Basenjis: The Barkless Dog
by Veronica Tudor-Williams
Lady Helen Nutting arriving in England with two of her imported
"The next attempt to establish Basenjis in England was made by Lady Helen Nuing in 1923. She was in the Sudan at the time, and became very fascinated by the little Zande dogs which she saw during her travels. Sixof them were later sent to her by Major L. N. Brown, who acquired them from natives west of Meridi, beyondthe Bahr-el-Gahazal region of Nile and between the rivers Ibba and Sueh, one of the most inaccessible partsof Central Africa.Lady Helen kept these six Basenjis in Khartoum for some time and when leaving the Sudan decided to bring them to England with her. It was a courageous decision and thoroughly deserved to succeed. A large travelling crate with a covered top and wire sides was prepared, and they made the voyage to England on the top deckof the ship. Although it was March, and the weather typically cold and windy from Marseilles to Tilbury, the dogs suffered no ill-effects, and were all in perfect health when they landed in England with Lady Helen. Needless to say, these rare dogs created an enormous amount of interest. They were placed in quarantine and everythingwas done for their welfare, including distemper inoculations, then in the experimental stages. This pioneer effortended in tragedy as all the dogs became ill and died from the aftereffects of this injection.Lady Helen was heart-broken at losing the dogs she had brought so carefully from Africa. But she has never lost her interest in the breed and during the past years has done much to help and encourage those whosucceeded where she so unfortunately failed."