Monday, November 2, 2015


When we got Shoshanah — the first of many Basenjis we would have over the years — we had no idea what we were getting into, but soon we had a new nickname for the breed: BAD-senji. Within a couple years we had learned a rule: “If you don’t want the dog to get something, keep it out of her reach”… and though she was only 16 inches tall, the table, the dresser, and the edge of the counter were NOT out of her reach. Often as I was on “poop patrol” in the back yard, I found coiled up pieces of socks and underwear. When my husband complained about the dog eating his brand new Rockport shoes, I said, “Did you leave them out where the dog could get them?”

We often shared dinner with our friend, Harriet. One evening, Harriet arrived with an apple pie (“The best I’ve ever made,” she said). I set the pie aside on the very back of the kitchen counter before we all sat down for dinner. We enjoyed our meal together, and then Morrie washed the dishes as Harriet, Noah and I cleared the table, and we all continued talking in the kitchen. As Morrie finished up with the dishes, I went to the far counter to get the pie and take it to the dining room table… but it was gone. I asked, “What happened to the pie?” Harriet replied, “I put it on the table.” In unison, Morrie, Noah and I yelled, “WHO’S GUARDING THE TABLE?!” We ran to the dining room to find Shoshanah standing on the table. She had eaten half of the top crust of the pie. (We ate the other half of the pie anyway, and indeed, it WAS the best pie Harriet had made.)

We are now on Number 5 and Number 6 BAD-senjis. I've discovered that lots of exercise and constant training is helpful, but not a "cure" for their mischievousness. Nevertheless, I wouldn't have any other breed.

Here is a picture of our #1 Shoshanah, sitting on the table, and our #5 Ely, destroying the new package of toilet paper. After 28 years, we're still learning.

~ Barbara Bixler

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