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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!