"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Kacee, what have you been up to now?

By on April 22, 2019 in Columnist with 0 Comments

By Keith Kellogg

I’m a dog lover. I have three in my house. At times they drive me crazy, but overall they bring me great comfort. 

Often times I prefer dogs over people. Now don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are people, but there’s something about dogs that I just can’t get past. 

Several years ago, I had a girlfriend who claimed that I paid more attention to my dogs than I did her.

 I adamantly denied this, but then about a week later we were snuggling on the couch watching a movie, and I found myself scratching her behind the ear, and starting to say, “Good girl.” Did I say I’m a dog lover? 

I’m not one of those people who feeds my dogs biscuits held between my teeth, but my dogs and those we occasionally dog sit are not short on good living. 

 One of my dogs in particular is my favorite, but this has not come without tests. 

My daughters and I got Kacee in early 2007 after our dog had suddenly died. There was an immediate void, so we went dog shopping. 

I’m a firm believer in dog rescue so that’s what we did. When we first met Kacee she appeared to be well behaved, calm and pretty much just what we were looking for. Kacee was about 2 years old. So we did the adoption, and home we went. I just couldn’t figure out why anyone would have given her up, but that would change. 

 Once we got home, Kacee did her sniffing, had a snack, and it looked like she’d be just fine. 

Later that day I took her outside to see if she liked to play. I tried a little chase, and got no response. I tried throwing a ball, and again, I got no response. 

After a minute, Kacee looked at me as if I was crazy, and then promptly ran away. This would become a common theme over the years. Kacee seems to be a free spirit, and as I’ve learned she loves to wander, loves to sniff, and has no real interest in other dogs or people. 

Granddaughter Rosalia, then two and a half, with Kacee: Warming up to humans.

 I learned quickly that Kacee would take advantage of any and all opportunities to go explore. After a while I thought I had her figured out, and restricted to the dog run and fenced yard, but somehow Kacee kept getting free. 

My daughters and I began doing secret surveillance on her when we put her out. Eventually one of my daughters saw her squeeze through the slats on the deck railing, and jump down to the ground. The jump was about seven to eight feet. It appeared as if Kacee would not be tamed. 

 During the first week of ownership, Kacee and I faced off to our greatest test. The girls were in school, and I went to work, so I put her out on the deck. It was spring so I left a screened window open to let some fresh air in. 

I came home later and discovered Kacee in my bedroom. It looked like a bomb had gone off. I’d swear that Kacee looked up at me, and gave me a small head nod as if she was saying, “What’s up?” 

I still don’t understand what exactly happened, but Kacee had clearly tore the screen out of the window, entered my bedroom through the window, and then proceeded to go crazy on my belongings. 

She had ripped into the small couch in my bedroom, tore one armrest to pieces, and then ripped up one of the cushions. As if that wasn’t enough she also chewed up a TV remote, a throw pillow and one of my dress shoes. 

 I guess I could have lost my temper, put her back up for adoption or given up, but I just laughed. Giving up was not in my vocabulary. I figured that Kacee was just testing me, and that she opted to jump to an extreme to see if I (we) could really love her. Kacee has never chewed up anything since that day, and I quickly learned to love her quirky ways. 

 The next few years continued to bring little tests, but we overcame all of them: the porcupine thing, the doggie jail thing, the skunk thing, the roll-in-the-rotten-stinky thing, the eat-the-foreign-substance-and-go-to-the-vet thing, the get in the garbage thing, the counter surfing thing, the fatty tumor thing, etc… 

No problem there, but let me tell you about the hair thing. Kacee seems to be a mixture of maybe Chow Chow and Akita, or who knows exactly what. 

Kacee has a very defined multiple layer hair thing going on. Kacee sheds almost all the time, and I don’t mean a few hairs here and there. I mean more like the, “I could fill the Town Toyota Center kind of shedding.” 

 Kacee had always been kind of stand offish until my daughter, Kirsten, had her baby, Rosalia. Then all of a sudden Kacee developed a jealous streak like no other. 

As soon as I had the baby in my arms, Kacee would come to me and whine for affection. If I didn’t pet her, she’d scratch the door to go out. Kacee would come back in later, and if I still had the baby she’d want to immediately go back out. 

This jealous streak has not ended. Rosalia is now about 3 ½ years old and a ball of fire. Rosalia loves the dogs, and the dogs tolerate her. 

Rosalia likes to play with the dogs, and especially pull hair off of Kacee. She thinks making hair balls is good fun. 

Kacee only tolerates so much before she goes and hides, but I’ve recently seen Kacee sniff Rosalia, and wag her tail. I think Kacee is breaking down. Maybe she’ll give Rosalia a chance, just like I gave Kacee a chance. 

 Kacee continues to be very independent, though she likes affection more now than she used to. I’ve been told by Kirsten that when I go away Kacee will scratch out a hole in my bed covers and make a nesting spot. 

I guess that over the years we’ve both learned to love each other. To tell you the truth, it really didn’t take much for me, because there’s something about Kacee. 

Keith Kellogg is a retired Wenatchee police officer who now enjoys as much time outside as he can, and loves being with his two daughters, two grandbabies and his dogs.

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