How I’m Like My Dog

My husband, Steve, and I have two Basenji dogs. With roots that go back thousands of years to the Egyptian empire, Basenjis are one of the more unique breeds out there. Not because of their sight and scent hunting characteristics. Not because of their square frame or curly tails and pointy ears. They’re unique because they don’t bark and have a mind of their own. Think cats trapped in dogs’ bodies. This independent nature makes them a thinking dogs, and while some people would find that trait frustrating, I find it fascinating.

We’re on our second pair now, Bonnie and Clyde. Otherwise known as The Outlaws.

Bonnie and Clyde being silly. Copyright 2018 Jennifer M. Haynie

As they joined our household a few years ago, I began wondering two things. Do owners get dogs that reflect their personalities?

My guess is yes.

Which one am I most like?

I finally decided that I’m most like Bonnie.


Bonnie takes life seriously. She’s the guard of the house, especially when one of us is away. She takes up her post on the bench in the front window or in front of the storm door. Even when we’re both at home, she’ll remain alert for anything. I can also take life very seriously at times, especially related to my work. When I have a task, I’ll work to get it done. But…

Bonnie can be silly. When Clyde, who is probably one of the biggest goofballs on the planet, came into her life, she learned that it’s okay to play and simply be silly. They can play hard, and when they’re finished, she has the biggest doggie smile on her face, tongue wagging, eyes sparkling. I as well know how to relax and have fun with Steve, my hubby, be it kayaking, spending time with friends, or simply being together on the porch. And yes, sometimes, I do get silly.

Bonnie is a protector. During the pandemic, we had many deliveries to our front porch. Even now, each time a package comes, she’ll run to the door and let out a ferocious growl. It’s like she’s saying, “Leave what you have to leave on the porch, then get out of here.” They take her at her word. She protects the house, Clyde, and her people. I’m like that too. If I see a friend of mine or a child hurting or being hurt by someone, my mama bear instincts come out.

Bonnie takes life seriously. Copyright 2018 Jennifer M. Haynie

Bonnie likes her space. If dogs were extroverts or introverts, Bonnie would probably be an introvert. She likes to have her space when sleeping. No snuggling between her and Clyde. Nope, not like all of the pictures I see of two Basenjis hanging out together. Not these two. But yes, on the rare occasion, they do snuggle. I’m also an introvert and do like to have my time alone, to run or to write, to read or to just be. Yet there are times when I need to be with others.

Bonnie is best friends with Clyde. The day they met, Clyde was eight weeks old. While Steve went to go and get eighteen-month-old Bonnie from the boarders, I played with Clyde, then put him in the exercise pen in the den. Bonnie came in and let out a ferocious growl as if to say, “Who is this interloper in my kingdom?” Within seconds, she brought a toy over, and dropped it outside the pen in a peace offering. As Clyde grew, her maternal side came out, and now they are best buddies. I’m also tightly bonded to Steve. We’re not just husband and wife; we’re best friends.

If you have a pet, take a look at them. Through them, you may discover something about yourself.

Pets may tell us more about our personalities than we realize. #Authenticity #Basenjis Click To Tweet

Question: If you have a pet, what of your personality traits do you see in them?

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