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!

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You may have noticed the giant rawhide bone in the photo where Kylie was shredding one of her toys.. it’s hard to miss, its as big as her!


We bought it for her because we thought it would be funny to see her try to maneuver it, but the joke was on us.. she would carry it up and down the hall, banging it into furniture and the walls but not slowing down. And you’ll notice, one end is totally missing!

Kylie was never afraid of a challenge!

As hard as it was for us in the beginning to believe that Kylie was still a puppy, she was very determined to convince us. She was very destructive!


Kylie destroyed everything! Her favorites were electrical cords, she chewed through phone cords, fan cords, extension cords, and more cords. We tried putting tobasco sauce on the cords, that just made her more determined; we tried that bitter apple stuff which merely inconvenienced her but she would not be deterred. She threw up at some point (go figure) and there were bits of copper wire in the mix (sorry, that’s gross). Once we were even sitting in the living room, watching television in the evening when we heard a ZAP, a YELP, and the lights went out simultaneously. She had chewed through a lamp cord while it was plugged in and even that didn’t convince her to find a new hobby!

She also seemed to fancy unmentionables when she was looking for something to tear up – bras and boxer shorts, etc. Yeah… no idea what that was about.

Kylie got into the trash all the time, she knocked the christmas tree over that first year several times. It got to the point that when we were driving home we would start getting stressed out wondering.. what did Kylie destroy today.

Our solution was a little unique – we set up a Kylie rescue fund. Each week her three roomates would put money into Kylie’s piggy bank so that when she broke something the money to replace it came out of her savings. It worked out pretty well.. when she would destroy stuff, she had to pay to replace it out of her allowance!

When Kylie grew out of chewing things up finally, we kept putting the money in the piggy bank weekly and started calling it her allowance. Interestingly, even though Kylie would chew up almost anything, including paper and magazines, she would never destroy cash. And if you happen to miss a weekend payment, she would be sure to let you know!


Over the years she got the occasional raise and since she wasn’t having to pay to replace things, she built up a savings and eventually we opened an interest bearing bank account for her where she typically had a couple thousand dollars. Then Kylie was able to use her own money to buy christmas presents for family and friends and occasionally make a donation to an animal rescue.

I don’t know how we came up with it, but most every dog parent we’ve told about it has said it was a great idea and they wanted to try it. I guess we should have written a book about puppy parenting – we could have called it “what not to do.”

I know I said this wouldn’t be a chronological story and I’m sure for the most part it won’t be. Then again a little background wouldn’t hurt…

Once upon a time there were two girls. They were in their mid-twenties, living in Honolulu, and they had become fast friends with a common objective – ‘We must get an apartment so that we can get a DOG!’

So as soon as said apartment was rented regular trips to the Hawaiian Humane Society began. (Nevermind the fact that said apartment had a No Pets policy. That’s another story for another time) One day very shortly into this journey, one girl went to the Humane Society on her own and saw a very odd looking creature. It was about three feet off the ground having climbed the chain link fence gate of the dog run. “What’s that?” the girl inquired.

THAT was a mess of a lump of a “dog,” covered with motor oil and ticks, that had just come in that day. So the girl, who had been hoping to find something more along the lines of a pure-bred pup, asked to see IT. The dog was unresponsive and looked tired, beat up, and old, so the girl took pity. She put her name on a list because there was a waiting period in case somebody came to lay claim. Then she came home to announce to her roommates (there was also a boy in residence at the time) that she had found this poor, old dog who probably didn’t have long left to live so she was planning to bring her home to have a big party for whatever time she had left. (Which as it turns out, is exactly what we did!)

The next day both girls went to see the dog who had been moved from a run with three or four other dogs to a run with just a shepherd puppy to share. She had been cleaned up but now was sporting a gash on her head that we were told she got when she started a big melee with the other dogs in the pen. This seemed surprising at the time.

We took her out of the run to get acquainted but that was difficult because the little dog was so skittish. She mostly just sat on the grass, no eye contact. We gave her treats but she just tried to bury them or at least cover them with grass, which was cute but heartbreaking. The only true sign of life we saw was when we got her to walk near the area where they keep guinea pigs in cages. When she caught sight of them moving around, and presumably got a scent, she really perked up! But it was very short-lived and we just assumed, well she is a terrier of some sort so that’s just instinct.

When it was time for her to get sprung from the pokey, we went to pick her up and on her adoption papers we noticed it read “Age: appx 8 mos”. To which we said, “What?! Are you sure??” We were assured that the vet had determined this through thorough examination so we had no choice but to believe them. But it wasn’t until in the weeks and months to come, when she got BIGGER, that we really decided they must have been about right. By the way, on that last day she had been moved into a private run, all by herself, which was odd because they were at max capacity. They told us that she had turned out to be a bit of a scrapper. To which we said, “What?! Are you sure??” We would find out much later that they were right about this too.

She was a little scared of the car ride, then she walked in the door of the apartment, where she wasn’t allowed, stepped about one foot in the door and peed!

To the best of my knowledge this is the first picture of Kylie in her new home.


She spent three weeks laying on the couch like a potato, getting up periodically to pee on the carpet, then one day she decided she was staying so “they might as well get to know the real me,” and she WOKE up! Suddenly we had a puppy with all the craziness and destruction that comes with that!

To be continued…