WARNING! This site will always be under construction because it is an unending story of a family always in transition.
The Parkes Family Website
It is obvious from this photo and the bios below, that we are fond of animals. Every one of them has a story to tell, a personality to love.
'Migz' has been retired since January 1996, having been an audiologist and speech therapist, working in the schools with children who have speech/hearing/ learning problems.
'Don' has been retired since January 1996, having been a high school music teacher, and then a driving instructor for 20 years.
'Adi' ('Adimu Aina', in Swahili this means "rare kind" or "scarce species" - take your pick!) was one of our Basenjis (otherwise known as the 'African Barkless'), who had stolen our hearts since she came into our family in May, 1995. In October of that year, she completed a 'Novice Obedience' course, coming away with "First" in her class (193 out of a possible 200 points), which is quite remarkable for a Basenji. Migz has been the dominant force in training Adi (pronounced "oddie"), and both of us have shown her in several matches (fun and otherwise). But it was not until September and October of 1998 that Adi achieved her first legs towards her Obedience titles in the U.S. and Canada: at the "Basenji Club Of America" National Specialty in Rhode Island, U.S.A. (Sept. 1998), and at the "Basenji Club Of Canada" National Specialty in London, Ontario, Canada (Oct. 1998). She got her second leg of the CD title in the U.S. in the Fall of 2000 in Indianapolis, Indiana. But earlier in May, 1999, Adi had finished her three legs towards her CD (Companion Dog) title in Canada. She also got her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) in Canada, and she also had been working on her 'Tracking' titles, achieving her TD (Tracking Dog) title (in the Fall of 2000), and her TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent) title (in the Fall of 2002) in Canada. In fact she had the distinction of being the first Basenji in Canada to obtain the TDX title. (She was also the second Basenji in Canada to achieve the TD title.) After a long and sweert life, she passed away mid-March, 2011, aged 16 years and 3 months. Adi's 8-Generation Pedigree Chart
'Kiumbe' (in Swahili, it means "creature" or "human being") was an older recruit to our family group, having joined us in March of 1998. He was a year older than Adi. Also a Basenji, but a really fun-loving one, unlike the 'grump', Adi, who tries to maintain her seniority in the household. Slowly but surely, Kiumbe acquired a pawhold in the family, earning respect and trust from human and Basenji alike. As with any new addition to the family, it took time and patience to integrate comfortably. We did not wish to upset any self-imposed hierarchy amongst these Basenjis. We just let them work it out under our observation. But we made progress. Migz and I had worked on obedience training with him, but it was difficult. Kiumbe was obtained from a breeder who 'showed' him and helped him to obtain his Canadian championship. He did not seem to have any interest in "Tracking", but had shown some interst in "Agility" for short periods of time. Quite unpredictable... just wanted to be loved. Kiumbe passed away on February 26, 2010, aged 16 years, 4 months. Kiumbe's 8-Generation Pedigree Chart
'Blizzard', the black and white mixed-breed in the photo above, was our neighbours' dog, to whom we had become quite attached when his owners lived across the street. It was because of Blizzard that we actually started thinking of getting our own dog (eventually 'Adi' was our choice), and when we did, the two of them (Adi and Blizzy) got along quite well. When we got Kiumbe, these two seemed to hit it off even better, sometimes leaving Adi out of their play. It forced Adi to become less aloof, and we think that it made Adi more social, less 'snarky'. Well, we hoped so anyway. <GRIN> Unfortunately "Blizz" and her family moved away in the Summer of 1998, so we did not get the chance to see her very often after that. Then in July, 2005, Blizzy died. We all miss her very much. One memorable event occurred when Blizzy lived across the street from us......Back in the Spring of 1996, I entered 'Blizzard' in the "Virtual Dog Show" (on the Internet) and she placed 'First' in the Mixed Breed class (over 56 dogs competing).
In September of 2004, when Migz and I were attending the Basenji Club of America National Specialty in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, we were camped for the week next to a site which contained some puppies which attracted our attention. The breeder, Tami Neargarth, and her mother were showing at the Specialty, and we were particularly attracted to one of their pups, a 10-week-old female tri-colour called "Gem". To make a long story short, we came away from the show with another Basenji. In Swahili, "Gem" can be translated as "Johari", so her official kennel name is now registered as "Dafina Rafiki Johari". As she grew lanky and speedy, we decided to enter her into CARA racing with other Basenjis. With her competitive spirit she fell in love with it immediatley and quickly rose to the top. She won almost every race she entered, and ranked first in both 'straights" and ovals in CARA in both 2005 and 2006. In fact in 2006 she came first overall in CARA, the first time a Basenji had cracked the stranglehold of the whippet fraternity in that organization. She entered a race meet in Warwick RI at the 2006 BCOA National Specialty, and ran against 29 Basenjis in the 'straights', and came in a very close second. In the ovals she came in first of 23 competing, and since the winner of the straights did not compete in the ovals, JoJo came in first overall. But unfortunately as the year wore on, she started to get a bit agressive with her race-mates, and eventually began to be disquallified from races. So we withdrew her from bothering her rivals in racing. We were stymied by this behaviour, but as the next year rolled around she started to have epileptic seizures. We quickly put her on medication and it seems to be keeping her under control. But she will never go back to racing. We think the stress might inflame the condition. And honestly, she is not really the same dog we had when she was happy racing. We feel the siezures are frightening her. JoJo's 8-Generation Pedigree Chart
As you can see, one of our most favourite hobbies is the 'Basenji', the barkless dog from Africa. Click on these 'thumbnail' photos to see some good-looking Basenjis from around the world......the first is a "red & white"; the second, a "brindle"; the third, a "tri"; and the last one is a "black & white".
Having gotten involved with the Basenji community particularly online, and specially with the "Basenji-List", aka "The Blist" (a Basenji-oriented Email-List), in May 1995 (when we acquired 'Adi'), I began to realize that Migz and I were not the only people who were looking for a more detailed information-source about this breed of dog. We had spent months before we got 'Adi' discussing the pros and cons about many breeds that we thought that we could agree upon, and the Basenji always seemed to float to the top in our discussions. But even after we got 'Adi' we found out things about the Basenji that we never heard before. As I listened to the discussions on the "Blist" month after month, it became obvious that others needed that information too. A comprehensive "Basenji Reference Library" was a must-have. All the material was there on the web, all somebody had to do was to put it all in one place. So, I thought that it would be nice to produce and manage a website which might be a good reference directory of the breed.
If you wish to investigate the wonderful Basenji breed, access Mafaili Ya Basenji, the largest Basenji Reference Library on the Web, another one of my website productions.
I had already taken an interest in webpage production, so I signed into some HTML courses at Virtual University, and spent the Spring and Summer of 1998 making myself familiar with the art of websmithing. I produced the skeleton of the webpage, that you are now reading, at that time, and another very rough page (now deleted) as a VU class project for credit for the course. But "Mafaili Ya Basenji"/"The Basenji Files" was a labour of love for many months while I worked to rectify this lack of centralized information concerning Basenjis. "The-B-Files" eventually was launched officiially on December 17 1998. It has been enormously popular specially with new Basenji owners, and that is the exact reason why I spent untold hours deliberating over the site. As with us, I knew the potential owners' uncertainty, as well as their desire to do well by their Basenjis. I hope that "Mafaili Ya Basenji"/"The Basenji Files" will help to fill the void.
Another activity in which Don is involved is model railroading.
He is a member of the Pine Ridge Railroaders, Inc. of Oshawa, Ontario.
Within that club is an elite group called the "Durham Belt Line Modular Group".
This is their Durham Belt Line Stadards Manual.
One of Don's favourite hobbies is Genealogy. While taking a Virtual University genealogy course online, he met up with two other Canadians, and as a group project, they developed a website which contained hundreds of URLs useful to genealogy researchers in Canada. The site, called Canadian Genealogical Research Links was up on the web for a few years, but as their interest lagged, they agreed to cease caretaking the website, and deleted it in 2004.
Don's genealogical studies of his own family ancestry has gotten him to this level......
The names, for which Don is looking for information, are......
PARKES, WALKER, DURNAN, MILLS, CAMELY or CAMLEY, LEWIS, TERRY, PACKHAM, FIELDS, SELVEY
generally from the area of Southern Ontario stretching from London to Belleville. And some of these names date back into the U.K. and Northern Ireland If you access The PARKES & WALKER Family Search Page , where you can find a more detailed report, you may be able to find someone who could be a relative. If so, Email Donald Parkes, and discuss it with him.
As explained above, Don has been experimenting with website production for the past number of years. At the moment, he is still working on most of the websites which he has produced. And is the webmaster for some. But he is always looking for new challenges. Got any?
One website which was launched in November 1999, is The Durham Personal Computer Users' Club, in which Don produced and caretakes the "Hot Links" pages of the club's website, along with several club members who monitor all the pages to keep them up-to-date. The DPCUC is a local computer club of which Don is a member.
Unfortunately, a website which Don spent many countless hours of love and hard work on, when released to the club which requested it, has now been withdrawn from the Web. The topic of the website concerned "Tracking" with your dog. If the organization does not wish to start the website up again, Don will likely ask them if he can have their permission to revize and release the website under a different name and format. He would hate to see all that information go for naught.
One website on which Don laboured is Watercolours by Leslie A. Parkes. This website was launched in early 2001, and is a commercial showcase of the artwork of Don's brother, Leslie A. Parkes, an watercolour artist of some note in Canada. Don is the continuing webmaster for this website.
Another website, Basenji Club of Canada was launched in early 2002, and is the showcase for Canadian Basenjis in general. Don is the webmaster for this website too.
Don has also been approached to author websites for a few other groups and clubs. But discussions have not even begun on those yet, except for a website which will be launched in the Summer of 2005. This website will be the official website of the Ontario Genealogical Society's Seminar 2006, being hosted by the Durham Region Branch of the O.G.S., in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or you just want to talk,