We had planned on getting a Basil for quite some time but nothing about getting the real Basil went according to plan.
A few months ago, right around the time Sherman turned two, we started talking seriously about getting a second dog--a companion for Sherm that would make late-night trips to the dog park less lonely and hopefully quiet his separation anxiety as well. We came up with the name Basil awhile ago (perhaps after of a couple of rounds of Basil Hayden's whiskey) and started casually searching for our new mutt.
We became enamored with the Catahoula breed and scoured Petfinder for months looking for a new brother/sister from Sherman. After losing out on a couple of adoption opportunities, we began looking on the Minneapolis Craigslist site for a possible adoption that would correspond with our trip home for the holidays. There was a posting for an "Australian Shepard-Border Collie" puppy named Camo--who looked a lot more Catahoula than Aussie--located in Buffalo, Minnesota. We scheduled a meeting for the morning of Christmas Eve and brought Sherman along to see how the two got along.
Camo's (temporary) owner, Terry, emailed us photos of him in the days leading up to the meeting and some included his brother, a black and gray little gremlin of a puppy that they were calling Hal (above, left), since they originally got the two puppies around Halloween. We arrived at Terry's home on a snowy Christmas Eve morning and he went inside to grab Camo while we waited in their backyard with a curious Sherman. Camo, who was named after his desert-style camouflage coloring, came outside but it was clear that he sensed that something was up. He cowered near the house and stared blankly at Sherman. After some unsuccessful prodding, Terry decided to bring out Hal, thinking that Camo's brother would help break the ice. Hal came bounding through the door and started in on Sherman. The two chased each other around the backyard as Camo watched from the side. It was immediately clear that Hal, not Camo, was our Basil.
Terry suggested a one-week trial period with Camo but we voiced something that he already knew: that Hal was the better fit. After a quick family conference with his wife and young daughter, Terry said that they'd keep Camo and Hal would leave with us. Terry's wife Aimee explained to their young daughter that "Camo needs us more than Hal does." As we walked to the car with Hal, Terry admitted that he had preferred to keep Camo all along.
In the car ride back from Terry's house, Hal whined for all of one block. He had quickly, and unexpectedly, become our Basil.