Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rescue Basenji Week Three

Okay, I know everyone's upset by the lack of recent basenji photos. We're well into week three, fast approaching a month of Guru at my house. I must admit that I adore the guy but am still waiting until I know it's a perfect match for both of us.

I have invested many, many hours and quite a few dollars so far on animal training research, dog walkers, dog sitters, doggie day care, baby gates, Bitter Apple anti-chew spray, etc. My trip to LA last week was a first test to see how he'd do with me away and being with his dog sitter, a charming retired guy with a lot of patience and desire to make the adoption work. All went perfectly. The next night I stepped out four just a few hours and blocked off part of the house so that he did not have access to his favorite window, and I came home to find he'd ripped the carpet up from around the front door since he could hear things outside but not see them. This was the first time I'd left him alone without having full run of the house, and I learned my lesson. He's been alone with full run of the house for up to eight hours and not chewed on or damaged anything. But he's chewed on more than a few precious things when I have been around.

So my four day trip to the East this weekend will be a big test, and I've received a wealth of advice, much of it contradictory, confusing and conflicting. Ultimately it's like raising a child -- you have to own the issue yourself, and advice from others is just their perspective not gospel. The dog sitter will be with him for most of the time I'm away. What would be my reaction and action were I to come home to shredded drapes and furniture? Well, none of it is priceless but some of it pricey. Regardless, I'm committed to making sure he is ultimately in the best home for him and would hope it is one shared with me.

The other issue is that he's never socialized with other dogs or walked in a big city. As far as I can tell he's never been leash trained. I've attempted a number of walks which have ranged from challenging to terrorizing when we encounter other dogs. Little yappers are the worst. I'm also committed to doing a series of training for that since my dream is to have a dog that would enjoy going to Fort Funston and playing with other pooches.

Stay tuned.

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At 10:53 PM, Blogger joe said...

I think I have been known to frequently take on that pose that Guru is striking in the third photo there -- half-closed eyes and all.

Guru and I also agree on at least one other subject: socializing can be overrated. (wink)

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Joe - How are you about responding to the "no" command and understanding that pillows are not chew toys.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

I hope the Guru is good while you are away. He's is so cute and has a great nose.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Bryce - Guru did his best but wasn't a good match with the sitter. Back to square one.


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