Cambria’s Sana Sana

My mom hated dogs and my dad loved them. We kept trying to talk her into letting us get a dog, but she kept refusing. Finally, exasperated, she said “if you can find a dog that doesn’t bark, and doesn’t smell, you can get a dog!”

So I embarked on a research journey to find this dog, and lo and behold, there was the Basenji. Clean, catlike, doesnt’ bark, doesn’t smell, it was perfect! We found a breeder Robert Mankey of Cambria Basenjis in Anaheim, and bought our firstd puppy.

Unfortunately, for a kid who wanted Rin Tin Tin or Lassie, having a cat in a dog’s body wasn’t the answer. I tried hard to obedience train our new puppy using the methods of the day, which of course didn’t work at all. Sana would do anything for food, but real dog trainers never use food. So we weren’t very successful. But I still remember the obedience classes in Balboa park, heeling up and down the striped lines in the parking lot in military formation.

I also showed Sana in conformation and junior handling, and recently found a pile of ribbons from Silvergate Kennel Club shows in the 60s. And of course, since we had bought a pure-bred dog, we had to breed her. We kept a puppy from the litter, a very sweet black tri female we named Tii.

Where Sana was independent, non-affectionate and even vindictive at times (yes, I believe some dogs do things out of spite!), Tii was sweet and charming.