Apr 2, 2011

The Perfect Dog

After 42 hours of travel, Kimo is finally home here in America

We always felt that Kimo was the perfect dog, but we never expected her to be. . .well, this perfect. She came to us perfectly housebroken without a day of training by her previous owner; she didn't chew up things; didn't bark incessantly; didn't bite; wasn't overly hyper. She was more civilized than a lot of people. But surely, I theorized, a transPacific flight will put her into a state of severe emotional distress and all those wonderful traits will evaporate. I had steeled myself for the worst, and expected days and weeks of stressful retraining before she gradually readjusted.

Exactly one year ago, we piled on a plane and flew to the other side of the world to see Kimo (among others) in Saipan. This year, it was her turn to make the trip. Babs took this video of Kimo in her kennel, just after Babs arrived to pick her up at the airport.

I couldn't be more happy to be totally wrong. I've joyfully conceded that Babs was right all along. Kimo's adjustment has been essentially perfect. Her travel time, including an overnight stay in Detroit was 42 hours. She arrived in good spirits and extremely excited to see Babs. Her kennel appeared unsoiled and it would appear she "held it" that entire time, and gratefully relieved herself--for a long time, Babs reports--once released from the kennel here in Columbus. Since then she seems to have automatically continued with her housetrained ways even though now we have to to take her out, rather than just letting her out to take care of her business at her leisure.

Kimo finally gets her potty break in a grassy area by the airline cargo office where Babs picked her up Friday morning, April 1, 2011. She arrived about 8:30 Friday morning and Babs was able to take her after completing all the paperwork and such by around noon.

Kimo's health is actually quite good, all things considered. Her skin is in pretty bad shape, but should improve with time. Babs took her for a deep-cleaning at Petsmart after picking her up at the airport and then to the vet for a check-up. The vet put her on a couple medications to deal with the infections in her ears and to clear up a couple of other issues. Babs says that Kimo charmed people everywhere they went.

Kimo looking elegant and graceful as always while waiting at the veterinarian's office.

Her temperament seems virtually unchanged despite what must have surely been a very confusing and disorienting journey for her. She has seemed a bit more tired than usual but not sluggish or lethargic. She's a bit more clingy than is typical, but not excessively so. She watches Barbara carefully whenever she moves towards the door, and I think she was very relieved that we took her with us to return the rental car this morning (We wented an SUV to pick her up from the airport, as the kennel was too big to fit in our car). By and large she seems about the same as she's always been. As I type this, she sits curled up on the carpet by the dining room table while Elijah plays with his play-doh in his booster chair at the table.

Kimo hanging out with the family in her new home, Sabbath, April 2, 2011

Our one "episode" was a brief spate of barking last night when our neighbors returned late and tromped up the stairs past our front door and then creaked about upstairs. I posted a rather panicked message on a dog lovers thread on Interference where some regulars have been giving me some dog advice. But it turned out that the barking ended after a few minutes and there have been no further incidences since. And that incident itself wasn't actualy unsual for Kimo, as her one vice had always been barking furiously any time someone approached the door of our home in Saipan.

And so it appears, at least so far, that Kimo will make a smooth adjustment to her new life in here in America, a world away from the tropical island where she was born. We are glad to have our family whole again, and even though we now have new responsibilities (and expenses--yikes!) added to our already busy life, we don't mind. Kimo asks so little of us as it is--to give her what we can is no sacrifice at all.

Welcome home, Kimo.

Kimo's number one advocate looking quite pleased with herself. . .as well she should. Babs always believed that Kimo could handle the journey here and that she'd be all right once she got here. And to her credit she did virtually all of the work on this side of world to get her here, working in tandem with Virle in Saipan. It must have been just like the old days for Virle and Babs working together again. And since Kimo's arrived she's taken the lead in her care as well.

1 comment:

Ken & Crystal Pierson said...

awesome! We're so glad she's doing great and adjusting so well! Go Kimo!!!!