A couple recent meetings made me realize just how different Bowpi is from so many female Basenjis we’ve met.
At the park, we ran into a pair of Basenji rescue (BRAT) alumni whom we’ve encountered before, Katy and Rio. The female, Katy, homed right in on Bowpi.
You can tell a lot from each dog’s body language and the direction of their gaze, right? When charged head-on by other female Basenjis who clearly mean business, Bowpi is usually pretty intent on avoiding any eye contact.
Knowing that the slightest false move could provoke an unwanted reaction, she will slowly turn to the side and try to step away from the challenge.
But sometimes the other dog doesn’t want to let her off so easily.
And Bowpi sort of wants to know who she’s dealing with, too.
This is the point where something is most likely to happen, if at all. Both dogs have their hackles up, which doesn’t necessarily indicate aggression, but definitely signals some tension and each dog’s excitement. Their stances are fairly stiff here, and their faces are very close. I’m sure that Katy is scrutinizing every twitch of Bowpi’s muscles, just waiting for her to make a wrong move.
Bowpi does make a move. She decides to slink away. Most of the time, even when there’s growling or trash talk, the other dog will let her go — she just isn’t the type of dog that elicits a strong rise out of other dogs. So it’s interesting to me that only other Basenjis will challenge her like this. They really do know their own kind, somehow.
After their person leashed them up, the heckling continued. Rio (left) and Katy both actually got a little more vocal, perhaps because they were now next to their person and they were restrained. Bowpi didn’t seem to take it personally.
We don’t call them BRATs for nothing! But I do love that they have such strong personalities.
Here’s another girl that I helped transport to her foster home last week. She is three years young, extremely alert, active, and rides pretty well in the car, though she whined nearly the entire two hours we rode together.
I sympathize… she had a long, hard day, riding around with strangers. It was the only way she knew to express her displeasure and confusion.
She did settle down with some gentle petting. But since traffic was lurching along uncomfortably thanks to rush hour, she never really fully relaxed.
This lovely lady will come around in the stable environment of her foster family. I witnessed a bit of her introduction at the foster home, during which she did some minor growling in the male host Basenji’s face. Luckily, their Basenji is also quite forgiving of bitches with attitude, but in my head I could just imagine the disaster that would have ensued had she tried that with our Bowdu. He isn’t so tolerant of such breaches of etiquette, especially not on his home turf! Combined with her brazen lack of inhibition in exploring her new surroundings, frantic counter-surfing, and then her attempt to scent mark the host Basenji’s bed (!), it took me about thirty seconds to conclude that Bowdu would have hated her, even though she really is a more “typical” Basenji in all her behaviors.
Whomever ends up adopting this wild child is in for a fun ride — I mean it!