The next thing I know there is a knock at my front door. Standing there was my partner holding a roly-poly puppy saying, “If you don’t like her I can take her back.” I had to laugh at that while I was shaking my head. Anyone who knows me knows that I would take in all the animals that need a good home if it were possible.
First day home
As time went on Khia grew up like any normal dog. The first night we fed her she ate so fast she was moving her dish across the floor so my partner reached down with her hand to stop the bowl from moving. The next moment this little dog let out a such a huge, ferocious bark that my partner jumped back so fast I thought she lost a couple of fingers in the process. I had to start laughing at the whole thing. That was the last time she did that. We made sure to associate love with her food and so she wouldn't feel like someone was threatening steal what she perceived belonged to her. For the first week, someone would sleep with her in the Living Room so that every time she woke up we would take her outside to go to the bathroom. This way we never had accidents in the house. It was worth all the sleepless nights.
Khia spending time in the backyard.
Out of all the dogs that have lived with me she is the only one that has an acute sense of hearing. She would be lying in the kitchen, at the back of the house, suddenly get up, run to the front door and start barking. No one had knocked or rang the door bell. One time we looked out the front window to see anyone was there. On the other side of the street was a person walking a small terrier. No noise was being made, not even barking. She could hear what was happening a hundred feet away, in a house with the windows closed.
When I am watching a movie and gasp or make some kind of sound from being startled or scared, she will move to be right up beside me on the couch and paw at my leg. I know she is upset and nervous so I have to assure her that everything is OK. After that I would watch movies without making a sound, thinking that I would be able to watch without being interrupted. I was dead wrong. She still had the same emotional response even without me making a noise. The funny thing is that I would be the only one she would do this to. Watching movies has never been the same. She has gotten a little better but she still has a strong sense of what I am feeling.
Khia is also the first dog I feel really feel comfortable walking with. She is a very relaxed dog and aware of her surroundings. No problems with her barking at people or other dogs unless provoked. The only thing I have to watch out for most of the time are small animals running across our path. That is when she starts taking me for a walk. I have ended up in many a bush when she chases lizards sunbathing on the sidewalk.
We had another dog named Max who grew up with Khia. She would not leave him alone for even a minute and followed him everywhere. It was like me trying to get rid of my shadow on a sunny day. I had to laugh. She would always curl right up to Max at night as their ritual. Max never complained. Over time Max became blind and Khia changed. She would growl at Max whenever he would get up and move around. I could tell that Khia just wanted to make sure Max did not step on her.
It was a sad day when max passed away. I remember we were sitting on the couch with Khia lying at our feet, not a sound was made by anyone. All of a sudden Khia started to growl in her low voice like all those times when Max was around. I knew that Max had come back to say farewell and that he was doing better. We started to laugh and I told Khia one last time to be nice to Max. Khia reminded me of how life does not end but continues on.
About a month ago, a thunder-storm came through our area. During the storm one of the thunder claps sounded like it was right on top on the house, which even made me jump. Khia was having a hard time with the storm. She would move from place to place, only stopping for a couple of seconds, hanging her head like she is being punished. Other times I would wake up in the middle of the night to hear her panting as if she had been running around.
She will sometimes start acting up even when a storm is an hour away. I have to stick my head outside and listen carefully to hear anything. My nurturing side wants to hold her and protect her but I don’t because I don't want her to associate a negative event with praise. That would confuse her even more.
What I do is sit down in the same room and let her go anywhere she wants so she can find her comfort zone during these difficult times. The only time I touch her is if she sits right up against my leg. I can feel her whole body shaking so I will place my hand on her back and not move it. I will run some Re-Hu-Tek energy through her body and communicate through thoughts and pictures in my mind like words of “safety” and “peace” and after a while she will lay down but still continue panting. After a while I will remove my hand and just sit there with her until I know that she feels good on her own. (Without going into too much detail if you want to know more about Re Hu Tek you can go to www.rehutek.com)
There are times when I am baffled by her. For example, for a week she would suddenly let out a single bark in the middle of the night, between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. A single bark from Khia is usually telling me that there is something not right, like one of the other dogs is getting into something they are not supposed to. I know it is not her allergies because once I let her into my room she goes right to sleep as if she feels safe and can relax.
I tried listening to what might be happening outside but there were no sounds, not even another dog barking in the distance. I have tried to communicate with her but all I get is an uneasy feeling that she is not sure of. Could it be earthquakes? I don’t think Mother Nature keeps a schedule between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Is Khia having bad dreams or is she hearing something outside that is upsetting her. The possibilities are endless. She is the only one who seems to be bothered. The other dogs are sound asleep. This is ongoing and is making me very tired with all the interrupted sleep. Hopefully I will find a solution soon so the whole family can go back to regular routines.
Khia’s allergies are getting the best of her lately. She is the first dog I ever had that has more allergies than most people. She is allergic to chicken by-products, peas, sage, and some grasses; the list goes on. She gets monthly shots to keep the itching down. It has been helping. We must be going on almost 2 years now. Just like people there are times when the weather affects her and I need to give her Benadryl to help with scratching attacks. During those times the other dogs have to walk on pins and needles around her. I think that if you looked up in the dictionary for the definition of the word “bitch” there would be a picture of my dog, and I don't mean the definition of a female dog.
We took her to the Vet's the other day because we could not get her to stop itching or licking her leg. Have you ever had a dog that licked their leg until all you have is a patch of raw skin? It just breaks my heart to see her so miserable. The Vet recommended some fatty acid to be added to her meals and it seems to be working. She has not been scratching as much and I have noticed that she even seems to have her appetite back.
The other option the Vet gave us was she steroid shots, which I only will give her as a last resort. I have been playing around with the idea of makin my own dog food so I can control what she eats. With so many allergies it is hard to find just one brand that will work for her. I ordered a book by a Dr. Beck, a veterinarian, Dr. Beck’s real food for healthy dogs and cats. It deals with going back to the root of the animal's need before humans domesticated them. I am going to document what kind of results I get in the future.
Khia after a rough night with her allergies.
Khia is the first really sensitive animal I have ever experienced. I think she is here for me to work on my communication skills with animals. Being around a dog like that 24/7 almost helps me understand animals more, so that when I communicate with other animals I am not second guessing myself. Sometimes I sit back and think about what could've been, like what if she had gone to another family? Would they do as much for her as I have? Would they try to take care of her financially and emotionally as I do? I know there are other people out there, but some days I feel like I am in a minority. Ask yourself this question “If you see a stray dog on the side of the road that could get hit by a passing car at any moment, would you stop to pick it up or would you go on with your own business without a second thought?” I think I have different priorities than many other people when it comes to animals.
Food for thought? Thanks for reading.