Asians for Humans, Animals & Nature
   

Kimmy, The Perfect Dog!

One morning I received a call from a lady who was looking for a kitten. She had seen my newspaper ad, and after we'd talked for a while she ended up agreeing to foster some homeless cats for me whenever I needed help.

I went to her house to visit, and found out there were two shelties ( the mother was named Kimmy, and the son named Scotty), which she kept outside in the half-cement back yard. The two dogs shared a single doghouse. I asked the lady why she didn't let them come in side the house, and she said it was because Scotty had an accident on the floor one day, and she doesn't want that to happen again. So, it was best just to keep them outside.

After talking with her some more, I found out she had originally bought Kimmy as a show dog, and had developed a plan for breeding her. Unfortunately, Kimmy grew too large to be a show dog. When the lady began having marriage problems, the breeding plans were dropped and the dogs were relegated to the back yard, where they remained for nearly 7 years. Kimmy eventually developed arthritis from staying on the cement ground for such a long time.

When I learn this story, I felt so sorry for these animals. I began to visit the lady more frequently, encouraging her each time to walk the dogs or give them a bath when the weather was warm.

It became apparent, though, that she really was not interested in providing extra care for the dogs, so I finally talked her into agreeing to let me help to find them both a good home. In a short time, I was able to place Scotty with my girl friend who had been looking for a small dog. Placing Kimmy, though, was more of a challenge because of her age and arthritic condition. I didn't want her to have to remain in the back yard all alone, so I took her home with me.

I was concerned about the reaction my cats would have, since they stay strictly indoors and had, up to that time, never encountered a dog before. I decided to take Kimmy to the bedroom and let her become acquainted with the room, then I opened the bedroom door.

The cats were all very excited, and began to come into the room. When they first saw Kimmy they were startled and puffed up their tails, trying to look as big as possible.

They began to walk very slowly and cautiously around the dog, and soon they realized that no matter how big they made themselves, they were never going to be as big as Kimmy!

So, one by one, they gradually left the bedroom. During this entire encounter, Kimmy just lay quietly on the carpet and paid no attention to all the cats' shenanigans. I was so relieved after this initial introduction, because I just couldn't send Kimmy back to that lonely, cold back yard.

Kimmy was a perfect dog. She was quiet and well-behaved, and didn't bark at every little noise. Actually, she didn't bark at all, which puzzled me.

One day, just as I was beginning to think she didn't know how to bark, someone came up the stairs from outside and Kimmy started barking. I was so surprised to hear her bark for the first time!

Kimmy also didn't make a habit of jumping all over you -- she just used her very loving eyes to look at you, and always came to you whenever you called her and if I took Kimmy out in the car, I never had to worry about "accidents" because she would only do her business on newspaper or cement ground.

Two weeks after coming home with me, Kimmy was adopted by a cat rescuer's co-worker as a companion for her dog. I was so happy that Kimmy finally had a very good home.

I called the lady who adopted Kimmy many times after the dog was settled in her house, and she told me that whenever Kimmy was around you had to watch your food, otherwise it would disappear suddenly! I was delighted to hear that Kimmy was enjoying her life in her new home.

About eight months later, I suddenly had the urge to call and find out how Kimmy was doing. The lady's daughter answered the phone, but seemed very vague about Kimmy. She implied that Kimmy had gone to another home because she couldn't get along with their dog, and I began to worry because it just didn't make any sense to me.

The first few months Kimmy was there, the lady had never mentioned any problems between the two dogs -- why, all of a sudden, now? I kept calling back, trying to find out Kimmy's new family's phone number, but they couldn't tell me.

After I kept pushing, they finally told me that Kimmy had gotten lost two months before when they took her to a park. They were running with her, but ran too fast and Kimmy couldn't keep up. The next thing they knew, she was nowhere to be found.

The family told me they had tried various ways to find Kimmy, but had failed. When I heard that, my heart started to pound very fast and I became so depressed that it reached the point where I couldn't even talk. I hung up the phone, feeling so guilty and sad, wondering if i had really done Kimmy a favor by taking her out of that cold, lonely back yard. She'd been gone for two months now--how in the world was I going to find her?

All kinds of horrible thoughts rushed through my mind, and I knew I must find her. There had to be a way! But I really didn't feel very optimistic since it had been so long since her disappearance.

I was invited out by some of my friends, but when I was with them I kept worrying about Kimmy and really couldn't enjoy myself. when I explained to them about Kimmy's situation, one of the friends suggested he could contact his friend who is in the animal cremation business in the city where Kimmy was lost, and perhaps he could give me the addresses for all the local veterinarians.

Then I could send a picture poster of Kimmy to each veterinarian, and offer a reward. If someone had picked Kimmy up, whoever it was would probably take her to a vet, and perhaps he'd see the poster when he went in, and recognize her.

I didn't know whether it was going to work, but for Kimmy's sake I felt like I had to try. So I offered a $500 reward, thinking that if an animal dealer found Kimmy, that sum might be more than he could get if he sold Kimmy to a laboratory. He'd be more likely to call me.

Miraculously, after I sent out the reward and pictures to all the veterinarians in the Walnut Creek area, a lady from a grooming store called me. She said she was at one of the veterinarians' clinics and had seen the poster of Kimmy, and realized she had bathed a dog exactly like Kimmy for her client. She gave me the client's name and phone number.

When I called I found out they had indeed picked up Kimmy. They'd spotted her on a road alongside the freeway, where she had been running around in a panic, looking very lost. They'd decided to take Kimmy home, and she'd been with them ever since. I was so excited to hear this encouraging news, and went to visit them right away!

When I finally met the couple who had rescued Kimmy they seemed to genuinely like her, so I decided the best thing to do was to leave Kimmy right where she was, in a good home with people who cared about her. As I was going out the door to my car, however, the lady called to me because Kimmy was following me. I guess she wanted to go home with me instead! Kimmy had made her choice, so I presented the lady with the reward and took Kimmy home.

Kimmy stayed with me for another three months. I wasn't in a hurry to find her a home this time, as I had grown very attached to her. I felt a little guilty, though, because the animal rescue work I was involved with left me very little extra time to spend with her.

One day, a dog rescue lady referred me to a retired elderly lady who was looking for a canine companion. This elderly lady lived all alone, in a large house in Mill Valley.

After talking with her on the phone I drove out to visit her, and took Kimmy alone. The house had two levels, with a nice view and a beautiful back yard. I couldn't have found a more ideal situation than this! I left Kimmy with her for a trial period. The next day when I called her to see how things were going, the lady reported that Kimmy had been up almost all night looking at the front door. I was very touched by Kimmy's reaction, but decided to leave her there because I really felt the lady could care for her and give her much more attention than I could.

Two months later, I found out from the lady that Kimmy had been on many trips with her. She'd been playing on the beach like a puppy, and also had been to the grooming salon regularly. I felt so happy that I had made the right decision for her, but I also missed her dearly. Kimmy, I just want to let you know that I love you very much!