Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update on Keiki

In 2006, we fostered a dog named Kiki. She was one of about 50 dogs and lots more cats who were trucked in to San Francisco from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. As usually happens, I wasn't planning on taking her in to foster. But she was a barker and nobody else was inclined to step forward. So she came home with me that night.

Here's what I wrote about her then:

Meet Kiki.

Kiki is a result of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Like so many others, she was found as a stray in a devastated and forlorn area of New Orleans--starving, confused, alone. And she was still only a young puppy. She spent the next months being moved from overcrowded shelter to overcrowded shelter. Finally, she was put on a truck and driven over the course of 3 days to the Bay Area. This is where the attempt to give her a second lease on life begins.

Kiki is about 10 months old and weighs approximately 30-35 lbs. She looks to be a mix of shiba inu, basenji, and rat terrier, and somewhat resembles a cross between a meerkat, fox, and a raccoon, only goofier. Kiki is spayed, current on shots, microchipped, dewormed, heartworm negative, and comes with a certificate of health. She is crate-trained and gets along wonderfully with other dogs, though she should be fed separately.

After spending 3 straight days in a truck, enclosed in a crate for most of that time, Kiki was a fireball of energy when she arrived at our house. To our admitted relief, however, she settled down quickly after that and has shown herself to be really quite a well-behaved and manageable little girl.

Though far from hyper and bouncing off the walls, Kiki does have the energy of a young, healthy dog. She should have regular exercise, after which she'll be content to zonk out on the couch or in her crate. Kiki plays extremely well with other dogs, from those half her size to those double it.

It's highly doubtful given her origins that Kiki has had much if any training in the past. However, she's proven to be a quick learner. Though not solid yet, she quickly learned "sit." She is crate-trained and is still working on housetraining. She sleeps quietly in her crate beside our bed at night and is crated when we leave the house. She is also very responsive to voice corrections. Kiki is not stubborn at all, and she is very receptive to being told what to do.

Because Kiki is still a puppy, it is essential that boundaries continue to be reinforced so that she understands what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. Like all puppies, she likes to chew so it will be up to you to help her distinguish what items are appropriate chew toys. She also does have a tendency to bark at men she doesn't know, but continued socialization will help her to overcome this problem. Kiki is already a wonderful puppy with a sweet temperament and a willingness to please--with continued discipline and socialization, she'll grow into an amazing dog.

Kiki is a young dog still in a very important developmental stage of her life. She is still discovering the world around her and learning what she can and cannot do. She bonds very quickly and the bond will be all the stronger if you show her that you are her leader. We hope to find someone that will be a leader to her, that will nurture her and treat her with the kindness she deserves as well as someone who understands the importance of continued socialization, proper training, and good old-fashion exercise.

Kiki is little dog with an amazing spirit. She is going to make the right person or family a loyal and lifelong companion. Kiki is the kind of dog that wants to stay by your side--whatever room you're in is where she wants to be--including the bathroom. When I shower, she even lays right against the bathtub waiting for me. When I'm in bed napping, she snuggles up close (and sometimes upside down). Kiki is playful, huggable, silly and incredibly endearing. Once you have her in your life, you will never know another day without sunshine.


Today, I received this very unexpected Youtube video response from Keiki's family:

Keiki is doing great. She is happy and as you can see from my video response, some things never change. . . She's one of the loves of my life! :) She's not happy unless she's cuddled up next to me or my wife.

*happy sigh*


Angelus said...

I must say what you do is incredibly noble. You make the rest of us feel proud. Thank you and keep u the good work.