Mar 26, 1996

You don't want one.

Basenjis...don't respect fences.

They go over or dig under.

They are stubborner than the MOST stubborn pit bull. Their legs are directly wired to their eyes, so if a squirrel jumps in New Jersey and your basenji is off his lead, it's good-bye basenji.

Basenjis HATE cold. They'll shiver in 70 degree weather and in the wintertime will nap 1 inch from a raging fire where any other animal would be crisped. They love the taste of shoes and socks, your children's barbies and stuffed animals, and paper, paper towels and used things they drag from the bathroom trash bin just to embarrass you in front of company. Basenjis don't bark, but if you leave them home alone, your neighbors will think the screaming means you are beating your children.

Basenjis are rated VERY low on the standard Obedience scale.This is chiefly because basenjis are only obedient when they choose to be. Their actual intelligence is frighteningly high. Their problem-solving i.q.does NOT rely on obedience but rather a native ability to figure things out. So don't put your basenji's chew toys in a cabinet they can open.

Unlessyou want a mad, whirling dervish, Basenjis require massive doses of exercise. Basenjis tend to have fatal allergies to bee stings, so you need a bee sting kit. You need a chain link leash because any other kind will be eaten. You need to learn to close your door and lock your gate. Lots of basenjis die under the tires of cars because there was something moving across the street.

Lots of basenjis end up at shelters because many people wanted a"cute" basenji; and lots of basenjis die of genetic disorders like Fanconis,diabetes, malabsorbtion and Hemolytic Anemia because unscrupulous back yard breeders and puppy millers didn't give a damn.

IF you think you want a basenji, you are probably laboring under a delusion. If you think you want a basenji, subscribe to the basenji list first, and read it for a year or so before you make another move. Do you think I'm kidding? I'm not. I don't want to have to rescue the basenji you thought you wanted.