Articles By Chantel Qualischefski

Tassie Play Dates.

Summer is here in the north of Tasmania.  We have all acclimatised to the weather and think 16 degrees is a lovely warm day.  Over the past few weeks we have been lucky enough to catch up with a couple Basenji friends for play dates in Launceston, and look forward to more fun times to come.

From back left we have Rune, Isabella & I, Etta, Levis & Neo.

November 17 saw us all meeting with Neo & Etta, and their lovely mum Michelle.  Levis had met Neo at a dog show once before, but the rest of the family was new for Rune and Isabella.  It was a hot day at Windsor Park, outside of Launceston…and when I say hot I of course now mean close to 20 degrees (what a softie!), and the five dogs had a good time running and exploring off-lead.  How wonderful to have found a handful of great fenced off-leash parks in and around Launceston, only half an hour from where we are living now.  Levis was his usual disinterested self, more inclined to sniff around the park than receive affection, and Rune decided to keep an eye on Neo to make sure he didn’t have too much unapproved fun.  The girls, Isabella and Etta spent most of their time together, with Etta determined to sit on Isabella to keep her still.  Thanks Michelle for bringing the dogs along for fun times!


On 9 December we had a great time meeting up with a gorgeous young tri Basenji named Tassie, and her owner Mags.  The duo, and Mags’ husband were tripping around Tasmania from Western Australia and were keen to meet other Basenjis along the way.  Tassie was bred by our friends Jenni & Richard Palmer and named “Tassie” by her new owners because that’s where she came from – Tassie!  Rune loved playing with her, although he had to learn how to play gentle with a girl since he is used to rough-housing with big ol’ Levis, but by the end of the day I think he was pretty smitten.  And Isabella, who never plays with other dogs at the dog park and is always stuck by my side simply adored getting rough and ready with Tassie.  Such a wonderful day!

Tassie & Rune running through the grass in Trevallyn.

Isabella & Tassie having a play.

Isabella & Tassie having a play.

From Tasmania to Queensland – Basenjis All the Way!

Oh my gosh!  We are only half way through October and this has most certainly been my busiest month of the year to date!!  There are probably three or four blogs-worth of stories to tell but as I am still recovering from a hectic few weeks, I will try to condense them down into one (or two, if I get photo-happy).

At the end of September we had our first official visitors from “the main land”, Chris’s dad, his partner and her son.  Along with Chris they planned a week-long hike through the wilderness, starting at beautiful Lake St. Clair and finishing up at Cradle Mountain (a journey more commonly known as the Overland Track).  Certainly not MY idea of fun but hey, what do I know.  It was a good opportunity to invite my mother down to stay for the week though, so the dogs and wouldn’t be home alone.  They were so excited when they saw their Grandma for the first time in over six months and I think Isabella showed Mum everything about the new house in about 20 seconds of crazed “Bichon Blitzing”!!  Levis and Rune had their bagels wiggling and were glad to find Grandma had bought them a good supply of dog treats as we

The Benson pack <3



When the time came for mum to return home, I had organised to go back to Queensland as well, to see my family and help out with some upcoming BBNA events that I was very excited for.

I should send out a big THANK YOU to the Benson family for letting me stay with them for a few nights, and to Taz for keeping me warm in bed at night so I wouldn’t get homesick.





We spent our Saturday and Sunday at the Gold Coast Pet & Animal Expo, hosting the Basenji Breed Network Australia Ltd. stall and teaching people about our most wonderful breed.  On day one our stars were Hunter and Safari, who enjoyed lots of pats and compliments from passers by and really made our breed stall special.

The amount of people who had NEVER seen a Basenji before (and some had never heard of them) was surprising but all in all, I think the boys were admired by everyone.  What little stars they were.




We even had an extra special appearance from the handsome Akua, our pure African Basenji boy whose softness and handsomeness is hard to beat.









But the weekend wasn’t over on Sunday night – oh no!  Monday was a public holiday and our chance to get along to the Dogs QLD All Dog Sports Spectacular to talk about the breed and also show them off on the “stage”.  A fabulous group of Basenjis turned up – Safari, Hunter, Lilly, Popstar, Leo, Rose, Samson & Delilah and little Inca.  How wonderful to meet them all and their owners, some of who I had only spoken to on Facebook!

Here are the girls lining up for Challenge Bitch.



And here we have the gorgeous Safari, challenge dog and Best of Breed for the event.  He is also an excellent snuggler. 😉


THANK YOU to everyone who came to see us at the expo and DQ event, as well as all those who cared for me on my holiday.  You know who you are, hot chocolate makers and heat pack heater-up-er-ers!

Adventures in the North

Hi everyone!  We are really enjoying our new home in George Town and the friends we have made.  Here are a couple pictures from our recent adventures…





It had been a while since we’d taken the dogs bush walking so one weekday we spontaneously decided to go for a hike at Mount Direction, about 20 minutes from Launceston, with Levis, Rune and Isabella.  It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many new smells for the dogs to get their noses into.  Isabella proved she could be a good girl (most of the time) and was allowed walk off-lead once we were into the bush and well away from the road.  She stuck to the path and the boys did their best not to be jealous of her freedom.  Maybe one day…oh, who am I kidding!  








The pay off at the top of the mountain was an historic semaphore used in the early 1800’s and the remains of the caretakers building.  The rooms were tiny and the rock really held in the cold.  We all had fun climbing and exploring through the ruins and imagining what life would have been like in those early days of Tasmania’s settlement.







And this is my little Isabella, standing on a cairn at the top of Mount Direction; brave and adventurous as usual.
















On our next trip we took a little drive to Low Head to see the historic lighthouse and walk along East Beach.  I think East Beach will be our new local hangout as it is dog friendly, calm and just plain gorgeous.  Photos to come of East Beach soon but here are a couple from the Lighthouse and looking out over the Tamar River, where it meets Bass Strait.




Moving into Spring!



It has been a month since our last blog post; how time flies!  September has come and suddenly we have been blasted into Spring.  The weather has changed and is almost 20 degrees some days (a cool day in Queensland).

A couple of weeks ago we moved to a quiet seaside town called George Town, about 45 minutes from Launceston and lovely as can be.  The dogs are enjoying the warmer weather and the views they get from their new lounge room window.  We are right across from York Cove and a beautiful walking park that entertains many dogs and their owners every day.  Lots for the dogs to see, and me too – I love seeing all the different breeds having fun.

Here we are on the opposite side of the cove from our house on one of our daily walks.  We have even made friends with some of the residents and their dogs (Isabella even has a boyfriend named Hamish the Westie).  More to come over the coming weeks.

Basenjis in Hobart – August 4, 2013



Time flies when you’re having fun, and we had such a great day in Hobart watching our friends the Palmer’s showing their Basenji pack.  Plus we got to meet a lot of other breeds and I even received a tiny smooch on the nose from a handsome Shiba Inu boy.  *swoon*  The weather had certainly improved from the last show we attended and I managed to take much better photos.  I think I will let these few do the talking…

Pretty Inka

This is beautiful little “Inka” who won Challenge Bitch for the day and Best Junior in Group.

Java showing in Best In Group

Java showing in Best In Group.


Java on the run.  He took out Challenge Dog, Best of Breed and Australian-bred Best in Group on the day!!  Way to go JJ!!

Zuka wins Statebred BIG

Zuka wins State-bred Best in Group and Reserve Challenge Dog!

Ochre on the run.

Ochre on the run. She was the days Reserve Challenge Bitch after having a stellar previous day at the show.

Me & Zuka

Post-show snuggle time with Zuka & I.

Basenjis in the Kitchen – Basenji Biscotti

Another cold and rainy day here in Fingal, Tasmania.  The dogs have been pretty well behaved, sleeping mostly and “helping” me fold washing on the bed so I thought I would see if I had enough of anything tasty in the pantry to make some dog treats.

This recipe is from my favourite healthy dog treat websites, Doggy Desert Chef (you may remember our Peanut Butter Bagels from a few months ago) and was originally made with blueberries.  I didn’t have any of those but did have a packet of dried cranberries on hand.  Cranberries are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and various nutrients, minerals and antioxidants.  They are also an excellent addition to your dogs diet for the promotion of urinary tract health.  Bananas of course are full of goodness as well, like potassium and pectin which aids digestion among other things.

Anyway, here is the recipe!

Banana & Cranberry Biscotti



2 Bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Cranberries
1/2 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Flaxseeds
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 cups Spelt Flour


1. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius and line a tray with baking paper.
2. Combine the dry ingredients flour, baking power and cinnamon, stir until well mixed.
3. Add bananas, berries, flaxseeds and milk to the dry mix and knead until all ingredients are well combined.
4. Form dough into flat logs about 6 inches wide and 1 inch high.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes then cut logs into 1 inch slices.  These smell yummy!
6. Place the slices back on the baking tray and bake for a further 15 minutes until the slices are dry and crunchy. Allow to cool.
Makes 1 to 2 dozen biscotti.

I may have cut mine a little thick but the dogs truly don’t care.  These are a big hit!!  Happy baking.


Sunset over Ben Lomond from our front patio.

It has been getting mighty chilly down here in Tasmania – much different than what we are used to in SE Queensland (though I hear it’s been cold there too recently).  Most mornings the water in the pipes is frozen and the car is glazed in a layer of ice.  Not that this is a problem for the dogs (Levis in particular who just sleeps in until the sun warms things up) as we haven’t had many adventures recently.  The Winter snow arrived late and very briefly so they are yet to get their first experience with the cold white stuff.  Hopefully there will be some more soon and we can make the trip to one of the mountainous regions for a scrunch in the snow; on lead of course or we might lose little Isabella!

But as I said, not much has been going on in Tassie for us.  We hope to have our first official Basenji play date with another ex-mainlander and her dogs in the next few weeks.  Exciting stuff!!  And mid-August we will be moving north past Launceston to a seaside town where hopefully things will be a little warmer and more active.  I think the Basenjis are going to love it.

I guess to round off the B-Blog I can share a picture of our first “Budget Basenji” job – dog coats.  We have our good dog coats for going out in the cold (which we have never really had to use) and then there are the home coats.  I had scoured some cheap stores for the comfy knitted ones but just couldn’t seem to find any so I thought I would make something up myself…a challenge for someone with no sewing or knitting skills at all!

Since Levis has a habit of eating the neck out of any clothes you put on him, they had to be cheap and disposable.  I had an old pair of track pants lying around which the elastic was well beyond stretched in and as I was getting ready to dump them, an idea struck me.  Why not just cut the legs off, pop two holes in them for Basenji legs and I would have two dog coats!  So I did!!  😀



This picture is from a second pair I made out of Op Shop track pants which were a little smaller in size and fit the boys better.  Later I tidied them up around the legs and made an exposed belly area for their boy bits, but other than that they were cosy and comfy no-sew dog coats which cost me about 30 cents each!!

Baroos to you!

Basenjis in Hobart – June 16, 2013

It had been a long time coming but on Saturday, June 16 we were finally able to make the trip to Hobart to meet Jenni and Richard Palmer of Langarni Basenjis and their gorgeous Basenji pack.  The weather sure wasn’t out to impress but fortunately for all of us (especially the Basenjis!), the show was held indoors where things were a little drier.

We were so happy to meet Jenni and family, who let us follow along their show journey for the day.  Dressed in snug handmade coats, each Tas-enji was a picture of the breed.  It had been a while since we had seen so many Basenjis in one place and it made me long for our wonderful playgroup friends back home in Queensland.

Being our first show “behind the scenes” we certainly learnt a lot!  Showing us how it is done were Olivia, Richard and Jenni’s daughter and five of their beautifully presented Basenjis.  Amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy arena, Olivia made it all look too easy.  But to make me feel a little better about my monsters at home, in true Basenji form there was one or two chewed show leads while the B’s waited their turn (though they were all still much better behaved than ours would be crated and surrounded by other dogs of all shapes and sizes).  

There was a really friendly atmosphere at the show and it was nice to talk to some of the other owners and learn more about different breeds.



Java was the star of the show for me…but maybe I am biased.  I like my Basenjis as cheeky as possible, and Java certainly has a lot of personality!!  Secretly, I fell for him the moment I saw him and can’t wait to meet Java (and his pack) again.  Java won Best of Breed for the day and can be seen here with the best hounds of the day.  

When the weather warms up towards the end of the year, hopefully we can follow the Langarni clan to another few shows.  Thanks Jenni and family for embracing us on Saturday and being so warm and friendly.



Ch Langarni African Aluko

Handsome Java, BOB for the show – very cheeky indeed! 🙂

RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2013

I’m a little late in posting about our trip to Launceston but I haven’t been feeling well this week.  It was a great day and even though we didn’t meet any other Basenjis, it was great for the dogs to socialise (and try some healthy dog treats while they were there).

RSPCA 2013

The RSPCA Million Paws Walk is a bit of a tradition for us.  We have been taking part for seven years and always have a fun time.  Considering the weather had been a little nasty leading up to the day, Launceston turned on a wonderful sunny morning and dogs of all shapes and sizes were sporting their biggest smiles.  Isabella received many compliments on her sparkling cherry and sequin dress and of course many people wanted to know a little about our Basenji boys.

 Like I said, there weren’t any other B’s there this year but we were fortunate enough to meet another Basenji owner and had a wonderful chat!  Fingers crossed we can meet her gorgeous Basenji babies Laska and Lykos!


While Papa’s away in the kitchen we’ll play!

My husband has traveled back to Queensland so I’m home alone with the dogs for about a week. Today being Mother’s Day I thought I might bake some dog treats with the fur-kids (and they were waiting impatiently at my feet the whole time). This is one of many wonderful dog treat recipes on the Doggy Dessert Chef website but since they reminded me of little Basenji tails, I thought it would be a good place to start.

Here you are, Peanut Butter & Honey Basenji Bagels!!  If your dog has allergies you could probably make some simple adjustments to the recipe.  They have proven very popular so far and I must admit, they smell very yummy and comforting.

1/2 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 cup Water (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius and prepare a baking tray with some greaseproof paper.
2. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon until well mixed.
3. Add the peanut butter, honey, oil and water and combine / knead until dough is formed.
4. Roll dough into balls about 1-2 inches in diameter.  Poke a hole through each ball with your finger or the end of a wooden spoon.
5. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.  Cool and just try to keep the dogs away from these delicious bites!

When using human food in our dog treats, Chris and I always try to use the healthiest and freshest available.  Consider using all-natural / organic products where you can with low sugar and salt levels.  Enjoy!