Everyone knows that basenjis are mischievous, but sometimes they still manage to surprise us. Case in point: Last Friday, my husband and I came home from work to find our basenjis' water and food bowls missing from the kitchen. No big deal, we thought, they've done this before. Often when the weather is bad and the dogs can't spend the day sitting outside (they have a dog door from the kitchen to our securely-fenced backyard), they get antsy in the house and start to make trouble. There's not much inside the house that they have access to get into, because we know better through experience, but that doesn't mean that they won't still open the kitchen cupboards and pull out all the pots and pans, or dump their water and food bowls in the kitchen and carry the bowls upstairs, tracking wet paw prints as they go.
An Unexpected Guest"). So when we saw that the bowls were missing, we were amused but not alarmed, and we figured we'd just look around inside and outside and find them sitting in the yard somewhere.
An hour later, after scouring both the dog areas of the house and the entire backyard, we had found the two metal food bowls, but the heavy ceramic water bowl still remained MIA. It was quickly getting dark, so we gave up the hunt and resumed in the morning. Another 30 minutes of searching in the morning still turned up nothing. Where on earth could a heavy ceramic water bowl have gone? It's not like they could fit it under the fence (the fenceline is secured by chicken wire dug into the ground), and it's not like they could have tossed it over the 6-ft tall stockade fence. We don't have animals in our yard because the dogs have hunted everything that moves to within an inch of its life, and the ground is too frozen to dig in. So where on earth was the bowl??
Finally, by Saturday afternoon, I had an idea. I went out to the far corners of the yard, where sometimes leaves tend to accumulate between the fence and the evergreen pointy-top (arborvitae) bush. I dug around in the leaves some more, and as I was digging around, I spotted a hint of tan ceramic peeking at me from the middle of the bush. Triumphantly, I extracted the water bowl from the inside of the bush -- not from the leaves, as I had expected, but from about 2 feet off the ground, hidden inside the evergreen foliage!
As I trotted back to the house, water bowl in hand, I was very pleased with myself -- those little basenjis thought they had me fooled this time, but I showed them - I guessed their trick! And then I thought about how it had taken me, a fairly intelligent human, just a little more than 2 hours' time to figure out how to outsmart a dog (albeit two very smart basenjis), and the realization dawned on me that the dogs had, in fact, still won. Sigh.