Thursday, April 30, 2015

Solid As a Rock

By Linda Grupp Boutin

So although 2015 has brought more than its fair share of challenges, it also has brought great joy in resiliency. Our basenji boy, Kindu, has put back on 5 of the 9 pounds he lost, his coat is thickening and its reddish glow is returning thanks to the addition of coconut oil to his daily ration. And although he has hogged the majority of our attention, it turns out that our basenji girl, Star, has turned out to be the strongest member of our pack. She has watched our struggles, continued to cuddle and been the rock where we can anchor our storm-tossed ships.

Since Kindu has been more vulnerable, she has been stronger understanding better and better how vital a member of our little group she is. Star no longer cowers in her dog bed while Kindu claims the spot next to Gary while we watch TV. Instead she grabs the other side and sits proudly displaying her gorgeous profile pretending to be interested in whatever show is on.

Kindu claiming the queen-sized bed as his own

She spends the vast majority of any given day nearby me, always within easy reach of my petting which is better to her than food, although just barely. Sometimes she demands scratches and rubs wiggling in anticipation of the comfort any kind of touch brings this basenji. In the evening if I don't continue the pets long enough, she contorts her body to look backwards at me with pleading brown eyes meant to melt the soul. If that doesn't work, she pulls back her lips and shows me her teeth in a "submissive grin" which almost always makes me laugh.

Then we go through our routine, I pet her a couple times, stop, she wiggles around and grins. She will repeat this as many times as I am willing to continue playing this ridiculous game with her. Kindu doesn't like it one little bit, often wedging himself beneath my knee and growling every time Star wiggles. Sometimes Gary just looks at the three of us and shakes his head.

So like so many times in life, the challenges of this year has bonded our  small family even tighter together. We've grown to appreciate one another just that much more and to rely on our little rock in a storm, Star Baby.

Gentle, yet strong Star