Guest Post: A Love Letter to Kiba and and Pyro
Here’s what Elise wrote:
Before I adopted ‘William,’ the large white, emaciated German Shepherd from the shelter, I made sure he met a certain set of standards. I made him walk past the cats, which he ignored. I made him walk past the dogs, which he didn’t care for. I even tugged his ears and tail and he tolerated it. I decided then that he was the one I would take home. I had just turned 18 and always lived with dogs but I wanted one that was all mine, one that I would never give up because we were moving or he had some kind of issue. My family has done this to a few other dogs and I wanted to stop the cycle.
So, I brought him home and changed his name to Shiroi Kiba which means ‘White Fang’ in Japanese. After a few months, his weight went from 60 pounds to a healthy 93 pounds, the scar on his face from a dog bite had healed and his energy level increased, in other words he was healthy. I took him to the dog park often and after a few visits we had an issue. A small terrier nipped him in the face and he grabbed the dog by the back and shook him like a toy. I ran and grabbed his collar and he released the dog; he didn’t harm the dog just wanted to send a clear warning.
I began taking him to training classes at the local PetSmart in order to socialize him. After working with him over the past 2 years, I have learned which dogs will trigger him and which dogs he will sniff and ignore.
I became a trainer at PetSmart and that’s when I met my next DINOS. In came Pyro, a large, white animal, he stopped and stared with his golden eyes right at me. I looked to the owner and asked, “Is that what I think it is?” He said, “Yes, he’s a wolf-hybrid.” I asked to pet him and fell in love. I asked the owner, Chris, for his number so that I could practice socializing Kiba with Pyro.
We met up and after the first meeting realized this would be harder than we thought. The second the boys made eye contact they would jump on each other and fight. So, we walked them at a distance and talked about dog behavior and wolves. After the fourth meeting or so the boys realized that fighting would not be tolerated and that they should learn to like each other. Luckily for us, the boys began to chase each other and play wrestle in no time at all.
Chris and I dated and we decided to move in together. We practiced doggie sleep overs to test it out and it went better than expected. They boys moved in together and now have formed a close bond. Pyro began to look up to Kiba, while Kiba learned the joy of squeaky toys from Pyro. I ended up with two DINOS in my house and I realized early on the hassle of walking two large DINOS, especially when I weigh the same as my dogs. I’ve been working on walking them and now I have people commenting on how amazing it is that I can control these two “horses.”
Life wouldn’t be the same without these two boys. Pyro loves to cuddle, whenever Chris leaves the bed, Pyro comes and makes sure I stay warm. Kiba loves to work, he enjoys keeping a look out on the yard and learning new tricks. When it comes to playtime, Pyro always throws his toys in the air and catches them, something which Kiba now does. While playing, Kiba throws his paws up and looks like a crazy, trotting horse. They each have their own quirks and attitudes which make them more endearing to me.
People always stop and ask me how I can handle living with two big ‘monsters,’ my reply is always the same, “A total headache! But the amount of love that they give back makes it totally worth it.” While Pyro and Kiba have issues of their own I wouldn’t give them up for the world. They will be a work in progress for the rest of their lives and I’m happy to be the one working and living with them.