Saturday, October 24, 2015

Finding Herself

By Linda Grupp Boutin

The first thing Star did when Gary and I returned without Kindu was to examine closely why her brother wasn't with us. A thorough sniffing told her that all we brought in with us was his collar, but no basenji boy. Impossible for me to explain to her, she had been well aware of his illness and that he wasn't doing well. She had taken to cleaning him like he was one of her puppies. At first he objected, but her persistence wore him down and he allowed her to lick his face and keep him clean. 

Star has always been one of our most fastidious basenjis, washing her face after every meal, keeping the floors clean with her own unique style of "vacuuming," trying to wash every bit of the coconut oil lotion off my hands as I let her get away with; the smell is just a bit too much like food as far as she is concerned. She is getting accustomed to being the only dog of the house. She no longer bolts down her food the second it hits the floor. She lingers over breakfast, sometimes not finishing her kibble until it's almost dinnertime.

Star looking backwards trying to convince me to pet her!

She approaches life in her own unique way, quietly, sometimes silently sitting beside me. Then turning those baby brown eyes backwards, reminding me that her ears, tummy, back, paws, face all need good and proper petting. I often wonder how in the world she can turn her neck this way without harming herself in the process. But she manages it on a daily basis. 

She enjoys moving from Gary to me, back to Gary then back to me. She relishes not fighting for the prime position next to our leg on the love seat. But she no longer enjoys long sunbaths on the patio with her best bud, Kindu. She prefers to stay in the house all day long with us, never concerning herself about the comings and goings on Flora Lane. At times Star seems to be completely bewildered having lost her compass in the form of her basenji brother.

We all are learning to live without Kindu, the life of the party. His example about how to enjoy each and every day, rejoice over the falling leaves and the singing birds, and greet every visitor with a loud BAROO. Star's calmness is unnerving  after 7 years with our boisterous boy leading the parade.

So now Gary and my conversations have turned to the subject of adding a 4th member to our pack. Basenji babies are only available in February, so stay tuned. Maybe not in 2016, but certainly by 2017 an addition to the pack is coming. After all, we need Star to train the new puppy about how to behave. Just like Kindu did for her.
Kindu on his puppy leash the first day home, ready to explore the neighborhood.

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