In January our family expanded. Partner has been at loose ends since retiring last year, and kidlet had been pestering her non-stop to get a dog to keep her busy and active. (With many promises of help, but every parent knows what that really means…)
So the week before partner’s birthday, we spent a day visiting the local shelters. Partner wanted an older dog – one that didn’t need training – and preferably a small/lap dog. We didn’t find any dogs available that met those requirements, most of the poor unwanted dogs in the shelters were pretty big. We went home to think about it, but partner had really liked one of the medium-sized dogs we had seen, a very quiet and sweet girl. So after deliberation, and a quick shopping trip for essentials, back we went to get her.
The shelter had rescued her from the pound and named her Kashmi. Partner, wanting a Hebrew name, changed it to Kessem (“magic”). She was 8 months old, undernourished, with parasites, a skin rash and a kennel cough, but she couldn’t stop wagging her tail and smiling at us.
We took her home and soon realised that she had never been inside a house before. She reacted to everything with surprise, including the TV. She jumped up on the bed, got a yelled “No!”, and she hasn’t done that again! She was delighted not to have to fight other dogs to get food. And her dog bed immediately became her refuge, where she ran immediately if unsure of something, and where she finally relaxed. (For some reason, she didn’t like the mattress, though – we had to add a blanket for her to accept it…)
What breed is she? Hard to tell. The vet guessed maybe mostly Mitsubishi, with a little Mazda. In other words, probably a little bit of everything. We definitely see some pinscher, and maybe dachshund, others have suggested perhaps some shepherd. Does it matter? Nope.
Since Haifa is by the sea, the beach was one of the first places we took her to visit. Well, we can say for certain that she isn’t a water dog. Digging in the sand, however, can occupy her indefinitely.
It took a week before we heard her bark. That happened when partner’s brother came to visit with his pekingese, and Kessem wanted to play. Pecki, however, wasn’t interested, and kept trying to hide. Disappointed puppy!
She’s very sociable, wanting to jump and play with every dog, person, and even cat that she meets. She loves to walk and run, keeping kidlet on her toes as well.
In the weeks since coming home, she has been cured of her health issues, and has filled out, gaining over 10 pounds with her carefully measured puppy food. She has also gained confidence, and guards the house, sounding the alarm if someone passes by on the stairs. She is still amazingly sweet and loving, if sometimes a bit naughty, and shows great theatrical talent in acting totally miserable and pathetic if left alone for even a short while.
One problem is finding toys for her, since she shreds everything we give her to play with. Tennis balls are totally demolished within 15 minutes, the thick rope toys take her a few hours. She chews off bits of the heavy rubber toys until they’re also gone if we don’t take them away from her. Rawhide bones are digested almost immediately. And if she doesn’t have toys, she starts on the rugs, which isn’t good. Now that the holiday is over, partner is planning on starting her with a trainer, so maybe he’ll have a solution to the toy dilemma.
Partner now has something to keep her busy 24/7, not to mention getting a great more exercise. And all our lives are just that much richer.