Sunday, May 27, 2012


By Linda Grupp Boutin

Star just before we brought her home.
So excited about picking Star up at the breeder's, Gary and I only began to think about introducing the 2 adult dogs on our way home from San Diego. First we stopped at our friend, Barbara's, grooming shop. Star needed a bath badly and we were welcomed into the shop for a quick clean up. Bathing her gave me my first chance to really assess her reactions. Like all our basenjis, she saw water as something to avoid if at all possible. Barbara and I wrestled together to get Star cleaned up and dried off. Wow, did she ever smell better and her coat shone after washing out all the dust.

Continuing on toward home, we discussed various possibilities for Kindu and Star's introduction. We stopped at the pet store to purchase a new collar, halter and leash for walking our basenji girl. This time I selected pink because this little one was such a girly girl. We brought her into the store to try on the new equipment. She looked around amazed with all the new scents, sounds and sights. We saw she had never been in a pet store before and the cashier made sure she liked her experience by rewarding her with a tasty treat. Star wolfed it down in one bite.

Gary dropped me off at a nearby park and drove home to pick up Kindu. The plan was to walk him to the park and let him "discover" Star walking with me. Our boy loves greeting other dogs on his walk and at the park we would all be in neutral territory as far as the dogs were concerned. The little girl and I waited sitting at a picnic table while the boys approached. Star watched intently as Gary and Kindu came closer and closer. She knew how to handle herself and feigned indifference when they joined us at the picnic table.

Ahh, contentment...
Our ever enthusiastic boy showered Star with all his attentions. She kept her cool giving Kindu a growl when he gave her a nip on the neck. Very soon her ears totally captured our boy. He mouthed them and she tolerated this silly boy's antics. That is, so long as he didn't chomp too hard! When he did, he received her low growl compelling him to back off.

Soon we were all walking side by side back to the condo and we had crossed our first hurdle with Kindu wanting to know Star better and her wondering what to do with all his enthusiasm.