The Trail of Turds: Basenjis against the elements

Basenjis are not by nature wet weather dogs. At least mine are not. They love a good drought — and heat, lots of heat. So it is always a challenge when it rains, to get them to go outside and “do their business.” 

I take my dogs out on leashes because I don’t have a completely fenced-in yard, and only a fool would turn a basenji loose. (Although it is possible to catch one that gets loose — sooner or later their nose stops them long enough for a lucky fool to catch up, or they can be lured in to an open car door [by someone they know] — I would not bank on being able to do it more than a couple times before they would catch on and keep running.) So it’s not about expecting them to get wet while I get to stay dry. No. When it’s raining, I go out three times, so no dog has to stand around getting soaked waiting for someone else to “go.”

Still, they try at least once to turn around and go straight back to the door. “I don’t have to go now, Mommy. I’ll wait until August… when it’s dry.” And the boys are the biggest pansies. They dig in their heels like the proverbial mule, and have to be pretty much dragged out into the yard. This week we’ve had some rain. It was raining hard enough Monday morning that I delayed taking the Old Guy out until about an hour after the normal time. I knew he had already peed the blanket in his crate — that’s an almost daily occurrence. I have about eight blankets so I’ll always have a clean, dry one to make an exchange while he’s eating his breakfast.

When I finally decided I’d better take him out, it was still raining hard enough that I let him convince me staying out and getting soaked was not going to hurry his bowels at all, so I brought him back in and started getting their food ready. Sure enough, when I put his bowl down, there was a little “gift” on the floor behind him. I got a paper towel, and as I bent to pick it up, I glanced down the hall and saw another in front of my bedroom door. When I picked up that one and turned around, I saw the one he had dropped at the other end of the house, in front of my brother’s bedroom door. And as I passed through the living room I saw one in front of my desk and another in front of the loveseat. He had made his complete circuit, at a gallop, dropping turds on the fly. He had not missed a single room. Talented.

And so I didn’t need to take him out again until the rain let up later in the morning.

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