A few days later she brought 16 year old Kanga to our home, a quiet little guy who, after meeting Sophie and wandering around our big yard, seemed to perk up a bit. Dispite being nearly deaf and with cataracts, this bright little guy was, in no time, using the doggy door,something new to him, walking the entire chain link fence around the yard, sniffing noses with the Harlequin Great Dane next door and more. He quickly began to fit into our home and lives and when we took him to the groomers when it was time for a bath and haircut we were astonished at how he looked. He was a darling little poodle! And, boy, did he strut all the way to the car and galloped into the house as if to show off his new 'do'!
Quiet at the beginning, he began to find his voice, at first softly, and then one evening he let loose with a really big bark. From the look on his face I think he surprised himself!
He and Sophie were great travelers in our RV and he loved to investigate everything he could as we traveled to Florida, California, and visited with family in several different states.
|Kanga & Sophie enjoying California sunshine.|
Our vet prescribed Glucosimine and Condrotin for his old joints and he got friskier and more energetic as the months went by until he would hit the doggy door on the run, dash into the livingroom, drop into a play bow and look from one of us to the other as if to say "I was a good boy! now who wants to play with me!!!?" We often took him up on his offer to play and even though he opened his mouth on a hand or arm, he never bit down or caused injury. I think it was like 'tag' I got you.
The longer he lived with us, the more he blossomed. He discovered several vocalizations, from soft to loud, a kind of 'conversational' sound and, then, to a low little throat clearing noise when disappointed.
He became fairly easy to walk on a leash, and, inspite of his deafness learned to respond and come to us when we clapped our hands loudly. As for training, he learned very quickly as we began to use large arm movements instead of vocal commands. He would come, go right, go left, stop and more. We could open the door and he would stay in the house until we called him out. Every morning he would stand quietly beside my chair at the table and mooch a tiny bite or two of English muffin from me. When he'd had the last bit I would do the signal for "gone, gone" and he would promptly turn and walk away. Smart little guy.
The grandkids got along with both our doggies always wanting to be the ones with the leash when we walked to the park or just to walk around the neighborhood.
Time flew by but he was in fairly good health until a day or so before he passed. As will all of us time takes a toll on our bodies. On Thursday he threw up a bit, it did not seem worrisome but later in the evening, he became restless, would not sit, lay down or respond to us he just stood. We called our vet and she rushed to her office to meet us there around 10. After blood work and subcutaneous fluids we brought him home with a request we bring him back in the morning. Joe was up all night with him and had Kanga to the vet when they opened on Friday. The blood work was worse than the evening before and she called in the afternoon. He was at the end of a long life, nearly 20 years. We let him go. Then we cried.
It has been just a few days and we are both still raw. Sophie is missing him too. In spite of the tears, I can honestly say that the few years Kanga lived with us were made a bit brighter by his life and total devotion. He seemed to blossom through the years and was vital until the end.
Kanga: a good boy, a good playmate and good for our family.
He is missed.