By Marcia Woodard
Our 2013 litter of Basenjis—two boys, two girls—was our first in 17 years, because it took that long for the memory of the hard work involved in whelping and raising a litter to fade, and for the excitement and anticipation to take over.
The two girls—Lani and Lili—live large with us.
In honor of the litter’s second birthday, herewith is a look back at some of the new terms and definitions we’ve learned.
A Basenji Abecedary: A–Z Reflections on Puppies’ First Two Years
Allergic (origin: Lani): As in “Lani is allergic to everything.” Example: Due to Lani’s allergies, I walk her in the middle of the street, since asphalt is one of her few non-triggers.
Bee sting (orig.: Lili): On delicate nether regions. Poor Lili.
Couch (orig.: Macy’s): Custom ordered. Good for napping. (See also “D” for deceased.)
Deceased (orig.: unknown but suspected): Gone too soon.
Excused (orig.: Lani): As in asked to leave the ring.
Freckle Face (orig.: Lani): AKA Freckle Nose. More than a smattering. Originally referenced in the book Pippi Longstocking, 1948.
Girls, The (orig.: Chloe [dam], Lani, Lili): As in “Did you feed The Girls?”
Handling class (orig.: Lani, Lili): Weekly. Ongoing.
I (orig.: Marcia): First-person pronoun. Example: I fell in the show ring—momentarily horizontal, midair, in the superman position—at the 2013 Basenji national puppy sweeps, with Lani.
Jeep Liberty (orig.: 2004): Final dog-show trip: June 2014 to Yakima, Washington. (Mode: Heater blasting, windows wide open, flashers on in the slow lane. Arrival: eight minutes before ring time.)
Keeper (orig.: Lani, Lili, Loki, Slater): I thought they all were.
Litter theme (orig.: North Shore, Oahu): Birthday Luau at Lanikai (“heavenly sea”); North Shore Lilikoi (passion fruit); Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawai’i state fish); Slater’s Riding the Waves (after surfer Kelly Slater).
Mange (orig.: Lili): As in demodectic. As in a side effect of her first heat cycle.
Not (orig.: Marcia): “Not going to show to that judge again.”
Obliterate (orig.: anonymous): To do away with; destroy. [See also: couch, deceased.]
PetSmart Puppy Pee Pads (orig.: Lani): The concept of a rectangular mat as a designated pee-zone worked too well: Area rugs and kitchen mats remain prohibited. Even when the wind scooped up the front door mat and deposited it out in the yard, Lani followed.
Quadrophonic becomes monophonic (orig.: anonymous): Girl(s) 3; surround system, 1.
Rye grass (orig.: Lani): M. Robinson, DVM: “That’s the second-biggest item I’ve extracted from under a dog’s eyelid.”
Suburban (orig.: Chevrolet): From compact Jeep to half-ton truck. From “I can’t see out any of the windows—can I change lanes?” to “We’ve got room—let’s take two canopies.”
Tendinitis (orig.: Marcia’s right arm): Example: I got tennis elbow from carrying four puppies at a time, four times a day to the outdoor potty pen. Required therapy, physical.
“Uh-oh.” (orig.: Marcia): The first word uttered upon entering a room where the puppies have gone unsupervised.
Vanilla soft-serve ice cream (orig.: McDonald’s): Recommended energy boost for bitch-in-whelp Chloe. Two servings: 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Win (orig.: Lani and Marcia, June 2014): Example: That’s my first win and first point with a class dog. Related term: victory dance.
Xenogenous (orig.: the litter): Pronunciation: zĕnŏʹjənəs. Caused by or originating from an external or foreign body. Example: Daddy was on ice.
Yellow Finch, frozen (orig.: Lani, Lili): The answer to my question “What are you guys playing with?”
Zilch/Zero (orig.: Lani, Lili): As in AKC championships earned. Girls, 0; boys, 2. Zealous efforts ongoing.
—M.W., Basenji Club of America (AKC Gazette, February 2015)
Want to learn more about breeding a litter? Visit our Guide to Breeding.