Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kiana

TJ and I have 2 dogs, a golden retriever named Jenna and a German shepherd named Kiana (pronounced Key-auna). We've had them since before we had kids, and they used to sleep with us in bed (both weigh about 60 pounds) until we moved from California to the Carolinas. They are like our kids, and we love them like our kids, which is why it breaks my heart to see Kiana in her current state.

Both dogs were born in 2000, Kiana in May and Jenna in August. We had Jenna first, and Kiana joined our family by divine intervention. At 18 months old, Jenna was still having accidents in the house. She would do fine in the evenings and on the weekends when we were home, but during the week, we'd come home to a wet mess. We took her to the vet because we thought she was having kidney trouble. The vet told us her symptoms were that of loneliness, and he recommended we get another dog so she wasn't home alone. TJ and I wanted to get a German shepherd puppy, but before we had the opportunity, the Lord intervened.

One day I was at work and the woman (Yumi) whose position I filled stopped in to say hello. We began talking and she mentioned that she had a dog she was going to take to the pound. It was a German shepherd that she had gotten as a puppy for her kids. The boys were getting older and no longer wanted to commit to caring for the dog, and the poor dog sat at the back door with a ball in her mouth, longing for someone to play with her. My heart melted as I pictured the dog in my mind, and I told her I was interested in taking the dog to live with us. I called TJ at work and he agreed we could go and check out the dog. We made arrangements to go that evening, and after work, we loaded up Jenna in our truck and headed over to Yumi's house.

It was love at first sight! Jenna and Kiana ran around together in the back yard, and neither barked or showed signs of aggression toward the other. TJ threw the ball a few times, Kiana brought it back to him, and she left with us that very night. She has been part of our family since, and she and Jenna are like real sisters.

Lately I have noticed that Kiana has trouble getting up from a laying position. She also limps for a few feet before she can walk smoothly. Last night she was sitting and I gently picked up her front paws to lay them on my lap. She winced in pain! I think she is having hip trouble, and is a sign of her age. I hate it! She is still playful and loves to play with the ball, but seeing her in this condition reminds me that she won't be with our family forever. I dread the day we have to bury her, and I hope its many more years down the road. For now, I will have to take her to the vet and pray it's nothing serious.