Kloe and Smokey

Kloe was infatuated with Smokey from the first day she met him.  Smokey on the other hand was nonchalant and only mildly interested with Kloe who, even as a very young pup, was much larger than Smokey.  Smokey played it cool and if Kloe became a nuisance he let her know with a growl and snap from his tiny snout.  Kloe would acquiesce to Smoky’s body language and back off but only by inches, still so very interested in this smaller yet more mature and dominant being staring intently and seemingly willingly him to “play”.

Smokey is my daughters pup, an 11 pound half Maltese Terrier half Yorkshire Terrier – a Morkie!  When Kloe first met “the Smokster” as a young pup, she was not much bigger than him.  Now at 80 pounds Kloe is almost eight times Smokey’s size both in weight and stature yet the infatuation continues.

My daughter and Smokey paid a visit to The Golden K recently.   Kloe of course was all about Smokey.  It was nice to see that more often than not, maybe because Kloe is maturing and slightly calmer, Smokey seems to enjoy hanging with his step sister that I call Kloe Bowie Sugerlips.

Kloe and Smokey


Kids – they grow up so fast….

…and even faster when they’re dogs.

The photo below was taken a few days ago.  We use puzzle bowls to slow down meal time for these two food hounds we call Kali and Kloe.  The bowls have a pattern with varying shapes and depths.  It’s a great way to avoid bloating and extend by several minutes  one of  their absolute favorite activity of the day.

Kloe’s bowl is the green one that she’s standing next to.  Kloe recently graduated from a very simple puzzle bowl – four big sections – to the green one that used to be Kali’s.  Even when you’re a pup if you’ve got an older sibling you get hand me downs, right?  The first few days I’d had to help Kloe with the last few pieces of kibble or veggies but she quickly learned that if the crevice where the food was sitting is a bit too deep for her tongue that she could push the food to a more shallow area and gobble it up.  It still takes her several minutes to finish eating but that’s the point.

Kali’s got the new orange bowl with slightly more difficult terrain.   It has deeper crevices and the design is more challenging.  If you look closely in the photo you can see that there is a small piece of apple that she couldn’t get out.  She had resigned herself not completely solving the puzzle during this particular meal and after an extended attempt to get her tongue to do the job she laid down to lament her failure.

Kali and Kloe are very respectful of one another at meal time.  When Kloe was very young she made the mistake of trying to get a piece of kibble out of Kali’s bowl while Kali was eating.  Kloe wasn’t much more than 9 weeks old and as gentle as Kali had been with her, and continues to be now, Kali made sure that Kloe never did that again.  A stern growl and nip to Kloe’s ear drew a little blood and high pitched yelps and the lesson was served.  Kali has been a great teacher and this was a tough but important lesson for Kloe at an early age.

On this day Kloe kept her distance and eventually sauntered over to the orange bowl and I snapped the photo as these two went nose to nose in a dinner time stare down.  They stayed in this stare down for several seconds until I – the diplomat that I am – dislodged the apple chip and gave a small piece to each of them.

Kloe has been in our pack for two months.  She was just nine weeks old when we brought her home.  It’s been so great to see her grow and mature.  Much of the maturity can be attributed to Holly’s daily training sessions and to Kali’s mentoring.

The video below the photo was taken when Kloe was about 10 weeks old and right before we moved from our home in Livermore to Tuolumne.  The video shows a small pup – not even half her size now – with the same tenacious and playful personality that I have come to adore.

Kids – they grow up so fast!


Dinner time stare down at the Golden K Corral

A Mother Just Knows…

Shortly after we adopted Kali my wife Holly says, “I think she’s had a litter”.  It had never crossed my mind but Holly’s point was that Kali was a stray and it was very likely she had a litter or two.  We really don’t know how long Kali was a stray or what her history is  before being rescued.  For all we know a loving family cared for her and she had a wonderful life for four and a half years.  Maybe she was accidentally separated from her family and at some point picked up by a good Samaritan who took her to the shelter where TPDS  (Taiwan Pawprint Dog-Friendly Society) rescued her.  But this isn’t likely given what we know about so many other sad stories of animals rescued by TPDS.

All we really know about Kali is that in February of 2014 she was rescued by TPDS, cared for and prepared for adoption in the US through RTLF (Rescued Love From Taiwan). The paperwork I received indicates that she was spayed in March of 2014.  In some cases there are clear physical signs of a dog having had litters. Those signs are not strikingly clear with Kali.  Holly’s assertion was not based on physical evidence.  It was in part logic but more so that Holly is a mom and – I guess – “a mother just knows”.

Recently  Holly and I were watching a nature documentary.  One of those productions that have beautiful cinematography and are usually narrated by an actor with a deep baritone voice or british accent.   There is a certain paradoxical dynamic when watching these documentaries. One tends to root for the mother lion when shown with her cubs who are crying and hungry.  Then later, when the same mother lion is seen chasing a young antelope who became separated from their herd you root for the antelope to get away.   At times we’ve wondered aloud if Kali as a stray did have a litter what it was like for her and her pups.  To what ends did she go to keep them fed, safe, and out of harms way.  Holly says that Kali would have made a great mother.  I’m not sure what she’s basing this on but again I chalk it up to Holly’s experience as  a mother and the fact that “a mother just knows”…

So as Holly and I sit watching the documentary a mother Polar Bear emerges from her winter den followed by two adorable cubs.   A few seconds later we notice Kali, sitting at our feet, staring intently at the TV.  She’s never done this before. As we watch the cubs barking and frolicking down the snow Kali’s sits up and directly faces the TV.  Her head is slightly tilted and her eyes following  the cubs as they move around the screen.  She gets up and walks closer to the TV monitor and now has her nose almost to the screen –   Kali’s eyes on the bear cubs and ours fixed on Kali.  Holly and I are totally enjoying this moment.

Bear Cubs With Mom

Bear Cubs With Mom

All of a sudden a bark comes from Smokey who heard something outside.  The spell is broken.  Kali’s attention turns from the bear cubs to brother Smokey and what he’s up to.  Holly and I look at each other and comment to each other “how cool was that!”

What was it that got Kali’s attention?  I’ve heard of other pet owners saying how their pets watch TV but Kali never has.  Holly is sure that the barking of the bear cubs is what got Kali’s attention.  She says it brought back a memory of a time in Taiwan when as a stray Kali had a litter and cared for her pups just like she was seeing the mama bear do it on the TV.  At first I thought that was a bit of a stretch.  But then I remembered, Holly is a mom and “a mother just knows”.

And I guess, so does Kali.

A mother just knows

A mother just knows