Picture of Bow , a female Basenji

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Home:San Francisco, CA  [I have a diary!]  
Age: 14 Years   Sex: Female

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   Leave a bone for Bow

Bowsie, Bow Bow, Lady B, Miss Bow

Doggie Dynamics:
not playfulvery playful

December 6th 2002

Snuggling under the covers, exploring her new home

Big or aggressive dogs, stupid people who reach out at me and say "Oh, what a cute little dog" (I'll snap back and let them know to respect my space.)

Favorite Food:
Natural Balance

Favorite Walk:
Getting to know her new neighborhood

Best Tricks:
Letting people know she's an adorable princess

Arrival Story:
Bow is a beautiful basenji that is from suburban Chicago and arrived in her San Francisco foster home November 22, 2008. She hopes that she has found her new forever home. She is a true sweetheart with a very dignified lady-like demeanor. Her new foster dad says she is the most beautiful basenji girl he has ever seen and that "she had me at baroo."

Bow arrived in San Francisco November 22. It's a little cool here (in the low 60s) but downright balmy compared to the 15 degrees she left in Michigan. The California climate suits her African bloodline just fine. She is originally from Illinois but was with a short-term foster in Michigan who took good care of her. Her human doesn't know her entire early life story but hopes to find out. She is a very well behaved little lady and loves nothing more than snuggling under the covers.

I've Been On Dogster Since:
November 16th 2008 More than 8 years!

Rosette, Star and Special Gift History

Dogster Id:

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Bow by the Bay

Bow Makes Her Arrival in San Francisco

November 24th 2008 10:31 pm
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November 22, 2008
On the morning of November 22, 2008, Bow's kind foster mom put her fleece coat on her, put her in her crate and drove her to the Kalamazoo airport where she began a long journey that took her through transit in Chicago and nearly 10 hours later brought her to the city by the bay.

People in San Francisco were complaining about how "cold" it was at 60 degrees, but having 15 degrees in Michigan, Bow as thrilled to be in a place more suitable to her ancient African bloodline.

Her foster day quickly drove her north to his home in San Francisco's Mission District where she was glad to have a little bit of grass in his garden that she could call her own and was amazed to green a green lawn just before Thanksgiving.

After such a traumatic, exhausting day, Miss Bow trusted this stranger who was immediately smitten by her lady-like demeanor and slightly shy manner. He could tell that she was frightened but wanted to trust him, hopeful that maybe her long journey had come to a place where she will be showered with love, attention and just enough Natural Balance treats without compromising her sleek figure.

Barely a couple of hours in her new home, Bow was under the blankets snuggling at the feet of her foster dad.

November 23, 2008
Today Bow ventured out onto the streets of her new neighborhood. It was certainly busier than suburban Chicago, with buses, skateboards, loud music and many other distractions. But she stuck close to her foster dad. When she passed a couple of big dogs, she was a little scared, especially a big one off leash. But she stuck next to her foster dad and knew she was protected.

That afternoon he made a video of her that is on this site. She proved that she is a true movie star.

November 24, 2008
Bow visited the vet's office today. No injections or inspections today. She just met the nice young women at the front desk who gave her treats and told her how pretty she is. She was still a little scared and wanted her foster dad to hold her, but she got pretty confident and walked on the leash on their way back.

In the afternoon, she met two women in the neighborhood who are trainers and introduced her to their Rottweiler/Shepherd mix named Jam. Bow was shaking as she approached Jam. He is a big boy but very gentle and sweet. They did a parallel walk for about 45 minutes, and Bow got braver each block. By the end of the walk, they were giving each other friendly sniffs. Her foster dad hopes to do future walks with Jam so Bow can let the other dogs in the 'hood know she has a good friend that will look after her.

November 25, 2008
Bow was glad that it didn't rain today, and she gets a bit more confident on each walk, joining Jam again for another parallel walk. She can spook a bit over motorcycles or sudden movement, but she really enjoys getting to know the neighborhood. The only concern is meeting off leash dogs. Bow may need to run for public office to encourage stricter enforcement of leash laws for the sidewalks. Keep the off leash dogs in the off leash parks! She doesn't believe dog guardians who say "Oh, he's a nice dog. He's fine off leash."

After a day of several new discoveries, Bow was ready to call it an early night and was on her foster dad's lap snuggling by 8 p.m.

November 27, 2008
Bow's foster dad spent much of today working on a flooring project in the dining room. She sat in one of her favorite chairs, and he covered her up in a nice blankie.

Sometimes there was too much noise, and she left the room, but mostly she sat in the chairs by the window in case she needed to be consulted.The new floor is a bit slick when she runs and needs to make a sudden stop, but at least this house has plenty of rugs. Her human is not without talents, but her favorite is when he sticks a bit of Gouda cheese in a Kong that she can have fun with it for hours.

November 28, 2008
Bow had a good Thanksgiving. Every day she trusts her foster dad a little bit more. On the first night, she knew he was safe enough that she wanted to snuggle under the covers. Sometimes when we walk on the street, her urge to chase cars or other dogs is overpowering. Then her foster dad will call her name and hand her a Natural Balance treat. She knows he's doing this to manipulate her, but if she gets treats, so what? He is so obsessive that he has hired a nice woman to do parallel walks with another rescue pooch. He has also signed up Bow and him for a class with a trainer in January. He's on the web or cell phone every day talking to other canine households. Every night Bow sees him typing "basenji behavior" or "rescue dog challenges" into When he calls in the New Age gurus, she's on the first flight back to Kalamazoo! Bow knows that he is trying, and she wants him to succeed.

This afternoon he showed his sneaky side. He took Bow for a walk, hopped in his car and suddenly arrived at the vet's office! Bow was really shaking, but he held her and told her how gorgeous she is and that everything would be okay. The vet was a nice lady who put a muzzle on Bow which she really didn't need and then examined her and gave her a bordatella injection. Bow was sort of embarrassed when the vet looked at her female parts and commented on whether or not she'd been "fixed" or had a pregnancy in her history. (Please, there's a guy in the room!) The vet also noticed her scabs and scars from that nasty encounter in an Illinois foster home. Bow isn't proud of those since she is a very refined lady, and the laid back atmosphere of California and this house where she is treated as the diva that she is suits her well. The scars and scabs will heal and fade, and she is working all of her charms to make it her forever home. It's not easy to be pulled away from your home of six years in the dark of the night, then thrust into a home that included a psycho/aggressive male that attacked the resident basenjis, only to then be shuttled off to rural Michigan and without warning or explanation to be put in a crate and shoved into the cargo hull of an American Airlines plane and greeted by a stranger. But Bow is a trusting girl and willing to give this thing a chance. You have to realize that she has suddenly been thrust into a totally foreign world where none of the smells, sounds, other dogs, humans or weather is familiar. Bow is a forgiving basenji with a heart that wants to trust that her foster-dad will rise to the challenge. He is trying hard, and she gives him all the encouragement that she can.

After our vet visit, her foster daddy walked her back home, gave her a pig's ear which sent her into another place, and then he sneaked out while she was chomping away. About half an hour later he came back with bags of food for himself and some treats and a new bed for her. Who told him that her favorite color is red? She may keep him after all.

November 29, 2008
Bow had a nice Saturday, even if she wonders why her human is up on a weekend at 7 a.m.! She thought he was nice to respect that a basenji girl may not want to be up at that time, and he left her under the covers while he made his coffee, sauntered around the house and did those weird things humans do in the morning.

Finally when she heard him coming out of the shower she decided it was time to rise. Her foster dad seems a bit bemused that she like his feet and ankles when he gets out of the shower. He doesn't know whether or not she likes the taste of his soap or that she always notices a few spots he missed. We'll keep that a mystery.

Bow met one of the neighbors in the yard and she was nice. Bow was really fascinated by this huge mushroom that has sprouted up since she arrived. One of her foster dad's friends came over this afternoon and was nice. He didn't even have to bribe her with treats. She just enjoyed meeting him and sitting next to him on the couch.

It's hard to believe that it was just a week ago that Bow arrived in that crate all the way from Michigan. There's so much of San Francisco and California that she can't wait to explore. She can't wait until it's warm enough to go to the beach, and maybe she'll even get to go off leash there.

December 4, 2008
Every day, Bow gets a bit more confident about her home, her human and her walks. Those construction sites and loud trucks stress her out a bit, but she has a big walking buddy from down the street named Jam who is a Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. He's a rescue dog too, and she can react a bit to him when they first meet, but he's a calm guy with humans. Bow can stress out at other dogs, joggers and cars. His issues are skate boarders (which she usually ignores) or yappy little dogs (She is on the same page with him on that one.)

Bow does't want to go off on a rant so early in my foster home, but whe and her foster dad can on this issue since he agrees with her whole heartedly. No dogs off leash on the sidewalks! More than once a dog off leash has come lunging and barking at her -- they have ranged from big nasty ones and even nastier little ones. As they come charging and growling, the guardian will smile and say (as the dog grits its teeth) "Oh, it's fine, he's a sweet dog." There are plenty of parks in the city where all the dogs can be off leash, and it's stupid, cruel and dangerous to have any dog off leash in the city at any time. She'd love to be off leash at all times too, but she is learning that her foster dad has her on one for her protection. It doesn't help much with her learning process when there are so many other dogs charging at us off leash. We just strut over to the other side of the street.

Since we're on a roll, Bow would like to say a word or two about people who see us on the street, say something nice like "Oh, she's such an adorable dog." That's fine, and she is flattered. But then, without asking, they reach down and start trying to pet her. She's not ashamed to snarl a little, but foster dad manages to say "Let her approach you first." But sometimes she has to beat him to the punch when people don't listen. Yesterday, she was walking with Jam, and a couple of six-year-olds ran towards us and wanted to pet us while their mom was oblivious. Jam's walker let them pet him, but they were screaming, "No, we want to pet the cute little red one with the curly tail." Foster dad kept her at a distance so those little no neck monsters didn't get close to her. Please, kiddos, you must treat a basenji princess with the respect she deserves.

Now, how would you feel if a stranger walked up to your daughter or girlfriend and started stroking her hair, saying, "Oh, you're just adorable. Your hair is so soft. I could just eat you up!" Praise her all you want, but show a little respect, restraint and understanding of personal space. she may be 70 pounds smaller than Jam, but if someone gets too close to her they will learn that she can hold my own.

December 6, 2008
Today is Bow's birthday! She turns six today, and foster dad gave her a little cake, and let her lick just a bit of the icing. Not too much in case it might harm her perfect figure.

A better present that he got for her is a new harness. Bow was a bit apprehensive about it at first, but it makes the walks so much easier, and she walks right beside him now instead of pulling on the old martingale collar.

December 7, 2008
Bow's foster dad has had a very nasty cold this weekend, and she was a great support to him. He wasn't up for much of anything, but with her new harness, they had several good long walks that at least got his blood flowing and knowing they will have many fun filled walks ahead.

See all diary entries for Bow