Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Passing It Down

Just about a year ago, just before he left to back for another semester of college, Evan said, "Mom, you need a dog."

We went to the local shelter just to look around.  The cages were filled with pit bulls and Chihuahuas--two breeds in which I was not particularly interested.  We passed by one cage and saw the cowering little dog in the back.  She would not come out to see us, no matter how much we urged her.  I looked at the tag on the cage which was marked Chihuahua and kept walking.  Evan, though, insisted that we go in and ask to look at her.

When they brought this dog out into the play yard, the attendant had to carry her.  She was too scared to walk.  When he finally sat her on the ground, she just stood, shaking.  I bent down to look at her.  She didn't look like a Chihuahua to me.  She looked like a scared little girl who needed a home.  At that point in my life, after a rocky year of being newly divorced, I could kind of identify with her.

We left the shelter without her, but we paid for her tags and were told we could pick her up two days later after she had been spayed.  On the way home we talked about names, "Daisy?"  "Mildred?"  "Lilly?"  I mused to Evan.  He looked straight ahead at the car we were following,  and said, "How about Kia?"  "Short, sporty, different!  I like it!" I said.

I took Kia to the vet two days after I picked her up from the pound.  The vet confirmed she was not a Chihuahua, and suggested a combination of Border Collie and Jack Russell.  "You have a very high energy dog here," she said.  That was fine with me.

As you can guess, life around here has never been the same since her arrival.

Today would have been my father's birthday.  When I think of him, I remember how much he loved his dogs.  I think my mom could have lived without dogs, but my father loved them so much.  I have a picture in my mind of him walking down the long path by our house, his dog beside him.  He had such a tender heart and a love of animals.  He passed that on to me.

He would have loved my little Kia Louise.

She brings such joy to my life.  She greets me with enthusiasm every time I walk through the door.  She gets me up and out in the morning.  In the evening we go to the dog park to play and I meet up with a circle of friends I would have never had without her.  She has opened up Brian's heart to dogs and converted him completely to a dog person.  At night she curls under the covers with me.

She is my constant companion and it has been a privilege to see her gain confidence and strength.

She has found her forever home here at this house and in my heart.

So Happy Birthday to my daddy and Happy Anniversary to my Kia.








26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He would've fallen in love with Kia.
You can definitely see the Jack Russell in her.

Olga said...

Lucky Kia to have found a home with you and lucky you for having found her. Obviously, you were meant for each other.

Brian Miller said...

happy birthday to your father...and sounds like you made a good friend there...good on you for saving kia from the shelter....

Shelly said...

Happy day of sweet memories and present joy~

Madi and Mom said...

BB,
Ahhhhhhhh HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR DAD WHO GAVE YOU HIS SMILE AND LOVE OF ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL.

How special Kia's Gotcha Day is also his birthday (and my mom's lol). Mom says it is her honor so share January 7 with your Dad and Kia. Thank you for your kind bday wishes. The high for today is 22 in Raleigh and my crazy mom and Dad are picking up Mom's ice cream birthday cake today.
BB thank you for your kind b-day wishes
Hugs Madi and Mom

Alison said...

Yeah, if she's a Chihuahua, you're a munchkin. Can't believe it's been a year already. McKenna's done the same for me in regards to cats that Kia's done for Brian. Darn it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

She's a cute dog and deserves the loving. Glad you found each other.

faye said...

I can see the JR in her face... very similar to my Teas-e ... and yesssss
high energy while they are pups is a given.
Teas-e is 15 now and has lost maybe half
a step...... but loving and devoted to
Bob... tolerant to having me here.

Baby Sister said...

She suits you to a t!! She's adorable. :) Happy Birthday to your dad and Happy Anniversary to Kia. :)

jenny_o said...

I do love happy endings!

Your dad's kindness shines out through his eyes and his smile.

Thank you for such a heart-warming post, Betty.

Ms. A said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad, what a beautiful, warm smile. Happy Anniversary to your wonderful Kia. May you both thrive... together.

Linda said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad! Your Kia is so cute! Hope you have a wonderful week!

SquirrelQueen said...

What a wonderful story to celebrate your dad's birthday. I'm glad you took the time to see Kia at the shelter. She needed you as much as you needed her. She is beautiful.

ellen abbott said...

it's heartbreaking, isn't it, when dogs are that scared. my son-in-law brought home a boxer that had been abused. they lived next door and we shared one big fenced yard so the dog sort of became mine too. when he first came, when you called his name he would not look at you and would start backing up. I tried day after day to coax him into my house and finally one day I basically dragged him in while he shook uncontrollably. I petted him and talked to him and eventually he calmed down. after that he would come over to my house every day after his people and kids had gone to work and school and he followed me around and he would go home at night. he was a great dog. just so sweet.

Lin said...

Awwww, such a happy "gotcha" story! I like that you both found each other and started a new life together. New beginnings are best shared with someone you love. :)

Slamdunk said...

What a lovely memory about your father, Betty. Glad you and Kia Louise found each other--i have a special place for furry friends as well.

Leanne said...

Awe! Love hearing the story about sweet Kia. She's perfect!

Ami said...

Dogs are awesome. So much love. Anyone who doesn't believe dogs have souls is nuts. :)

You found the perfect companion. You're BOTH lucky!!

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

She's so stinkin' adorable! You two are lucky to have one another.. hugz to you both...

Out on the prairie said...

My pets keep me very entertained.

Daisy said...

She's so sweet looking. She's a lucky girl to have found a home with you.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Lovely post, Betty. Kia is beautiful and I've always enjoyed posts about your Dad

annie said...

Betty, its wonderful to see you smile like that.
Kia is wonderful. I am glad you have her and that she has you!
Many happy years to you both.

Anne Gallagher said...

She's so cute! Spunky too. I'm so glad you got her.

Hilary said...

She is such a sweetie.. and you've banished her fear. Your dad must be smiling at both of you.

Pat Tillett said...

Great story Betty! This little cutie pie is so lucky that you went back for second look. Most people don't and then the story has quite the opposite of a happy ending.

I've always liked you, knowing that you went to the animal shelter looking for a pet (and probably saved this little girl's life), makes me like you even more.