Friday, August 22, 2008

Goodbye Cai. Hello Kilo

Today we made the extremely difficult decision to let our dog Cai go. Cai has been with us for about 5 years and was an excellent dog for our family. Unfortunately she had a rough puppyhood and was abused before she came to us. The older she got the more aggressive she got towards outsiders. She bit the cable guy two years ago, barely breaking the skin. Then she bit our brother in law early this summer--causing him to bleed. Last week she bit Bright's TB nurse (not breaking the skin).

Lots of people are probably thinking they would have removed her from the home after the first bite. But Cai was an AWESOME dog for US. The last few months I think I knew the end was coming. In my quiet moments I would have visions of her getting out of the house (she liked to bolt through the front door) and attacking a baby in a stroller. Visions of bloody people and lawsuits danced in my head. The liability of keeping her just got to be too much.

Once I make a decision, I've just got to do it or I will lose my nerve. So I called Eric and within a few hours we were on our way to the Animal Shelter to relinquish her for euthanasia. There's no way she could be re-homed due to her aggressiveness to anybody outside of our family.

But I am an animal person. I don't want to be without a dog. Ever. Not even a day. So we immediately turned around and went to look at dogs in the shelter. The staff were actually very encouraging with that, saying that while we couldn't "save" Cai, maybe we could "save" another dog. We found the cutest little shepard mix puppy and after about 1.5 hours we decided on him. Of course then we went up front to do the paperwork and he had already been adopted (just hadn't put the sign on his cage yet).

I came home bawling. I missed Cai so bad and there was nothing to fill that void where she had been. I decided to take a look on Craig's list. There was a listing for an Akita/Husky mix 10 week old girl puppy, put up two days ago. We figured for SURE she was gone, but decided just to make sure. Eric has always wanted a Husky-type dog. We were shocked because although the woman received 8 emails, nobody had called. She was busy and said, "I figured if anybody REALLY wanted her they would call."

After a LONG discussion with this woman she invited us over to meet "Miss Fatty." 30 minutes later we were in their home. Get this--the woman was legally blind and had kidney programs (like Eric!). Turns out "Miss Fatty" was the biggest in the litter. We probably should have done just a little bit of research about Akitas before we went over there. We thought Huskies were the larger of the breeds. NOT! Looks like we can expect "Miss Fatty" to be 70-100 pounds when she's full grown. Cai was 35 pounds!

She is the most laid back little 10 week old puppy I've ever seen. And it's already obvious that she's smart as a whip. We are told that her litter mate house trained in one week. So far so good with this little one. She's gone outside twice now. Eric came up with the name Kilo for her (for all of the KILOgrams she's going to weigh when she's an adult!). Plus, it sort of sounds a little Alaskan-ish. Other top picks were Aya (a Ghanaian Adinkra symbol), Adrian (Adrian Peterson, OU football player), Jing Jing (Beijing Olympics), and Atu ("hug" in Ewe tribal language). Eric just loved Kilo and this is sort of his dream dog, so Kilo she is. ;-)

I didn't realize until just comparing photos how similar Cai and Kilo's markings are. No dog can ever replace my Cai Cai, but Kilo will be a great addition to the family.



Heather A. 11:06 PM  

Oh honey, I am SOOO sorry about Cai. No matter what sate our doggies are in, it is the hardest thing in the world to put them down. Even when they are old, sick, infirm, or aggressive and we know it's the best thing. But you made a good decision. From my experience, aggressive dogs tend to get more aggressive with age, and you just can't take the risk that a dog might attack someone. It's the responsible thing to do, but sometimes responsibility stinks!

I'm like you though. When one pet leaves me, my heart looks to fill that hole ASAP. Your new puppy looks like a cuddle bear and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Hugs, Heather A

Mia's Mommy 10:31 AM  

I'm so sorry about your dog. We had to put both of our dogs to sleep the same day about three years ago. It was awful and I debate on ever having another dog. When I think I can do it again, I remember how bad it hurt to have to put our two to sleep.

One of our dogs was a female Akita. PLEASE DO A LOT OF RESEARCH on the Akita. It is very important. They can be extremely domineering, especially with other dogs. Our sweet girl LOVED us, but she did NOT like strangers ~ at all! Or other dogs. Or cats. Unsolicited advise: get in with an excellent trainer now, while she's young.

Amalama 5:46 PM  

Miss Anita! BIG hugs for you! I am so sad for you that you had to make that decision, but safety is vital and it sounds like it was the choice that had to be made. I am glad you found such a beautiful girl to bring home. I hope she does great with your family!


Anonymous 5:21 AM  

Just wanted to say hey !! It was wonderful to meet you in Ghana.

Stay in touch

David & Anita