The Basenji Club of America African Stock Project

Project Library


    by Nancy Brinton

This charming brindle girl is Avongara Zairienne, or ZZ, owned by George and
Terri Gavaletz of Livermore, CA. ZZ was whelped Nov. 5, 1988, sired by
Avongara Diagba out of Avongara Kposi. ZZ's sire is grandsire to our Addie,
Avongara Dubele by Breka. Here is ZZ's story.
ZZ was one of a 3 pup litter whelped by Jon & Vicki Curby. She is a brindle, not
tri-factored, coming from a brindle sire and pure for red dam. ZZ was registered with
the AKC in August of 1990 after the well publicized acceptance of the '87/'88
foundation stock. Being the first brindle to arrive on the West Coast, ZZ received a
lot of curious attention. The crisp black stripes and red background of her lovely
coat are the same at 6 years old as they were when she first arrived.
ZZ has produced 3 litters: the first a 3/4 African litter, then two half African litters. The first litter
was seemingly beset with early age shyness that resolved with social maturity and confidence. (One
notable exception to that shyness was Bushbabies Kamili Uuzuri, CD, CGC, TT, TDI- whose
Profile will be seen in an upcoming issue.)
ZZ has several unique traits that have surfaced over the years. First, she can lift a leg and
distinctively mark over the urine spots of other dogs. Second, she is very protective of her newly
whelped pups for the first 5-6 weeks of their lives.
Third, she is an escape artist. ZZ has a run that could contain a wild tiger, reinforced and roofed
again and again because she has figured out how to unfasten chain link as well as hang from ceiling
rafters. Wire crates are child's play for ZZ, as was one of the Bay Area's best boarding kennels. ZZ
became a local legend as the first and only escapee the boarding kennel has had in 20 years of
operation. Thankfully, the kennel staff remained calm while they chased her across their rooftops,
and she chose not to wander further than the office of their grooming parlor. They now provide a
bullet-proof run for the brief vacations Z enjoys there. The ex-pen Z uses while traveling to dog
show sites has a roof and a floor that is securely fastened by human standards. When she escapes,
and she does manage to execute an escape plan now and then, she doesn't wander off but curls up
on the sofa in the motor home. Curiously Z rarely plots an escape when she has a kennel mate,
usually her son and faithful sidekick, Tigger.
George and Terri's goal in breeding ZZ was to produce foundation stock for future breeding
programs. However, some of this latest litter, sired by Ch. Jasiri's Patton Pending, may be able to
hold their own in the breed ring.
Aesthetically, ZZ has a lovely head and coat, but she has the longer back and lax (but well set)
tail that many 100% Africans display. Her toes are long but she is sure-footed, much too agile, and
ZZ's health, the asset George and Terri were looking for, breeds true. She has no allergies, clear
eyes, no food intolerance, healthy renal function, hips, and thyroid. She is also a brazen hussy.
During one season" she introduced two neutered males to the joys of "safe sex"! Her first two mates
were young virgin fellows whom she backed into corners and commanded to perform! After ZZ's
most recent honeymoon, Julie Jones commented, "That's the fastest, slickest, quietest breeding I've
ever seen."
ZZ is intensely loyal and sings Basenji ballads to her favorite humans. Once she makes your
acquaintance and finds you acceptable, she will never forget you. Thank you Jon & Vicki for
entrusting this special girl to us.


Reprinted from
The Basenji
Volume XXX Number 12 December 1994 p. 28
Copyright © 1994 The Basenji, All Rights Reserved
Used with permission.

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