The VBBA’s first event was held on Sunday 24th February 2013 at Jells Park, Wheelers Hill. With several activities planned, a guest speaker arranged all we needed was the weather to be cooler than the cancellation temperature of 36 degrees.
Greg (events coordinator) and Paula arrived at the park early to ensure we had a good location and a BBQ for lunch. A position under a large tree canopy was procured. The weather forecasters had predicted 35 degress and were unusually correct! When the committee arrived to setup it was already around 30 degrees and climbing. Soon club members and their Basenjis started to appear – from everywhere! Members from all over Victoria some travelling 300kms plus. One arrival, Jan and her Basenjis Reid and Sooz had tarvelled all the way from South Australia to be present – such committment to the Club! Jan explained that she and her Basenjis could not miss this event and the 8-9 hour journey was worth it!
Very soon our numbers had swelled to 40, with 9 children and 23 Basenjis in attendance. The BBQ lunch was delicious, there was plenty of food for all. Soon after lunch Lea Gogley our guest speaker arrived. Lea is a very well known and highly regarded dog trainer/behaviourist. Lea had kindly accepted our invitation to present to our members a number of key training/behaviour initiatives. The talk was very engaging and members were encouraged to participate with their Basenjis.
The VBBA is firmly committed and preeminent in the education of its members so whilst the adults enjoyed Lea’s informative presentation the children had their own education and entertainment arranged.
Due to the large numbers their wasn’t enough space for us all under the one tree so the children took refuge under a shady tree nearby. Firstly, we all got to know one another. Next very important instruction from Lisa-Jane on how to approach a dog in a passive manner, asking of course, the owners permission before patting. Followed by instructions on what one should do if felt threatened by an off lead dog. Next, a discussion facilitated by Adam on Basenji colours as outlined in the Basenji ‘standard’. We were amazed to find that several of the children already knew all the colours and could identify them. Some ‘non standard’ colours were discussed. Basenjis in each colour aside Brindle were present on the day so the children were able to see first hand these colours and markings. After the talk the children were tested on what they had learned with a unique card game of ‘Basenji snap’ – an immediate hit! Next a game of pin the tail on the Basenji was well and truly enjoyed by all. Those watching looked on with great amusement as their fellows tried to find the right spot to pin their tail. After checking on our dogs to ensure they were adequately shaded and had sufficient water we continued to the next game. The VBBA’s version of musical chairs was another huge hit with the kids. Instead of chairs we had a mat on the ground – so we call it musical mats! Just like musical chairs the children had to run and find an vacant mat to sit on when the music stopped. However, they had the addition burden of having their Basenji with them. The Basenjis present get on amazingly well together but this simple game was another educational tool whereby the children learnt to read the other dogs body language and made sure that, if necessary, the dogs were given enough of their own space.
More fun and games were planned after the adults talk concluded but by that time it was about 36 degrees. Based on our Clubs heat policy we decided that that running games would be postponed to another, cooler, time.
The Committee was overwhelmed and encouraged by the numbers that attended on such a hot day. Below are some photos of the event which we hope you will enjoy.
The VBBA thanks Tracey, John and Mark for taking the following photos. These photos remain copyright to the owners, some may have been cropped but none have been ‘photoshopped’.