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During Kylie’s puppyhood in Hawaii, one of our favorite saturday activities was going to garage sales, aka, 4-20-2015 10-32-56 PM“garage sale-ing”. Yes, they have garage sales in paradise – and with the cost of living in Hawaii, garage sale-ing was not only fun, it was a necessity!

And no, going to garage sales is not always fun.. but going with Kylie it was always and adventure! Like the time we decided to leave her in the car and just take a quick look at a garage sale that didn’t look particularly promising, then the next thing we knew while we were looking at the goods in said garage, Kylie was at our feet!? How, you ask?? Well in Hawaii you shouldn’t really ever leave a dog in the car because it is always too hot for that, but since it was only going to be a few minutes (and since we’ve mentioned before we were bad parents) we thought it would be ok if we left the windows about 1/3 of the way down (not just a couple inches). But we definitely did not consider it would even be conceivable that she could climb out, or would for that matter since that left a somewhat significant drop, but We Were Wrong!

“How did you get here?!” we asked her. She answered with a simple, self-satisfied wag. Then there was the time we were walking away from a garage sale and Kylie had rolled over on her back and was squirming around, kicking her feet in the air, which was quite cute and funny until we realized, she was rolling around on a dead frog!! [We later learned that this was a ‘thing’ with Kylie, rolling on smelly things. But as this was early on, we were fairly appalled at the time.]

But there was one thing that was a regular ocurence on our garage sailing adventures.. You may have already read about Kylie’s rescue fund, that turned into Kylie’s allowance once she stopped destroying things. Well thought it was important that Kylie learn the value of a dollar, so when we went to garage sales, she would bring along some of her own money and she could pick out whatever she wanted. Kids’ stuffed animals were ideal toys for her, and getting them for a buck or less was also ideal since she would shred them in short order.

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The problem was the people hosting the garage sales would without fail say, “Oh, she’s so cute! She can just have that,” referring to whatever stuffed thing had appealed to Kylie. So we would explain, no, she can’t just have it because we are trying to teach her the value of a dollar! We didn’t want her to think she could always get by, just by being cute!

Of course some people were amused, others thought we were nuts no doubt. But it must have kind of worked, because Kylie truly liked to tear up paper, yet she never ever tore up money.

 

 

 

 

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Today on the news and on the internets was the story of Eclipse, the “urbanized” lab who lives in Seattle and gets on the bus all by herself and gets off at the stop for the dog park!

It definitely seemed like something Kylie would have done. In her first home with us in the high-rise in Honolulu, Kylie would lay on the floor for hours looking out the windows that went all the way to the floor, watching¬†the bus stop across the street. We always thought it was probably like watching tv for her, and she would keep track of who got on and off every day and at what time. Now however it seems plausible that she was plotting.. “I’ll bet that bus would take me to the park (or beach or where ever Kylie wanted to go on a particular day), if I could just get down to that bus stop!”

Then when reading some of the comments on the article about Eclipse, many of which were criticizing her parent for being so irresponsible, which we can definitely relate to (obviously since there is an entire category on this blog dedicated to our “bad parenting”), this one was especially relatable:

My dog would do this if she could. She’s a Shiba and thus incredibly independent. Every time I leave her in the car to run into a store, I come back to find her in the driver’s seat. One day she’ll just speed off as soon as she sees me coming out of the supermarket, because she can be a jerk like that.

We not only would often find Kylie in the driver’s seat when she was left alone in the car, we sometimes had to return to driving1the car quickly because she was impatiently honking the horn! Seriously! There were witnesses, and they would ask.. How did you teach her to do that? To which we would answer, “Why would we teach her to do that?” We didn’t.. She did!

Kylie was very urbanized!

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It’s no secret Kylie always loved the snow, but it’s not her favorite white stuff..

Kylie loved whipped cream! You know the sound it makes when you spray it out of the can? That sound would bring her running from where ever she was in the house and even wake her from a sound sleep.

And bad parents that we are, we would hold the can upside down and Kylie would dance around on her hind legs slurping up as much as we were willing to squeeze out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, sometimes we would fake her out and make that whip cream from the can noise with our mouths, just to see her come in the kitchen and get all excited! Of course then we would feel bad and would give her some other unhealthy treat.

But Kylie was smart.. you couldn’t fake her out very often. Before that trick would work again, she’d have to get the real thing a couple of times at least!

 

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Once when Kylie was still a pretty young pup, back in Hawaii. We had ordered a big jug of doggie bagels. She was very pleased! So when offering them to her we just opened the big jug and held it out so she could stick her little snout in and grab one. But the little dog who seemed otherwise fearless, and always looking for trouble, was scared to stick her head in the container..

So in an attempt to empower her, as always, we encouraged her to just go for it – “carpe’ bagel, Kylie!” But she¬† wasn’t buying it, so then we tried reverse psychology, “Ok, guess you don’t want a bagel. Well, we’ll just leave this big, open container of doggie bagels on the kitchen floor.” And we walked away.

Unfortunately -or fortunately for Kylie- we girls have always had pretty short attention span. So half an hour later when we realized Kylie was chomping away on a big bagel, we said “uh-oh!” We went to the kitchen to find a half-empty (although at the time it seemed half-full) container of bagels! Woops! No wonder Kylie was pretty pudgy as a pup! She was sneaky!!

But the importance of this incidence was setting the precedence of Kylie conquering her fears. As long as we were patient and encouraging.. Kylie could do anything!

Drive a car, sled down the big hill, maybe even wrestle alligators.. but on that one we decided we should hold her back! (we weren’t always bad parents!)

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Ok, this one definitely gets filed under “bad parenting”… once in awhile we would take Kylie to Petsmart or Petco.

So far that sounds normal, right? Everybody takes their pet to Petsmart, however we were going in for a very specific agenda.. Kylie’s anti-reptile agenda!

We would go in and maybe look at some toys or treats, then casually stroll over to the birds, or the fish, on our way to The Lizzards!! Sometimes, if they were well camouflaged she wouldn’t even see them at first. It’s like she was a t-rex and her vision was based on their movement. And inevitably they would move, and eventually they would dart at her from behind the glass, and Kylie would launch her counter strike! She would lunge at the glass snarling and bearing her teeth, the hair on her back standing up (we called that her dorsal fin), carrying on like she was ready to eat ’em for a snack.

Sometimes if said attack was a little too loud we would have to quickly snatch her up and shuffle her away from the scene of the crime and pretend to be innocently shopping for stain remover or something. But Kylie would always be very pleased with herself.

Then she would try her intimidation tactics on the gerbils or ferrets but she did not seem to get the results she was looking for there.. they just ignored her. Which she seemed to think was just rude!

Come to think of it, Kylie seemed to have issues with other reptiles as well..

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…just more bad parenting!

In that same new jersey apartment where Kylie attacked the sprinklers on a nightly basis, she also gained access to her first doggie door – sort of…

firstddBehind the apartment was an open space and a large ravine between us and a tree line. On occasion we would spot a fox or even a couple of deer – yes, in new jersey. Anyway… We had put a stool under the window looking out that direction that was the perfect height for Kylie to sit and gaze. Then at some point we started opening the window and letting Kylie hop out, sniff around, pee if need be, then hop back in. Of course then it became quite convenient, especially first thing in the morning or late at night to open the window, let Kylie out, go do what you gotta do, wait for Kylie to jump back in, and close the window. I know right, bad parenting!

Especially the time when she jumped out the window and right into the face of a great big dog on a leash who was unpleasantly surprised to see her. Or the time when I let her out mid-evening, and since it was cold, I shut the window while waiting, got distracted and about fifteen minutes later remembered, “Holy Crap, Kylie’s outside!!” I put on shoes and opened the front door prepared to go out and search, but there she was sitting right outside the door. She looked up at me like “what the heck is wrong with you?”

Fortunately Kylie was (usually) quick to forgive.

We’ve begun hearing the first claps of springtime thunder around here and it makes us miss Kylie even more – if that’s possible. She had always been especially scared of loud noises, which is why we called her Chicken Little. Of course then when we found out about the drive-by we felt terrible and once again realized we had been really bad parents!

Anyway, once we moved to the mainland and had thunderstorms to deal with regularly, they didn’t just frighten Kylie, they would send her under the bed for the rest of the day, shaking and cowering. It was heartbreaking and absolutely nothing would console her, until…

thunderOne day, I don’t know how we got the idea, but during a particularly thunderous thunder storm we started encouraging her to BARK back at the thunder. And she did! Meekly at first, but with encouragement she got braver and of course louder! And louder, and louder, and louder, barking, howling, and carrying on like a lunatic!! All the while we would cheer her on and she loved it, and we loved seeing her brave and empowered instead of terrified. Knowing that thunderstorms are a common fear for dogs, we thought we should do an infomercial or something about how to empower your pooch, and get rich.

Then we went on vacation to hawaii – the only place we went on vacation without Kylie – and a friend of ours stayed at our house to take care of Kylie. One day when we called to see how they were doing, the friend who sounded very tired told us they were fine but there had been a series of storms the night before, in the middle of the night, and well therefore she was pretty tired at work that day.

“Oops, sorry about that,” we apologized. We felt a little guilty, but we explained our motivation for encouraging the foul-weather ferociousness. Fortunately there weren’t any more stormy nights during our trip and we brought our friend a large quantity of macadamia nuts and all was forgiven!

We of course continued to instigate the insanity, especially in colorado where thunder comes almost daily from late May to early July.

When Kylie was about 3 or 4 she got really sick and we were really worried. We took her to the vet and they ran all kinds of tests and at some point they came in to the room where we were waiting nervously and said, “you know that she’s been shot, right?”

“WHAT? Wait.. When?.. What?” We were thinking that they were saying that’s why she was sick now and we just couldn’t figure out how that was xray2 possible since she was rarely even out of our sight. We were very confused. Then the doctor, who had no bedside manner whatsoever (this was pre-Dr. Monica of course), realized we were confused and explained that she wasn’t shot recently and that it had nothing to do with her current condition; which btw turned out to be colitis, caused by stress because we were moving. She had just taken x-rays of Kylie and saw two bb’s, one in her neck and one in her ribs. (See the bright white dot on the left side of her ribs.) It still took awhile for us to process what that meant…

What it meant was that when Kylie arrived at the Hawaiian Humane Society at the approximate age of 8 months, her wounds had already healed, which means that she was probably no older than 6 months old when somebody shot her with a bb gun! Can you imagine somebody shooting at something so cute?! Even if it was getting into your trash or something?! What is wrong with people??!

Of course we felt terrible because being the bad parents that we were, we had regularly made fun of Kylie for being scared of things like bubble wrap and paint ball guns – We called her chicken little! ( I know.)

Then again, knowing that she had survived a drive-by gave Kylie a lot of street cred! We started calling her an OG -“original gangster”- and joked about her potential career as a rapper. But it certainly helped to explain a lot of her issues, and we understood her a lot better.

Kylie was a tough little street dog, a scrapper, a survivor. She came a long way to her own chaise lounge and coach collars, but she was still a scrapper. Apparently you can take a dog out of the street but you can’t take the street out of the dog. And that’s why we love her!

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When we adopted Kylie, and she rescued us, we agreed that we were going to raise her the way we wanted to be raised – with NO rules whatsoever (except the potty training of course)! Kylie was allowed to do whatever she wanted, and to BE whatever she wanted. And we are now pretty convinced that’s why she had such a vivid imagination and such a huge personality.

Then several months after she came to live with us, we went on a trip to visit friends on the westsitting coast and Kylie stayed with some of her favorite people at the time, our friends Derrick & Tammy. They adored Kylie, and every time we called to check on her they would tell us about some silly thing she had done or that she liked to eat bamboo shoots, and “what kind of dog eats bamboo shoots?!” Then during one of the phone calls the question was, “Did you know she didn’t know how to sit?” And we were confused about the past tense-ness of the question.. “Yes, of course we knew that. Did you teach her to sit?!”

“Yes, she learned really fast and she likes learning stuff!”

“Aarrgh! you broke our dog.”

Ok, that’s not exactly what we said, but that’s what we thought. We didn’t want her to learn normal dog stuff, we wanted her to be a free spirit. (aka, we were bad parents)

As it turned out it was pretty handy that Kylie knew how to sit, but we never did teach her to roll over or speak or any of that other “normal dog stuff,” oh except for high-five which came accidentally many years later while watching the super bowl. But we didn’t really need to, Kylie was just a really good dog AND a free spirit!