Dog Days: Meet Kona!

September 13, 2011

On Saturday we participated in our local humane society’s annual fundraising walk. We didn’t reach our goal of $500 in pledges, but we still raised over $200 and I am thankful for that.

We walked in memory of Ginger.

Joining us was our new addition, Kona, who we adopted a few weeks ago.

It was an interesting journey getting to that point. I went through about a million emotions. Anxiety. Guilt. Excitement. Worry. Happiness.

Kizzy pushed us in that direction, probably a lot sooner than I would have otherwise felt “ready” after Ginger’s death. Which is probably why I had problems getting over the hurdle of feeling guilty, like we were over her loss and were replacing her. I know that’s not how it was, but it was still something to overcome. And I’m sure some people think we rushed into getting another dog.

Kizzy, however, wasn’t doing well. For the first week or two after Ginger passed, she was very very depressed. She moped around, slept most of the day, and just had a very lost look in her eyes while she grieved. Then she became anxious, in addition to being depressed. She threw up multiple times a day. I took her to the vet, but nothing “real” was wrong with her. She was just struggling.

Her separation anxiety hit a new level after that. She was beside herself when we would leave. She would cry and carry on when we got ready to go. She was destructive when we left. She was out of breath and exhausted when we got home. It was terrible. We knew she would never be happy as an “only dog.” And so we started to look.

Enter Kona. We went to a nearby rescue (well, about a two hour drive away) with a few dogs in mind, and after meeting them we knew he was the one.

He is lovely, and sweet, and well behaved. He loves kids. LOVES them. He is so gentle with Grant. He is a great fit with Kizzy, who is a bitchy alpha female, and he’s a laid back male who is happy to let her take the lead.

He came all the way up north from Missouri. He’s part Husky… and this will be his first real winter! I can’t wait to see how he likes the snow. He gets hot easily, and you can already tell he’s enjoyed the cooler days we have had. He came from a nice family, I can tell. All I know is that they were losing their house, and rather than risk bringing him to a high-kill shelter they opted to work with this rescue and send him up north.

It’s been fun getting to know him. He has settled in well, and we’re learning his likes and dislikes, and quirks. He’s on good food and fish oil, and we’ve put him on a little diet. He’s looking really good and his coat is getting shinier. He loves walks, and laying on our wood floors. He prefers rope toys and frisbees over plush toys or tennis balls. He is learning to like his fish oil capsules (Kizzy thinks hers are treats), and finally gets excited for meals (he’s a dog that would be fine picking at his food all day, but that doesn’t work with beagles, so he’s had to learn to eat when he gets fed or not eat at all). He doesn’t like vacuums, or when anything big or noisy comes at him (like the Swiffer, or a bin of toys).

I think he is finally realizing that this is HOME. Last week he started doing these soft, cute little “woofs” when he sees people outside, or when the mailman comes. I think he’s giving a bit of a warning, like, “Hey! I live here! Watch yourself!” He likes to lay in our front entryway. Our guard dog.

So that’s where we are. Kizzy is no longer anxious. She’s still warming up to him, but you can see how she has visibly relaxed. We can leave the house now.

We still miss Ginger, and her loss still hits me from time to time. I still cry. Bringing Kona into our family hasn’t meant that she’s been replaced or forgotten. I like to think that she’d be proud of us… that her loss made it possible to give another dog a second chance, like she got over ten years ago when she first entered our lives.

I love you, Ginger. Kona says hello.

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