Friday, May 3, 2013

When Did You Discover Basenjis?

Do you remember the first time you saw a basenji?  Did you stumble across one by accident, fall in love with a friend’s basenji or see one at a dog show?
I remember when I first learned of basenjis. I was in elementary school entertaining myself with some extra reading projects during quiet time.  (I suppose my poor teacher was desperate for quiet, as I received the “whispers too much in class” comment on nearly every report card of my elementary school career.)  I remember this particular story involved someone who accused his neighbor’s dog of barking all night. This was proven to be untrue because the neighbor had a basenji, “a dog who didn’t bark.”  I didn’t guess this answer because I’d never heard of a basenji. Little did I know at the time that I would someday be owned by a couple of these intriguing little creatures.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I first saw a photo of a basenji, although the first time I saw real live basenjis was when we stopped at a breeder’s house and were surrounded by three to four month old puppies who crowded around us, nibbling my shoelaces and examining the design on my t-shirt. Eric grew up with basenjis so he was already under the spell. This was my first exposure to the magic, and I was smitten. 

I delight in showing photos of our Munchkins. I love to tell about their charming personality quirks and, I confess, I enjoy the looks of disbelief when I tell about their especially endearing qualities, including the decimation of books and most forms of paper.  I use the flimsiest excuse to pull out photos and tell about our amazing, intelligent, cat-like, graceful, enchanting, curly-tailed imps. 
Our neighbors know us as the people with those little African dogs.  It’s wonderful to walk down the street and overhear them tell visitors that our dogs don’t bark, and their tails “just come that way.”  We smile and wave and continue down the street with our little African dogs with the naturally curly tails.


  1. What? Peggy! Somehow I just can't imagine you as one who would whisper too much in class! LOL!

    So glad you caught the Basenji bug! Your stories keep me amused!

  2. I adopted my first Basenji, Crystal, in early 2001 when her lifelong owner could no longer keep her. Crystal was essentially blind and just shy of her 15th birthday, and I was told by the apartment manger that her owner was going to have her put down. I had seen Crystal around the apartment complex and felt she had a lot of life left in her, and I was just about to move myself and my sainted elderly Lab mix, Camin, to our new house where we had a secure fenced yard. Crystal came home with us to live the remaining year of her life, and thoroughly succeeded in wrapping her little paws and curly tail permanently around my heart on behalf of all Basenjikind. In the past 12 plus years, I've only been without a Basenji in my home for 6 weeks. I plan never to be without at least one Basenji for the rest of my life. :-)