The AKC released its registration statistics for 2010, and I was not surprised to see that Shiba Inu rank far higher (#63, up 2 from last yer) than Basenjis (#89, down 1 from the year before), despite a much longer history with the AKC from the latter breed. Not that statistics tell the whole story, especially not without raw numbers! I also suspect there are far greater numbers of non AKC-registered Shibas out there than non-registered Basenjis.
I use the statistics to draw a simple correlation: Shiba blogs are so much easier to find than Basenji blogs because there are WAY more sheebs out there. I’ve never thought of them as a “rare” breed. I think Shibas are also attractive to younger pet owners who are already plugged in to a lot of newer social networks and online culture, so that it seems like the most natural thing to set up a Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter account/blog for their dog. The number of blogs I’ve seen for Shiba puppies and new adoptions has been overwhelming, such that I can’t even keep up anymore. With a new Shiba, comes a blog — not for everyone, of course. But perhaps because of the Shiba Cam of 2008, internet-savvy folks are already well aware of the intrinsic joy in documenting Shiba pup development.
Of course, there were long-running Shiba blogs that preceded the Shiba cam. Specifically, The Misanthropic Shiba, I Am Shiba., The Misadventures of a Shiba Inu, and Inu Baka are veterans in the field with adult pets, and they’ve been great sources of individual Shiba-owning wisdom (and humor!) for years. I’ve often recommended their blogs to strangers who want to know more about Shiba temperament and characteristics, because in the long run, I find it more helpful to witness the domestic details of living with specific pet(s) than any generalized, standard descriptions from the breed’s parent club or the AKC.
I really haven’t found a similarly comprehensive go-to blog source for Basenjis, though there are some very good ones out there. Listed below are some my current favorite Basenji blogs:
- Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT) Blog
Hands down the best source for a variety of personal stories from Basenji owners. The blog is communally authored by BRAT volunteers, which means it’s already tapped into the extremely well-organized internet network of this breed-specific rescue. Adult dogs with a range of unique experiences are a great resource for fresh stories. Puppies occasionally enter rescue too, of course. Currently, lots of puppy love is provided by updates about the Wimauma Pack of feral B’s confiscated from a negligent “breeder” who let his unfixed dogs run free on several acres of property. Check it out for ongoing stories about Basenjis that may even be in your neck of the woods!
- The Basenji Troublemakers
Dannii, Zak, and Jenna are the namesakes of this blog, a personality-laden trio whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at one of our favorite off-leash dog parks. The stories here are all true, people! Straight from the mouths, er, typing toes of the Basenjis themselves!
- 2 becomes 1
Widowed, retired, and loved by Basenjis. Author Debby Mayer is a real writer, and her words exude vitality, even as she confronts the death of her partner and the sometimes scary reality of keeping on. This blog is new, and not entirely about B’s, but they are in there and make appearances as naturally and as frequently as called for by the narrative of a life well lived.
- Elegant Elephant Mirtillo
Life looks sweet on the other side of the pond, where handsome Tillo from the Netherlands shares highlights and beautiful pictures. Not a “blog” in the usual sense — Tillo makes News. He’s a fine showdog with a loving, knowledgeable, and responsible owner-handler who is taking the time to give him all health tests and opportunities to prove his stuff. I like that this site straddles the professional and the personal. Breeder blogs that are all about ribbons and puppies strike me as pretty dull reading. Tillo, however, takes the time to acknowledge other important things in life — new collars, hiking, friends…
- Super Senjis
SuperSenjis is a cute pack of brindles, and they are the most fashionable bunch I know in the Basenji world. Maybe even in the human world. They’ve got different clothes in almost every update! Their ever-changing costumes and accessories make for some colorful updates.
- Basenji Shaun
Basenji Shaun [edit: now with young sister Mbali!] lives in a nice comfy home in Seattle. The site features more pictures and videos than text. It’s all gorgeous and really professionally done — with good music on the videos, to boot!
In miscellaneous musings about Basenji blogs, I notice there seems to be a strange connection between Basenjis and knitting. What’s up with that? Very Pink is a BRAT volunteer and a knitter. I share SuperEggplant‘s love for food, stationery, Basenjis, and she is a knitter. Basenji Boy, who no longer seems to update, is a knitter. I’ve bumped into others in my search for an appropriate Bowpi-sized coat, because Basenji people seem quite adept at knitting their own canine duds.
I am not a knitter. I do not understand this thread that links Basenjis and knitting. Perhaps someone can explain it to me.
Also, Japanese pet blogs are AWESOME (a subject for another time), and you can find a stash of ranked Basenji blogs at this link to Blog Mura, a portal for Japanese blogs that subcategorizes dog blogs by breed.
That’s it for now. I hope there are other Basenji blogs out there that I don’t know about, so I can eventually do another roundup. If you’ve got a recommendation, please leave me a comment!