Sunday, April 3, 2011

Keisha - Second Time Around

Throwing a lot of pic's at this one since I already described Keish in a previous post. Keish is easily one of the fosters closest to my heart and an easy favourite with pretty much every one of my friends. 

Ryan, Callie, and I moved to Toronto last summer and being newly unemployed I took to getting to know the new city. I had seen all the touristy attractions on visits over my years so I started to get to know the different neighbourhoods and more importantly: the dog parks! I had been in contact with Keisha's new mom, Cheri, over the last few months and one day mentioned I was heading to a large park that everyone far and wide told me it was one of the best in the city. When I got there I immediately noticed a Keisha look-alike laying in the sand waiting for us - something Keisha always did when she wanted to play with a new dog. Callie was oblivious to the situation and carried on her business until this look-alike came running towards her, a classic Keisha move. All of a sudden the look-alike stopped dead when she got a whiff of Callie and then off the two of them went in a joyous romp like old friends. I don't have the best eyes so that was the moment I went from "Hey that looks like Keisha" to "Hey that IS Keisha!" The two of them were in their own little world so I went to find Cheri and had a chat. Eventually Keisha clued in that I must be around and came and home me for a long awaited hello.

Two best friends and a jealous "That dog" in the background
A few weeks later Cheri asked us to doggiesit Keisha so of course we agreed. It was a nice weekend having her around. I was intrigued when Cheri told we Keisha had been in a few obedience classes and learned a few cool tricks. She showed me "Peek-A-Book" (The first picture) and I was amazed. I was never a big trick person but come on, its adorable. She also had wayyyy better recall which was a relief because Keisha had been known to go on adventures after deer when in my care. Callie totally perked up with the second dog in the house. Less couch potato and more play. It was a good weekend over all.

A favourite spot
A few weeks later I get an email from Cheri. For health reasons that I wont divulge onto the internet for everyone, it was impossible for her to care for Keisha long term and because she loved Keisha she followed the instructions in her adoption papers and came to me and the rescue before trying to re-home herself. At first we tried letting Cheri become a foster herself but after almost a month it proved too much. So, in an effort to keep Keisha's life some what stable, we took her in. Did I mention we live in a bachelor apartment? Ryan wasn't impressed.
Off on an adventure
Cheri was pretty upset when she came to drop Keisha off. She held it together, I think for my sake - I'm prone to tears if I see tears- and we brought Keisha's stuff up to the apartment. I had unleashed the dogs in the elevator to make it easier and to my surprise Keisha left the elevator and walked straight to my door. It had been quite awhile since she'd visited and yet she walked right to the door and looked at the three of us like "Lets go guys, your taking to long!" I don't think that made Cheri feel any better but I was impressed!

Keisha was the same dog she had always been. Now she just sat down before crossing roads and actually could be let off-leash without worry. I quickly learned "Come" worked about 90% of the time and "I SAID NOW" worked the other 10%. She was still goofy and still a total cuddle bug. And her peek-a-boo trick was a great party favour. One night we had a couple friends over and I jokingly pointed at Keisha, pointed my finger like a gun and said "You'd be dead without us Keish! Boom!" and she just fell to the ground and rolled onto her back. That's how I discovered she could play dead. 

Callie giving Keish the "Don't touch my cake" eyes
She was a complete goof and I loved her for it. She was also a huge baby. One day we were coming back from the dog park and she stopped in the middle of the street and started to scream bloody murder. I managed to wrangle her out of traffic and noticed that the salt and cold weather was hurting her toes. I was pretty good about making sure I took routes that weren't salted and I made sure to wash and take care of their toes. I had booties for long trips as well but this wasn't a long trip! Callie was fine but Keisha was sitting on her butt with all her feet up in the air and screaming. I tried whiping her toes off on my clothes and blowing hot air.I used snow to clean them but it was no help. So I choose plan B: I picked her up and walked her home. I was a good two city blocks away from home and she was freaking heavy. Generally she whines a bit when she's picked up but not just time. She was happy as can be, loving the special treatment, as I struggled home. Callie was in shock and just kind of walked along behind us giving a questioning look. You wouldn't believe the looks we got from strangers.

From that day on we didn't leave the house without booties
 Finally we had a family come to meet her that I actually liked. By this time I was pretty attached to Keisha and didn't want her to go through a failed home again. This family had a wonderful, playful, little dog that Keish fell immediately in love with. We all got along like we've known each other for years. Even Callie liked them both immediately which is weird because sometimes it takes awhile for her to warm up to strange men. They lived on a nice big parcel of land, were very active, and made the long trek into town every weekend without fail so their dog could play at the dog park. Keish went home almost two months ago and we've missed her ever since. I just pray this time its her forever home.

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