Tuesday, August 21, 2012


With much sadness we recently had our dog put down. We got her as a puppy from the Pasadena pound 13 years ago. They didn’t know with certainty what specific kind of pooch she was, they said a husky/shepherd.

Wife Klem and I bought our first home in 1998. Our dog, Kira (aka Koobi), would be the second major acquisition [not monetarily, but as it pertains to a commitment]. The third major purchase was unforeseen, Koobi’s knee surgeries, both hind legs.

Four months after we got her it became evident that both hind legs were faulty. We’d be playing in the backyard chasing tennis balls and she’d suddenly do what looked like a series of beleaguered bunny hops, then she’d lie down in the grass panting. It was gruesome to see. We didn’t have ample jack, but she got her knee surgery. Those improved knees, turns out, was money very well spent.

As a puppy, after her new knees and dog training, I would take her into the hills north of La Crescenta and let her off leash. She never ran off. She would run 20 to 30 feet away enjoying her sense of independence and, every so often, she’d look back at me as if to make sure it was still OK that she was off leash. It was. If people were approaching I’d call her back and she’d return without hesitation and easily allow the leash. I was really surprised how quickly and well she responded. Her dog training really paid off!

After we had kids, she was very protective, but never aggressive. If we were out for a walk with a kid in the stroller, if anyone came near, Koobi would growl, raise the fur on her back, and put on a good show, but she never bit anyone. Wife Klem and I liked how she considered the kids to be her babies too and wanted to keep them safe.

Since early this year her left hind leg had deteriorated to the point where she used it as little more than a pivot. Her right hind leg had recently also become a major problem. Near the end she had difficulty squatting and had trouble standing up from a laying position. Once she was up on all fours she could get around in a tentative hobbled manner but often looked as if she were in need of assistance. If she was outside and out of sight for more than a few minutes I was inclined to look for her, make sure she had not collapsed somewhere, lying out there in the sun unable to stand. Anytime we’d been away from home for more than an hour we’d hope to return to find her peacefully sleeping in one of her spots, instead of being splayed out on the floor waiting for help to arrive because she had slipped and couldn’t get up.

Kira was a sweet beast that brightened our home and softened our hearts. I hope she finds doggy heaven to be a place where she receives a Friday night pig ear every night.