Friday, August 16, 2013

Meet the Kiz - My Malinois/Basenji mix rescue

After my Collie, Gull, passed away, I'd been planning to go to Collie rescue for my next dog, but a few weeks ago, I saw a really cute terrier mix pupper on petfinder. I had Cairn Terriers before the Collies, so I've got a soft spot for scruffy puppers too. I headed out to the Galveston County kill shelter, just to look around. The cute lil' terrier mix was of course gone already, but I checked out some of the herding breeds that were there. There were two GSD mix dogs, that were really calm and quiet in their enclosure. The one was really beautiful. I took her outside to see what she was like. We didn't click. She didn't pay me any attention. Her roommate hadn't grabbed me visually, but I thought what the heck, I'll check her out too.

OMG what a wonderful dog (and as it turns out vedy beautiful too. When I saw her at the shelter, her ears were flat against her head. When I got her home and she was all bouncy and happy, her ears perked up and it totally changed her appearance). Right off, she looked me straight in the eye and she had that look in her eyes that reminded me of Oz, my other Collie. If my dogs were Charlie's Angels, Oz would be Sabrina, the really really smart one. :-) So I felt that was a really good indicator that this lil' girl was smart too. She was also majorly outgoing and affectionate too. She'd run to the fence to greet everybody who walked by, than she'd come running back to me when I called her and give lots of doggy kisses and roll over for tummy rubs. On one recall, she launched herself at me and we both ended up in a heap on the ground. What a character! How had nobody snatched up this lil' girl already? I tell ya, a bunch of folks missed out on a great dog.

I've had her a lil' over a month now and I love her to pieces. She's every bit as smart as I'd thought she'd be at that first meeting. She's just picking up on everything so fast. Like a sponge. We're working on fetch and catch and frisbee right now. She's so fast and can jump so high, I've high hopes she'll be a good frisbee dog, like Oz and Gull. After a couple of weeks working with her on it, she's already making some short frisbee catches. Big Happy Dance!
Honestly, I never dreamed I'd find a dog this awesome at the shelter. I figured I'd have housebreaking and behavioral issues to overcome, which really, there hasn't been much. Mainly, her not liking being crated when I left her alone, which I solved by putting in a dog door. Everything about her has been amazingly positive. She's smart, like Oz; Funny and playful, like Gull; Affectionate and yodel-y, like Maddie (my female Cairn); And such a happy lil' girl and great hiking dog, like the Murph (my male Cairn). She's got the qualities I loved best about my Cairns. Low shedding, Not barky, Adaptable and Gregarious with people. And the best qualities of my Collies. Easily trained, Great sports dog, Wants to be right by your side and Great with other dogs. She's like if I took the best features of all 4 of my previous dogs and mashed them together and formed my dream dog, that would be Kizzie.

The vet thinks she's a Belgian Malinois/Basenji mix, not GSD mix. I can definitely see the Malinois in her face, but I wasn't sure about the Basenji, until I did a lil' research. I think he's right, she has quite a lot of their features, including the Yodel. Vedy cute. At some point, maybe I can get that on video. Her name, Kizzie, morphed out of a cross between Kismet and how Kissy she is. After researching the name I found it means "light of heart", which fits her and there's a great character from Roots named Kizzy, which keeps my TV/Movie/Literature theme going for dog names. Also, I'd picked the name before I discovered Basenjis are an African breed of dog, connecting it to Roots. So there ya go, just a perfect name all around, for the perfect dog.

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PS. Go check out your local shelter, peeps. There's bound to be more great dogs, like Kizzie out there just waiting for you. :-)


  1. I'm so happy to see your photos. I think we've now confirmed that we too have a Malinois/Basenji mix. I never thought to look at a Malinois until our new trainer, who has a full bred, told us she may be mixed with it. She is also amazingly smart, happy to be with people and a great yodeler.

  2. Hi Morgan! Sorry I'm just now replying. I didn't see your comment until today. Not sure you'll see this, but here goes just in case.

    Yeh that mixture of herding and hunting makes for an exceptionally smart dog. She's got the problem solving skills and abilities of a hunting dog, but she's really trainable and biddable, wanting to work with you like a herding dog.

    She beyond loves people too. If she can ever bring her excitement down a few notches about meeting new folks, I may try her out as a therapy dog.

    She's such an awesome lil' dog. I'd definitely try and find that breed mixture again someday.

  3. My pup looks exactly like yours I wish I could upload a picture.