This past week marks five years since my gentle soul Golden Kali joined our family. May 24 is Kali’s “Gotcha Day”. Long time followers of the Golden Kali Blog may remember that Kali was originally rescued in Taiwan. After receiving a few months of loving care and rehabilitation from her Taiwanese foster care givers she flew to America with 23 other Golden Retriever rescues, landed at SFO, and pranced straight into our hearts. For newer followers this very first post from five years ago will provide you with some historical context: Kali’s New Life In America Begins.
Kali very quickly turned our family into a pack inspiring us and shaping our lives in ways I never imagined. Her sweet and gentle disposition was evident from the very start. That first night home, unsure of what to expect I tethered her to the foot of my bed post when we went to bed. I remember being gently nuzzled by a wet nose in the wee hours of the morning by this loving girl. I took her outside to pee and we returned to the bedroom and she willingly settled down by the side of my bed and immediately settled down for the rest of the night. By the next evening she had earned full run of the house and has never ever displayed anything other than respect and appreciation for her surroundings and our belongings.
I’ll always remember the first visit – a meet and greet – to the vet when the vet gave Kali a few treats. “Look”, she said. “She takes the treats with her lips. She’s so gentle”. I smiled proudly (as if I had anything to do with her gentle nature) and felt immediately blessed to be in the presence of a soul so sweet as Kali.
Two years later we shook up Kali’s world by bringing home Kloe, a nine-week old Golden Retriever. After about 10 or15 minutes of a lot of barking (“get that little dog out of here”), followed by about 30 minutes of indifference (“fine she can stay but I’m not having anything to do with her”), Kloe won Kali’s heart and they’ve been nuzzling, playing, and sleeping together ever since. During the first several months Kali was a wonderful surrogate mom to Kloe giving her lessons only another dog can. As Kloe grew older the relationship transitioned to sisters and to this day Kloe idolizes her big sissy Kali.
Within three weeks of bringing Kloe home we moved from the SF Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada Foothills. We named our home The Golden K in honor of our two “K” girls. Kali loved her new environment with so much more area to explore and smell. Kloe followed in Kali’s every footstep and they became great companions with a common disdain for squirrels, an eventual acceptance of the black tail deers, and a love for the smell and whooshing of the tall pines.
Late last year
at the insistence of Kali I finally convinced Holly that we needed another pup. Another pup to be an active companion for Kloe now that Kali was slowing down. And as awkward as may sound, I want to make sure that Kloe had a companion when it’s time for Kali to cross over the rainbow bridge. I don’t like to think about that day – it scares me to think about being without Kali. But I also don’t want to get another pup in the middle of my grief. I love Kloe too much to let there be a time when she doesn’t have a canine companion.
So….enter Koda!. Our third Golden K girl joined us last fall at four months old. This tenacious little fire ball joined the pack guns-a-blazing full of attitude, mischief, and, occasional mayhem. In spite of some of her more, er, well, hmm…. let’s say challenging traits, she is a sweet and loving pup who with continued patience from the rest of the pack will turn into a lovely young lady in the months and years to come.
Through all the figurative -and actual- “planes trains and automobiles” that Kali experienced during the past five years she is always the same gentle soul we met on May 24, 2015. The same gentle should who flew 6,400 miles from Taiwan to San Francisco and later drove 100 miles from suburbia to our new mountain home. The same gentle soul who has shaped much of my life, Holly’s life, and the lives of her little sissies.
The same gentle soul who’s life in America is chronicled here in The Golden Kali Blog.