Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stay Tuned

By Linda Grupp Boutin

     Star turns 11 years old this week! Her long life and good health have brought daily joy into our lives. These days she sleeps a lot more, but when it comes to walks her enthusiasm reminds me of her younger days. When dinner time rolls around she jumps off the couch, positions herself directly in front of me, and when she has my attention, she gives a fast head shake followed by a dance around the living room. if this routine doesn't bring me to my feet and into the kitchen, the dance continues around the dining table indicating her concern, Dinner Time!

Thinking it might be time to dance for dinner!
     Her contentment and peaceful spirit is contagious. Every visitor to our home receives a gentle greeting from Star. Depending upon their reaction, she then tries to sit beside them and coax them into rubbing her ears, neck and, if they are enthusiastic enough, her belly. We have been trying to tell her that we are bringing a baby brother into the house for her as a companion. Typically she ignores these comments. I believe that she has no interest in upcoming events, but remains in the moment. And for this moment, she is top dog and only dog in our household. It remains a big question mark for us thinking about how she will react to the addition of an energetic basenji pup. We are hoping for the best on this dilemma. 

     Star has been our easiest ever basenji rescue. All she ever wants is to be with her humans, enjoy being petted as much as she can get away with, and two meals per day, along with as many treats as she can cajole out of us. I know when we bring a pup home, all of this is going to change drastically. Recently my brother, Greg, and his wife, Donna, joined us for dinner. This was the first time they had come into our home and not received a boisterous greeting from Kindu. Greg always joined him on the floor and had a great wrestling and game session. Instead Star walked up to them, said hello, and retreated to her position on the couch. Polite and calm, but not what they expected after 8 years of Kindu's jumping enthusiasm when visitors arrived. It became clear for them why I kept telling them that our household is just not the same without his presence.

     Since we have experienced many transitions to our basenji pack over the years, I keep remembering that our new pup will be nothing like our Kindu boy. He will bring a whole new set of challenges and ways of acting. And because I have raised and trained many a basenji pup, I know I have to be in shape for this process because he will not slow down for me. It is said that every dog comes into your life at the time they are needed. So while I look at basenji puppy pictures on Facebook, I wonder to myself what "Red" will introduce in our lives. Kindu brought Joy, Star brought Peace, and "Red," stay tuned!