Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Memories, Pictures, Finally Home

By Linda Grupp Boutin

Now that Star has lived in her "forever home" for over 2 years, she finally is gaining confidence and security in her new-found lifestyle. She greets visitors to our home with no shyness, usually encouraging the newcomer to spend some time rubbing her ears and petting her. She used to shy away and take her time deciding if someone new was safe or not. Now that behavior is limited to walks when strangers approach her too quickly.

Star keeping watch!
 After living outdoors her whole life, she now enjoys 2 beds just for her (not at the same time), along with lounging on the loveseat, jumping on the couch, and best of all snuggling with the pack on the big bed. Not that she ever wants to get under the covers. She roasts down there! Besides she must always keep her head out, ever vigilant for the opportunity to get petted. 

Gary calls her everything from "skin" to "carpet" because she clings so tightly to us that we cannot breathe. She loves being with her people and most especially with her Pop whom she adores. It is amazing to watch the transformation from a show/working/mother dog to a retired and relaxed house dog. This basenji girl now tears around the house at top speed, faster than Kindu when she turns her fastest of reverses. Leaving the basenji boy looking over his shoulder saying, "Where'd she go?"

Lately she has developed a new way to surprise her basenji brother. She rounds the back of the dining room table, but instead of following his normal path around the opposite end of the table, she takes a quick left turn underneath the first chair and pops out the other side, wagging her curly tell and virtually shouting, "Surprise!" I love when she steps up to greet me when I walk through the door, her cinnamon roll tail flipping from side to side. I can't help but smile and say hi to my little girl.

She is my role model for setting the challenges of the past behind and moving happily to embrace the moment. Gary and I often chuckle about the concept that dogs can only remember the past for 15 seconds. Tell that to Kindu every time we pass the bush that he once flushed the orange tabby cat from! Ha, my dogs have long memories when it comes to hunting or remembering where they left their bones.
Star Baby "eating up life" as a pup.

Yet Star has moved beyond those painful memories of her past, longing for more closeness, more time with her people, more living. Yep, my fur babies never fail to teach me the importance of life's lessons and how to live more fully, basenji-style!