Ed Tate had never heard of Basenjis until he took a close look at a familiar poster in his veterinarian’s office. The poster showed many different breeds, but the one that caught his eye was the small, lithe dog with the alert ears and curly tail. A lifelong dog lover who has owned five Dobermans, the Lake of the Woods resident began researching the hypoallergenic breed informally known as the African barkless dog. He learned that the Basenjis originated in central Africa and were once used to hunt lions. Intrigued by the unusual breed, the elevator inspector and his wife, Kathryn, purchased a brindle Basenji puppy from a breeder in North Carolina. The Tates soon discovered that the sweet but mischief-prone Razor needed a canine pal, so they went back to the breeder and got Misty, another brindle Basenji, whom Razor loves and protects. As advertised, these two don’t bark, but Tate said Razor, 7, and Misty, 13, make the occasional musical sound. (He recommends checking out YouTube videos of Besanjis “yodeling.”) He likes that they’re quiet, small—and don’t shed. And guess what? “They act like cats. They play with cat toys and sleep on the couch like cats,” Tate explained with a smile. He and his wife have two kitties, Rascal and Turbo, whose company the would-be lion-chasers thoroughly enjoy. Pictured here, Ed Tate relaxes at home with Misty and Razor (on right).