We arrived at the airport’s international terminal for arriving fights and waited to meet Kali who traveled with 23 other rescued Golden Retrievers from Taiwan to SFO. The crates were wheeled into the terminal and the adopting families found their pup, wheeled the crate outside to the designated parking area to take them out of their crates, greet them, and take them to their Forever Homes.
It was almost three years ago when I stood in the evening air of that parking lot and opened the crate and we welcomed Kali into our lives. It was a fourteen hour flight so she needed to pee real bad. I hooked her leash on to her collar. She she pulled me a few feet, squatted, peed, and everything that has happened since is documented in the archives of this Golden Kali blog site.
It was remarkable how quickly Kali assimilated to her new life. We bonded instantly and for the first few days she was constantly by my side day and night and for the most part has stayed there ever since that night.
A lot has happened since then. The tag line of this blog post changed earlier this year from Kali’s new life in America to Kali’s new life in the mountains. The biggest events have been our relocation from the SF Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada Foothills and we adopted nine-week old Kloe in May, two weeks before we moved. So a lot has changed for my Golden Kali and she has been there by my side, never complaining, always loving with unwavering loyalty.
Yesterday was the rare day that we would leave Kali and Kloe for the day. We would be gone to long to leave them home by themselves so we arranged to have them stay with Marty and Jen, our close friends who live nearby and who also have two dogs who are playmates with Kali and Kloe. We arrived at Marty and Jen’s around 8:30, drove into the property and the gate closed behind us. Kali and Kloe eagerly jumped out of the back of the Outback and began sniffing and running. Kali mostly sniffing and Kloe mostly running; Tazing actually in anticipation of a full day of play with her her buddy Jaynee, our friend’s three year old Queensland Shepard mix. We chatted briefly but needed to get on the road. I gave the girls a kiss and we began to drive off.
I’ve never observed any separation anxiety in Kali. We’ve been fortunate that I work mostly from home and Holly has worked off and on part time so there is almost always someone home. But there have been many times that we have left Kali, and now Kali and Kloe alone for a four or five hour stretch. Although they’re both very happy to see us arrive back home there is never any signs of distress or evidence of acting out in the house or the yard.
Holly tells me that when I leave the house for whatever reason Kali will lie down next to the door I left through. She’ll stay there for a long time (presumably waiting for my return) until finally moving to her bed or onto some other area of the house or yard. So there is clearly still that bond and desire from Kali to be next to me if she has the choice. Truth be told it’s the same for me with for her… So yesterday as Holly and I got in the car I told Kali to stay and she watched us drive down the gravel path towards the gate. She stayed back where I left her as I punched in the key code and the gate slowly opened. I looked back through the rear view mirror and Kali’s body language told me she realized I was leaving. She began trotting towards the car as we headed out the gate.
Kali looked beautiful and regal trotting after me. She was earnest and determined.
The gate is on a timer and I realized it wouldn’t have closed in time to keep Kali inside so I stopped the car and got out. I placed her a few feet back from the gate and again told her to stay. She knew what I wanted, and she really really tried to stay, but as I walked back to the car she followed. I started walking back up to the house. “Come on Kali” I called. “Let’s Go”. Kali eagerly followed me back to the front porch where Marty was holding onto Kloe. The irony here s that Kloe was not inclined to follow the car because a full day of Tazing with Jaynee is way better than just about anything else. Kali was the one who needed be held in order stay back. Marty grabbed her collar and she reluctantly watched as I jogged back to the car, open the gate, and drive off.
Kali has spent the day at Marty and Jen’s before. Both her and Kloe have stayed overnight there. So I know she is fine and I know she doesn’t have any anxiety. She just wants to be with me. It’s a very special bond we’ve had since that evening almost three years ago that I opened her crate at SFO brought Her Loyal Highness Kali home and into my life.
HER LOYAL HIGHNESS, GOLDEN KALI