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.

Right on top of Kylie’s head, near the middle of that white stripe, there was a unicornbump on her little skull. You couldn’t see it but you could feel it, it had always been there, a little left of center (which seemed appropriate).

Our first thought.. devil horns!

But there was only one and it wasn’t really in the right place.

Then we realized she must have been a Unicorn!!

It was a little off-center because you know the unicorn’s horn is a spiral.

It made perfect sense and explained why Kylie was so very UNIque!

We mentioned before that when the first girl first saw Kylie she thought that she was an old dog who had had a rough life and she wanted to bring her home so we could give her a big party for whatever life she had left. Then we found out Kylie was still a puppy! They said she was approximately eight months old and we totally didn’t believe them – until she started exhibiting some very puppy-like behavioral issues. For example, she peed everywhere!
So after about six days of potty-training with poor results, the first girl, who was Kylie’s official adopter, said she couldn’t take it and she was taking Kylie back. The shelter offered a seven day warranty of sorts so that if things didn’t go well you could take back your adopted pet with no questions asked, and she was prepared to send Kylie packing. So girl 2 stepped in and said she would accept all responsibility for the little pisser! This included cleaning up after all the “mistakes” that were made until Kylie was successfully housebroken as well as making sure that the housebreaking actually did happen. So the deal was done, there was even an official title transfer.
The truth was revealed by girl 1 much later, that it had nothing to do with the pee pee babykylie5problems. She had quickly begun to feel way to attached to the little bean head (another favorite nickname), and was feeling a very vulnerable sense of dread about eventually having to go through exactly what we’re going through now having lost our sunshine. 🙁 In retrospect, a very reasonable reaction. And in the end she wasn’t spared the devastation and despair of the loss of the little monster. But she got to share in every day of the wonderful insanity that was the Life of Kylie, which neither girl would trade for anything in the world.

Another near miss came a few months later when Kylie, seemed to have forgotten that she had been successfully potty trained not long after that first week. All it took in the end was a few days of putting diapers on her end (actual human baby diapers), and the humiliation did the trick. Boy would she be pissed, no pun intended, about us telling the entire internet about that! Anyway, Kylie had started peeing everywhere again – her favorite target was comforters! And she was getting threatened.. “cut it out or you’re back on the streets!” (We know, more bad parenting.) But we decided maybe there’s something wrong, maybe we should have her checked out, maybe she’s got some sort of kidney or bladder disorder. But what did the vet find? Heartworms!!
Holy crap! Do heartworms cause a dog to pee on the floor? No, they don’t, it was completely unrelated – but thank god Kylie had started peeing on the floor or we never would have found them. And she never should have had them but again, we were VERY BAD parents! We let a vet convince us that since she was going to be an indoor dog she didn’t need a preventative. Hello! It’s hawaii! Mosquitoes are present everywhere and anywhere all year round! Much like louisianna, pretty much any dog not treated for heartworms will end up with heartworms. So Kylie had to undergo heartworm treatment which is basically like chemo, which is literally poisoning your dog in order to kill the worms. It’s very dangerous and we were so scared we were going to lose her.
Obviously, Kylie came out fine but man those first few months were rough for all of us! It’s amazing to think of what almost never was, how much we would have missed.
We were so lucky!

Once the Kylie nicknames started they kind of never stopped. Shortly after the Frankenweenie, Trashhound, Ready Kilowatt days she got her showgirl name, Kylie Espadrille Cha Cha Cha!

No, we don’t know where that came from it just sort of rolled off the tongue one day and Kylie really liked it so it stuck. We don’t know where most of her nicknames came from, but some of them were obvious like K-dog or K-diddy, which sometimes was DJ K-diddy. Some were random like Monkey or Chicken, which would become compound like Monkey Doodle or Monkey Butt, or Chicken Little or Chicken Butt. “Shorty” was also a favorite, and kind of obvious, and it also sometimes became compound like Shorty Pie or Short Pants. Then “Pants” became a very popular stand alone nickname which eventually at some point became Chicken Pants! We didn’t really know why we had started calling her Chicken Pants until the two girls were on a trip back home tochicken hawaii, the only place we really ever went without her (quarantine laws). We were at the shooting range of all places, which was overrun with wild chickens of all things, but not just your everyday barnyard chickens, they were fancy chickens with feathers all the way down their legs so it looked like they were wearing pants…ergo, Chicken Pants!! We were so excited, it all made sense now because Kylie’s back legs were so puffy and extra furry! You chickenpantscan kind of tell in this picture of her hiny, even though she’s wearing her snow suit and her legs are mostly covered you can see right under her tail how thick her hair is on her hindquarters. Chicken Pants was perfect!

Her gangsta name was “Kylie Three Toes”, she got that after she lost one toe on her back left foot to cancer. But eventually we just started referring to that foot as her “Lucky Fin.”

Then there was the two week period several years ago when we realized she wouldn’t answer to Kylie anymore. So we asked her if she had changed her name. But she wouldn’t answer, so we started trying new names.. Fluffy, Fido, Sadie, we kept guessing but nothing worked so we moved on to more people names of both genders until she finally responded to one. Howard – she came when we called her Howard and not when we called her anything else.

You probably think we’re making this up, but I swear that she would totally ignore us when we called her Kylie but would snap to it when you called her Howard. Until one day she was over it and went back to being Kylie.

Kylie always had a huge imagination, so maybe she was pretending to be Howard Hughes or Howard Stern, we have no idea. But she really did like nicknames, especially when we worked them into a song or something.

God we miss Kylie Espadrille Cha Cha Cha Shorty Chicken Pants!

We remembered another – LL Cool K!

If we remember even more, we’ll add them here as well..

We’ve been asked a number of times over the years, “where’d you get the name Kylie?” Oddly we don’t exactly remember.

We had a chalkboard in the apartment where all three roommates wrote suggestions. We remember writing Penelope, Snickerdoodle, Snoopy and the like, but we don’t know who wrote KYLIE or why. It was way after Kylie Minogue’s “Loca-Motion” had left the station, and long before her comeback came back, and I can’t really think of any other famous Kylies.

I can kind of imagine Kylie herself, maybe when we were all asleep, somehow climbing up onto the shelf under the chalkboard and putting the chalk in her mouth and spelling out K-Y-L-I-E, because obviously that was meant to be her name. We all agreed, Kylie it is.

In Australia a kylie is a curved stick or a boomerang, which is appropriate because we could let Kylie run and explore and she would always come back.

meankylie At a gift shop at the space needle where they were kind enough to let Kylie come in and do some shopping we found these little picture frames that had names along with what the name “meant,” you know the type. It reads, “KYLIE, An Australian name influenced by ‘Kyle’ and ‘Kelly.’ A very emotional and romantic person, she is full of energy and able to mesmerize those around her.”

I have to say, that’s actually pretty accurate, except for the romantic part maybe! So of course I bought the frame, but to be ironic I put this picture in it.

After Kylie became Kylie, we filled the chalkboard in that old apartment with nicknames that she earned in the early days, like Frankenweenie – which was a reference to her metal stitches on her scar from when she was spayed, Iron Belly – because she could eat anything like a whole rib bone and a roach trap, Trashhound – which is pretty obvious, and oh yeah, Ready Kilowatt – because she chewed through electrical cords, even some that were plugged in, giving her quite a jolt!