LIVING WITH KASPAR.
Kaspar was bred by "Mac"(Flora) and Tom King.
They ran the store in the middle of the Golden Downs Pine Plantation in Nelson, New Zealand.
Kaspar was born in a raised "bitches box" (a la Footrot Flats), in the middle of a snowstorm, the night of the Inangahua earthquake, on the 24th May, 1968.
I should have realised THAT was an omen!!!
When I saw the advertisement in the Wellington newspaper "Basenji pups, 3 male, 2 female, red and white", and the phone number,
I rang and ordered the best dog in the litter.
Kaspar arrived at approximately 9.30 pm;
after a journey by both Cook Strait Ferry from Nelson to Wellington -
then railcar from Wellington to Featherston.
He had left Nelson about 8am.
A friend and I collected the little wooden box from the railway station - and took it unopened to his place.
We opened the door of the box in the sitting room - and out erupted this red and white whirling dervish which ran madly around the house!!!
Tim had been reading the daily newspaper - and had dropped it on the floor.
The "gremlin" landed on the paper, and peed, and peed, and peed!!
Even after such a long traumatic trip for an 8 week old puppy,
the box and straw were still clean and dry.
Not knowing anything about dogs (I had only ever had cats), I had prepared for Kaspar a cardboard box and bedding, an alarm clock (ticking "heartbeat"), a hot water bottle, and a soft toy.
(I'd read the books - Kaspar hadn't!!)
This I placed in the corner of the bedroom - deposited into it one pup - and went to bed.
He howled, whined, cried and scrabbled at the bed - which was too high for him to get on to.
I brought the box over to the side of the bed, and tried to sleep with my hand in it ( for his comfort, not mine!!)
Everything went quiet - then this scuffling, scrabbling noise started.
I had changed the sheets on my bed that day - and the used ones were in the corner of the room to wash the next day.
I thought he was making a bed in the sheets (no problem - so long as I could get SOME sleep that night).
it took him 2 hours to drag the sheets over to the bed - make a mound of them - then use that mound, his teeth, and his nails, to climb up on to my bed - zoom over my body, and under the blankets - to curl up happily behind the crook of my knees!!
For the sake of getting some rest - I thought - OK, just for tonight!
16.5 years later - guess where he was still sleeping!!!
Welcome, Jan, to the world, according to Kaspar!!!
(to be continued)