…or, how to manage a psychotic neurotic dysfunctional dog.
She would like to be addressed as “Your Royal Highness,” I’m sure. Although I think that when I call her “You Heinous Bitch,” she thinks it’s the same thing. She’s not a big dog. She’s even quite small for a basenji. And she seems to have that “Toy Dog Syndrome.” Always in a frenzy.
According to her breeder, she quit growing at age four months, and refused to gain weight no matter how much she ate. She also refused to hold still. When she was out in a run, she was always on the go, trotting up, trotting back. Susan said she saw her up in one of the chairs lying down ONCE. I got her when she was four years old.
She became a house dog, and a couch potato. She had to plant herself on the couch to keep her old uncle Crazy Eddie off of it. She took up about as much room on the couch as a coaster, but she had to have the whole thing. Good thing she’s terminally cute. That little puppy face with the big eyes and the great big ears is about all that lets her get away with what she does. That, and she loves me a whole lot — I know she does.
When old uncle C.E. went on to the happy howling ground, I didn’t know what I was going to do with Her Royal Highness, as she couldn’t seem to adapt to not having a lackey to abuse. She MADE me drive all the way to North Carolina to get her old daddy. Apparently she had trained him some while she was still living in the kennel, herself, and the Old Guy remembered. Or he just expects to be abused and never offers any argument.
At least HRH seemed happy with the arrangement — that is until I got THE PUPPY. With three dogs I decided the time had come for an outdoor container. I had a 20 foot by 30 foot dog pen built and furnished it with a dog house, water bucket, hay bales to climb on, and a tarp for shade in hot weather (now they have a permanent shade structure built of plywood that won’t shred in the wind, and the Puppy thinks it’s his personal sun deck).
While she’s outdoors, HRH is subjected to all sorts of sensory stimuli that keeps her on the ragged edge of collapse a lot of the time. At first, I had to just bring everybody inside. That whole being in the house without her whipping boy made her almost as insufferable as it was to watch her run in mindless circles around the yard. Now though, since the Old Guy has had two strokes in two years, and is so unsteady on his feet that I’m afraid he’ll stumble into her in the middle of the night and turn her into a snarling, shrieking menace, I confine him to his crate when he’s in the house (in another bedroom). Needless to say, the same goes for the Puppy, whose very existence seems to be affront to her royal heinousness.
So she has had to adjust to being on her own in the house. And I have to say, I think she has come to see the advantage in having all the attention. (Duh) So much so that I can bring her in the house and leave the boys outside when she’s having one of her little fits, or if I have to run an errand, and won’t be home to prevent one of her little fits from carrying her off. Her not being as young and resilient as she once was.
I guess what it all boils down to is, yeah, I could have gone to all the expense and effort to have her professionally rehabilitated, but you know, she was always more amusing in her attempts to be alpha bitch — like she secretly knew she just couldn’t pull it off — and I knew all I had to do was outlast her. After all, my first basenji was also a female.