Photo taken 29 August 2010

Right after I took this picture, I cleaned out her ears.

Bowpi came to us with black, encrusted rims all around the edge of her flying bat ears. She was also a bit headshy at the outset (and still is among strangers), so we weren’t able to do much for what we thought was just a ridge of dry skin owing to poor diet and infrequent grooming.

Photo taken 23 March 2010, her first day with us

As she became more affectionate and submitted to head rubs and ear massages, I found that I could just pluck the dry gunk off the edge of those ears. Rubbing them with baby wipes or warm water didn’t do any good, because the filth just clung like scabs. Bit by bit, we worked at it with our fingernails, until it was all sloughed off to reveal soft fuzz just underneath.

Her ears feel so nice now. I try to keep a watch on their overall hygiene and health. As a prominent Basenji anatomical feature, it’s kind of hard not to.