inside with us in the air conditioning. They all, including Nadra, will stay laying down while I approach, ready to accept some stroking. At night, getting to sleep can be a bit difficult. They have discovered how pleasurable a belly rub is - and it is hard to say no to their gentle insistence that now is the right time.
The adults who have moved onto their new forever homes are settling in, some faster than others. A few have been impressing their new families with their hunting skills - and kills... They do seem to make more progress in their settling after they have a good pack reunion. Having a visit with old pack mates seems to reassure them that the world is okay (as does the opportunity to hunt). It would be nice to be able to have the pack cycle through all of the adoptive homes to help everyone feel at home with their new families. I have been very lucky to have been able to see all but one of my Wimauma adult fosters in the past year. They have made me feel honored by appearing to recognize me. Soon, they will all have enough memories with their current families that I will become a distant memory.
The pack that remains here has a lot of fun. Twice daily tumble sessions (in the morning and at night when the temps are at their coolest) give them a bit of exercise. They have managed to get in a few more kills - rats, squirrels and, of course, an endless number of lizards. I have been lucky in that the toads are not spending too much time in the yard. A frog tempted them to go into the pool, but they are not all quite that brave. Fana did actually get in on the first step to go after it (she is the least intimidated by water), but going for the full swim was not in her plans.
The pool has provided some entertainment for them. They are quite excited or worried when the neighbors' grandkids are swimming and squealing in the pool next door. When we go for a swim, they race around the outside making all kinds of noises, very worked up. If we "flounder" by the edge, Pogo will try to grab an arm, as if he needs to pull us out. When a b falls in (it has happened a couple of times - new fosters are watched carefully to make sure they learn how to be around the pool - and learn the way out), Pogo tries to pull him or her out. He has actually stepped down into the pool on the first step to retrieve a little girl b. He regularly spends his time laying at the halfway point beside the pool, in "lifeguard" position. He will be staying with us, joining Portal as a permanent part of our pack.
I could go on about cute little behaviors of each one - Ali paws for attention, Mosi uses a pacifier (a large object in his mouth) when he is excited by squirrels or the neighbors' grandkids, Nadra acts shy, though she is one of the most serious players - but it is time to pass this on. There may not be many more updates about the Wimauma pack in the house - there are very few that are still looking for their forever homes. They will soon be a warm memory of the best basenjis I've ever had - and updates will come from their new forever homes!