…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!


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!

Kylie loves root beer! It’s just one of the things she has in common with Snoopy.

And she knew the difference.. if you tired to give her coke or pepsi she would take one drink and look at you like, “wth? something’s wrong with this root beer.” Then she’d have no more of it! And around here, it’s always Barq’s root beer, because Barq’s has bite! It also has caffeine – it’s the only root beer that does – and if there’s anything Kylie needed it was a caffeine buzz!

Speaking of a buzz.. if there was any beverage she liked more than root beer it was Bailey’s! OMG, she went crazy for that stuff! Once she knew you were drinking Bailey’s she was on you like a… like a terrier. We figured it was because as part jrt, she was part irish, therefore of course she likes Bailey’s, plus that stuff tastes like liquid candy! (cough, cough, bad parenting)