Once upon a time, there was a basenji named Billy who was no longer wanted by his family. He was terribly thin, his coat was shaggy, and he was very sad. Then Colorado Basenji Rescue discovered him. They gave him shelter and food in a loving foster home, and told him he would someday find a forever home of his very own.
Billy's photo and a story about him was put on the internet by
Basenji Rescue and Transport, an organization that helps homeless basenjis throughout the United States and Canada. Luckily for Billy, a nice family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada saw his photo and knew they could love him forever!
What Billy didn't know is that there was an airline embargo... it was June 2000 and all the US airlines had decided not to ship dogs in the summer heat. But Billy found that there were lots of people all over the country who took interest in his story and wanted to help him. They call themselves the Basenji Underground Railroad (BUR)--after the network of human
helpers many years ago that saw black slaves to freedom. They promised to take Billy to his new home!
And thus began his adventure... a well-organized trip that would take him nearly 3,000 miles over the course of a few days....
The following is the account of his travels, a BUR "run" known as "Billy's Wild Ride." Each of the ten people who helped him travel have narrated the story. Illustrating his story are photos taken with Billy's very own camera.