April 5, 2019


We are once again a pack of four! We adopted Kai on Wednesday evening.

I'll let Laura tell the story:
Kai (rhymes with eye) is small for us, about 30 pounds, a pit-mix with a "Staffie" look. She is much smaller than a Staffie - unless her foster mom was very wrong about her age! We believe she is about 18 months old. Her coat is a dark brindle colour with a white blaze. ...

About a month ago, Allan found a Vancouver-based group that rescues street dogs from other countries. He sent me a few links, and I immediately chose a honey-coloured Shepherd mix living in a tough city in the Middle East. We filled out an extensive application.

While we were waiting, Allan went to the vet [last Thursday] to pick up some supplies, and saw a flyer, looking for a home for Kai. (Foster Mom spelled it Kye. We changed the spelling but not the name.) I was already getting attached to the idea of the Shepherd mix. But, as Allan pointed out, in our area there are fewer options for Kai - less of a chance that she would find her forever home. The other dog was on Petfinder so had a better chance. Plus, Kai is dark, and subject to the "curse of the dark dog". She's already lived in at least three homes [in addition to stays in shelters].

We drove down to Port McNeill [45 minutes south of Port Hardy] on Monday to have Kai and Diego meet. Diego wanted to play right away. Kai was quiet and shy, although not afraid. ...

We left and did some errands, then came back for a second meet. Kai wagged her tail and was happy to see us! Diego tried to get Kai to play. That's a great sign: he normally only plays with his packmate! Poor little Kai doesn't know how to play. Diego will teach her.

That second meeting went really well. [We also walked them together for about 15 minutes.] Then, while I was at work, Final Foster Mom brought Kai to our house [on Tuesday morning]. Allan told me that Diego was desperate to play with Kai - barking in her face, doing deep play-bows, really going at it. Kai ran around the house, drank some water out of Diego's bowl, picked up a toy, and was generally curious and happy. I believe Diego knows this thing is on.
It has been an extremely smooth transition, partially because Diego is so relaxed and cool with everything. Last night was Kai's second night and she was already way more relaxed, hanging out in her crate at night (not needing to be beside one of us), with Diego laying nearby (of course). And the Big Boy is thrilled to have someone to play with. They both have initiated play - and Kai does not seem to be harassing Diego, who is about 10 years old, if he doesn't want to be bothered (though I don't think I have ever seen Diego not want to be bothered by either of his (now) two sisters).

Kai is way more interested in toys than Diego has ever been. She had a stuffed eagle that she sleeps with and various other chew toys, including a ball that is about twice the size of her head and something resembling a hockey puck. It's nice to see all her dog toys scattered around the house. ... We are also looking at options to completely fence in the yard, though we do have a stake with a couple of long lead lines on it, so they can be outside at times.

This morning, when Laura came out of the bedroom at the other end of the house, I noticed that Kai grabbed a toy first and then ran down the hallway with it to say hello. When Tala was outside, she always needed her main toy (which was originally a planet, but the continents had long since been ripped off) next to her and whenever she spied a brazen squirrel entering her territory, she would bark and race after it - but only after first grabbing her ball in her mouth! I'm sure all the squirrels appreciated the slight delay in her pursuit.


johngoldfine said...

Reading this gives me the kind of pleasure certain baseball teams seem incapable of providing--so far.

We got a three month old LhasaPoo last day of 2018, and that girl is a firecracker. She finds the ears of the two standard poodles are perfect for muckling onto and swinging from, playground style.

johngoldfine said...

We got our second standard poodle from a former student of mine who found him too much for her to handle. For some reason, she names all her dogs with an initial D--Della, Dolan, Darrin.

We thought the long o in 'Dolan' would sound to the dog like we were constantly saying 'no,' so we wanted to change the name, but the dog was too old to be changing it radically, so we wound up with a name we didn't particularly like ('Dillon') for a dog we particularly did like.

laura k said...

Congrats on your new arrival, John! I believe you lost one right around the time we lost Tala.