All In – Happy Gotcha Day Koda

Koda, Koda, Koda!

This week marks four years since Koda joined our pack. She was four months old when we welcomed her and she came in with guns-a-blazing! Koda very quickly made her presence known. I remember driving her home in my truck and pulling up to our property. She was just 90 minutes separated from her two litter mates who had not been adopted yet. Koda hopped out of the truck and followed me through the gate where her new sisters were “waiting”. Koda 18 pounds at the time was greatly over matched by her new sisters – Kali at 60 pounds an Kloe at 80. There was about five minutes when Koda seemed a little intimidated and she acquiesced to the “big girls”. But she quickly made herself at home and began romping around the yard chasing and being chased by Kloe. Kali went off to sleep and resent the new whippersnapper that dad had just brought into the family without her permission.

The aforementioned five minutes of being intimidated was the last time I ever saw Koda be intimidated by anybody or anything.

Koda is a tough pup who initially made up for her size with loads of attitude.

It was immediately evident how vocal Koda was. Tilting her head slightly down, butt up in the air, and a mouthed puffed up with air she exclaims, “A roo roo roo”. This was just day one/hour two and she had already established her spot in the pack. She was not be the oldest or the biggest or in charge of anything but she always made here needs, wants, and opinions known! To this day Koda speaks her mind and always gets her point across to her intended audience and anyone else who will listen. As if they have a choice… If she could speak english she’d use what might be considered “salty language”.

Early on there were some very touch and go periods.

Holly: “Get that dog out of my house. Send her back”!

Me: She is such a loving girl. She’s doing so much better. I just need a little more time to work with her.”

Koda: (Looking directly at Holly) “A roo roo roo! Roo roo rooooo….”

Me : (Turning to Koda and under my breath) “Koda – work with me here.”

Koda: (Thought bubble over her head) “Hey – where did mom go?”

And so it went.

Koda has matured and has (mostly) learned to temper her enthusiasm. She is lovingly referred by a close friend who also has Golden Retrievers, as my “wild child”. A spot on characterization! But Koda has learned to be a (mostly) respectful and responsible member of the pack. She is very smart and learns things the first time. Whether she chooses to adhere to the learning is another matter. But she does learn it and then makes her choices. I (mostly) respect that.

Did you notice all the “mostly’s” in the previous paragraph? So yeah lot’s of mostly’s. But the all-ins” far outnumber and outweigh those mostlys.

Koda is all in on Loyalty. She is all in on loving her pack members. She is all in on recall – where ever she is, if I call she comes.

Koda was all in on Kali, her Sissy Mama. During the last year or so of Kali’s life when she had a hard time getting around Koda looked after Kali. A great example was a time when Kali got stuck in a corner of the property and couldn’t get up. Koda came running up to us barking and alternating looks from us to where she wanted us to go. We followed her and found Kali OK but stuck in a small hole and unable to get up. Talk about a Lassie and a “Timmy’s stuck in the well moment”… wow!

Koda is all in on being Kloe’s wingman. Kloe, “Protector Of The Golden K” – often sees, smells, or hears potential bad guys. Bad guys like cats, deer, squirrels, someone walking along the road at the bottom of our property, and so on. If Kloe stands up and barks, Koda does too; even though she doesn’t know what she’s barking at. She looks to Kloe for her cues. If Kloe takes off running in the bad guys direction Koda follows even thought she has no idea where she’s going. To Koda, if Kloe is barking, upset, or on the prowl Koda is by her side to provide all necessary back up. Koda is definitely all in on Kloe.

I’m so happy to Koda in my life and part of our pack. My sweet “Koda Koda Koda”, my “Sugar Beats”, my “Kodachrome”, my “Kode-Red”. Oh, yeah and full disclosure of another often used nick name for Koda: “Damn it Koda!” ūüôā

Happy Gotcha day sweet Koda. Dad will always be all in on you!

Sissy Mama

As Kali grew older I began referring to her, in relationship to her two sisters Kloe and Koda, as Sissy Mama. None of my girls were blood related but they were and are sisters (sissies) no less. So we would always refer to them as sissies. “Koda, where is your sissy”. Or, “Kloe, go get your sissies for dinner”. Yes we well I speak to them as though they are my kids. Because they are!

But Kali was much older and she became the Sissy Mama.

Six years shouldn’t seem so long ago. But if I think in “dog years” it is quite some time. Like six years ago when we brought Kloe home as a nine-week old puppy. That was a long time ago. Looking at her now, as she sleeps by my feet (filling in the empty space Kali left under my feet when she crossed the bridge), it’s hard to think that Kloe was ever a wee pup of 16 pounds. Green, fearless, and ripe for schooling by an older dog. Enter Kali.

Since Kali has been gone I find myself looking at pictures of her from over the years. Like today when I came across some pictures and videos of the first day we brought Kloe home. After the initial few minutes, when Kali made it very clear that Kloe was not welcome in her house, she quickly warmed up to Kloe and was every bit the surrogate mama we hoped she would be.

I had forgotten how inseparable Kali and Kloe were when Kloe was a pup. Mostly because at only weeks and months old Kloe adored Kali and followed her everywhere she went. There were so many tender moments sleeping side by side or on top of one another. And there were periods of play when Kali exhibited great patience with her new little sissy and also delivered lessons when needed.

In retrospect I now realize that Kali became the Sissy Mama the moment we brought Kloe through the front door in Livermore at 9 weeks old on May 7, 2016.

Sissy Mama In Action

Sissy Mama Gallery

Happy Gotcha Day Kloe

Three years ago today the sweetest girl I could ever imagine came into our lives forever. ¬† At nine weeks old this pouty faced Golden Retriever stole our hearts and has held them close to her own since then. ¬†Born in Bakersfield, rescued by True Love Rescue in Lodi, Kloe made her way into our arms and home to Livermore, CA. ¬†Three weeks later we moved to the mountains to our home we call the Golden K. Kloe of course is one of those three Golden K’s our home is named after. Kloe weighs almost 80 pounds and I am convinced that the majority of that weight is from a very large heart of gold.

We are blessed that Kloe found her way into our lives and grateful to True Love Rescue for making that a possibility.

Happy Gotcha Day Kloe!  You are forever my Klois Marie, Klo-Klo, Kloe Bowie, Sugar Lips, Sweetness, and all the other silly names I have for you.   But at the end of the day as you lay on your mat when I kiss you goodnight and I tell you to sleep tight, you are simply my beautiful girl Kloe.

Kloe

The inspiration for this blog has always been Kali. ¬†The story of a boy – a very OLD boy – and his dog. ¬†The story of Kali’s life and that “boy” since she landed at SFO from Taiwan three and a half years ago. It was and is Kali’s new life in America and subsequently after the move to the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Kali’s new life in the Mountains.

Since then Kloe joined the pack and although the blog’s name will always be Golden Kali, Kloe has also become part of the fabric of our pack. ¬†It is Kloe who will carry the legacy of Golden Kali, who is seven years her senior, into the future.

So it is with that in mind that I post these few pictures, some of my favorites, of our 80 pound puppy we call Kloe who inspires me just as much as Kali.

Young Pups

Many canine breeds are good with children and Golden Retreivers are one of the best. The American Kennel Club places Goldens fourth after the Bulldog (1), Beagle (2), and the Newfoundland (3).  Labs at number 5 were right after Golden Retrievers.

When Kloe first joined our pack it took her a few days but she eventually engaged Kali in play. ¬†All of 15 pounds when she came home Kloe would run full speed at Kali nipping at her ears and bouncing off Kali’s torso, hips and head. ¬†It was warming to see Kali, at 60 pounds, play so gently with Kloe instinctively knowing that Kloe was obviously smaller but also a “baby”. ¬†During tug-o-war Kali could have shaken the rope toy hard enough to launch Kloe into the air but she didn’t. ¬†She would hold on lightly and allow Kloe to gain some ground. ¬†Kloe would eventually tire, lie down on her belly, ¬†and Kali would drag her along the carpet or kitchen tile for a ride.

A little over a year later its fun to watch Kloe, now at 80 pounds, approach her big sister much in the same way she did when she was just a bitty pup.

Kloe still blind sides Kali at full speed, often with a toy in her mouth, daring Kali to fight back as if Kali has a choice.  The difference now is that Kloe has a 20 pound advantage over Kali who has to go full strength as a matter of self preservation.  And some games never change. Often after several minutes of tug-o-war Kloe will lie flat on her stomach, front and back legs fully extended, and Kali drags her along the carpet and Kitchen tile.

Until recently Kloe had not been around any young pups and I wondered how she would act if she was. ¬†At only fifteen months does she possess the same instincts that seven year old Kali demonstrated with her baby sister a year ago? ¬†Kloe has always had just one speed during play: 11 of on a scale of 10. ¬†Through training and to some degree maturity (did I just use the word maturity in a sentence with Kloe?!?) Kloe is calmer around people when she first meets them. ¬†It’s hard for her but she is learning what’s expected and keeps all her feet on the ground while wagging her butt feverishly. ¬†Usually there is a thought bubble over her head that says, “Hi! ¬†I love you! ¬†Do you see me? ¬†I am really really glad you are here! ¬† Do you see me? ¬†Did I tell you I love you?”

The young pup that Kloe met recently was not of the canine persuasion. ¬†It was a human pup baby. ¬†Perri is the granddaughter of our friends Marty and Jen. ¬†We were at Marty and Jen’s for a BBQ when Perri was introduced to Kloe. ¬†Kloe was very interested and saw that this was a person who just happened to be very small and very young. ¬†In fact Kloe and Perri are just about the same age. ¬† Kloe probably instinctively knew she had an advantage in most major categories:

  • Age – tie
  • Agility – Kloe major advantage
  • Intelligence – Kloe slight advantage
  • Weight – Kloe Super major advantage
  • Cute factor – Tie with the smallest of tie breakers going to Kloe ¬†(full disclosure: ¬† Perri’s parents and Grandparents were not consulted for the rating of this category)

Kloe laid at grandpa Marty’s feet while he held Perri in his lap. ¬†She was fascinated and so very calm as she watched Perri’s every move. ¬†I believe that with any dog, and I mean any dog, one must be very cautious with babies and they should not be allowed on the ground with the dog nearby until both parties – dog owner and parent/grandparent – are sure it’s safe.

So was the case with Kloe and Perri. ¬† Perri was eventually allowed to sit on the ground near Kloe. ¬† Our 80 pound bundle of energy 11 on scale of 10 “puppy” laid there calmly next to Perri and just hung out with “the baby” and let her do her thing.

But just for good measure, and so Perri knew that she loved her, Kloe gave Perri a little kiss on her nose, captured in the video below.

Take that Bulldog, Beagle, and Newfoundlanders!

Young Pups Kloe and Perri

 

She’s still our puppy

It’s official!  Kloe is bigger than Kali.  At seven months she now towers over her big sister.  But don’t let the serious expression on her face in the photo below fool you.

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Inside, she is still this same puppy that she was the day we brought her home at nine weeks old.

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Still a Puppy

At seven months Kloe is now bigger than her big sister Kali.  Kali has more girth and more fur which makes her seem even bigger than she is but Kloe is taller and weighs as much Рabout 60 pounds.  It would be easy to think the she was no longer a puppy being so big and so smart and so independent.

But at the end of the day she is still a puppy.

There was a time when we used a “Pet Corrector”; those air cans that make¬†a loud hissing sound that gets your “pet’s” attention and “corrects” their behavior. ¬†We used it for a time with Kloe to “correct” her behavior of jumping on us (and guests) when she was excited. ¬†It¬†was very effective. ¬†Almost too effective. ¬†When she heard it she would, with tail between legs, come running to my¬†feet, ¬†even if it was me who had the Pet Corrector in my hand, and press her body into my legs as if to say, “save me from that scary and forbidding sound”.

We havn’t used the Pet Corrector for some time. ¬† Partly because it ran out of hiss but mostly because Kloe has matured and though conditioning and training was much better about jumping when she became excited. ¬†Recently however we noticed that when we sneezed Kloe¬†had a similar reaction to our sneezes as to the Pet Corrector.

The picture below is the end result of Holly having sneezed and Kloe running to me as I sat in my recliner and pressing her body against my legs so that I would save her. ¬†As she sat there, tail between her legs, like a snake she began slithering up into my body and I didn’t stop her because, well, it was so darn cute. She ended up in my lap and that was ok with me because, after all, she is still a puppy.

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Kloe: “Be my hero dad and save me”. ¬†Me: ¬†I will always be your hero Kloe and I will always there to save you (even if it’s just a sneeze from mom).

Right Of Passage

So Kloe is scheduled to get spayed this week. ¬†Of course it’s the right thing to do. ¬† ¬† ¬†And of course it will all be fine. ¬†But I have to admit I hate the idea of her going under anesthesia and getting “cut”. It’s my nature to worry. ¬†It’s my nature to want to protect those I love from any pain, risk, and discomfort.

And of course she’ll have to wear the “Cone Of Shame” for several days.

Kloe, as most puppies, is very active, loves to run, and loves to thrash around as I like to call it when she throws her body around aimlessly out of sheer joy and jubilation of being a six month old Golden Retriever. ¬†This will be the hard part. ¬†How in the world will we keep her relatively calm and inactive for the first few days so that she doesn’t bust a stitch?

Like other rights of passage this for Kloe will be a milestone event in her young life as one of the sweetest beings Рhuman or canine Рthat I have ever met.  And the best part is that she is in our life.

I love you Klo’!

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Nine weeks old – the day we brought our “baby” home

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Kali was the best big sister from the day we brought Kloe home!

 

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Pillow Talk? ¬†Nope ¬†– more like pillow snores…

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Bow Wow!  What a beauty!

Meet Kloe

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE……

In the left corner hailing from Bakersfield, passing through Lodi, briefly spending time in Livermore and then onto the Sierra Nevada Foothills is Kloe!  At nine weeks old, in light red fur weighing in at 15 pounds is the Golden Retriever puppy ready to win your heart and dazzle your imagination.

Actually, like Kali, I’m sure Kloe is a lover and not¬†a fighter. ¬†After all she’s a Golden. ¬†Another “Golden K”.

Kloe joined our pack this week¬†and we are thrilled to have another fur baby in the den. ¬† Like most babies she has already established a routine of play, eat, poop, sleep, and repeat. ¬† ¬†Holly has been great taking the lead and doing all the right things to quickly establish ground rules, routine, and discipline. ¬†She’s an experienced mom so I’m not surprised at the combined success!

Kloe has been trying her best to get her new big sister to engage in play but Kali so far has been uninterested.  I think Kali will come around but for the moment she is a reluctant participant.

Meanwhile, we are thrilled that another “Golden K” has joined the pack and will be with¬†us on¬†this adventure called life.

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Meet Kloe (Sweetie Girl)

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New Sissies

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Uh…