Kasey’s Story

As close as we can figure, Kasey came into the world around sometime in August 2007.  We have no idea what his mother or father looked like, and only guesses as to what breed they are. Two vets have said “probably lab with border collie” and his personality seems to match up with that–so that’s what we tell people who ask. We also have no idea why he ended up in a cage at the North Shore Animal League shelter at 8 weeks old. But we ended up at the shelter because we wanted a puppy.

It seemed that most of our local shelters had a foster set-up, not many puppies, and somewhat understandable but prohibitive application processes. At North Shore we could walk away with a puppy that needed us and for whom we knew we were prepared. This did come with some assumed risks: no background story on the puppy, for example.

Kasey was a quiet little angel puppy in the first days after we brought him home. Then one Sunday he started to cough. We waited a few hours, but ended up having to take him to the area emergency vets. Kasey was diagnosed with kennel cough that led to mild pneunomonia. That was a scary few days while he had to stay on meds in the hospital. We were quite sure he would get better, but not so sure he would even remember us after only a few days of bonding. He came out perfectly fine, but it was quite an introduction to the expense of properly caring for a dog. And we realized after a few days that the reason he had been so quiet and snuggly was because he was sick. We basically brought home a different dog, but it was the dog Kasey was supposed to have been all along.

He grew really fast and we grew to not remember life before him. He was neutered early at the request of the shelter and with the approval of our vet. (Recent things I’ve been reading make me wonder if this was the best choice, but he doesn’t seem to have had any problems.) He showed his smarts and we had him sitting and doing down long before we took him to his first puppy class, which he passed with flying colors.

Toward the middle of his 8-week intermediate class he got a bit of ringworm on his jowl, but other than that he’s been a healthy dog since his hospital stay as a bitty wee thing.

Kasey is a lovely almost-one-year-old puppy now. He’s extremly affectionate, and the “worst” punishment for “bad” behavior is to be separated from us for a minute or two. (That’s how we’ve been working on “no begging” and it has been working wonderfully.) He does get bored sometimes when it’s been too hot to be outside or we’ve had so much stuff going on that he’s only going out on his zip line and not getting walks and dog park time. This boredom is bad, though, because he’s quite likely to zip out the door and go for his own run. This has happened twice and he always comes back to us after he’s had his fun, but it’s horribly scary to be out there shouting for him. Luckily we live in a quiet neighborhood without much traffic.  It’s our fault entirely and we’re trying to be much more careful about doors, since we can’t afford to fence in a whole acre right now, and to make sure we wear him out as much as possible.

Kasey does sit, down, roll over, bring it (periodically), give paw, no begging (he lies down and looks at us with sad eyes); go lie down, go to your bed, and go to your mat (three different places). He can heel quite well if we remember to work on it with him. He usually does well with “leave it,” too. We cannot get him to stop chasing the cat, but he and the bird are pretty good friends.

Kasey really is the joy of my life. I’m so lucky to have found him.

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