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.

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