Saying Goodbye to Another Basenji


This week we said goodbye to Dex, Mr. Dexterity with Pips.

The second of our aging trio, Dex was fifteen. Too big to show, he was sent from our breeder friend in Santa Barbara back in 2007 to join Jetta, Larra, and Eva, previous gifts from the “basenji farm.”

Dex was one of our most gregarious dogs. In pictures from the puppy litter, he is front and center with his nose to the camera, and he is the only basenji we’ve had who yodeled—the  distinctive basenji song, which I described in another blog written years ago.

“Barkless, they are; mute they are not. They talk, growl, howl, and if you’re lucky, yodel. You can listen to this uniquely basenji song at  But you have to be lucky to have  a singer of you own. In twenty years, Dex is our first true yodeler. We’ve surprised a yodel out of one or two, but none like Dex, who celebrates with song when we discover a pack-mate who’s managed to shut herself in the storeroom or garage. And there’s nothing, but nothing, like being greeted with a howling song of joy when you arrive home after a long day.”

One of the neat things about basenjis is that they don’t show their age; they neither gain weight nor stiffen in the joints. Dex moved more slowly as he aged, but ran as gracefully as a two-year-old. Only his occasional erratic behavior signaled an aging brain. Whirling about wildly on the lead was the first signal; dogging our every footstep was another, then tremors, then a seizure. Saturday,  he rolled off the couch and couldn’t get control of his limbs. Time to say goodbye to our yodeler—to send him off to join Bridget, who died in March, and the eight others we’ve enjoyed over the years.




The house is very empty, but there’s still Jake, our thirteen-year-old rescue, asking for his walk. Jake is the twin of Rocky, our first basenji, which feels like a sort of closure, but probably isn’t.




2 Responses to Saying Goodbye to Another Basenji

  1. Patricia Bloom May 24, 2023 at 8:28 am #

    Dear Judy & Joyce,

    From one passionate dog lover to another: I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Two in one year . . . almost unbearable. Thinking of you and wishing you peace knowing that you gave to each of these remarkable dogs a wonderful, safe home, filled with affection and — lots of walks!

  2. Judy Kirscht May 24, 2023 at 11:53 am #

    Many thanks for your compassion, Patricia. The two of them do leave a big hole, which Jake is trying to fill by becoming the world’s most spoiled brat.

Find us on Google+