A crisis forces a family to part ways with their beloved pooch. How will she cope?
WHENEVER I go home to Spain, our neighbour Kira, a Golden Retriever, comes rushing over to give me a big welcome. She’s a very sweet girl, and we’ve known her since she was a pup so she’s like family. Unfortunately, Kira’s human family were hit with some life-changing news earlier this year.
Spain is in the middle of an economic crisis. In 2008, many companies went out of business, and unemployment began to rise. Today, some 30% of Spaniards are unemployed.
Kira’s human family were fortunate in that they kept their job – but the company told them that they would have to move to South America to keep it. The kicker was that Kira wasn’t allowed to go with them.
The second we heard the news, we began to worry. Grown-up girls like Kira seldom get a second chance because people want to adopt pups.
Also, Kira is a big girl who needs long walks every day; she’s not a pocket-size dog which can live in an apartment. Finally, when almost a third of the nation is struggling to feed their family, who would take on an extra mouth to feed?
This is when my mum made a phone call. She called a friend who had two big dogs, one of whom was elderly, ill, and about to pass away. My mum knew that Loba, the girl who would be left behind, would mourn once her companion Lucia passed away, and thought that Kira might be a good companion dog. Although it was a horrible situation, Kira was in such need that my mum made the call.
It really says something about people when they put their own feelings aside and come to the rescue. Hearing of Kira’s plight, Loba and Lucia’s “parents” took her in.
It wasn’t easy on anyone. When Kira’s “mum” took her to her new home, kissed her goodbye and left, Kira sat by the gate for two days, waiting for her to come back. Eventually, Kira’s new “father” persuaded her to come inside and sit with him in his study. From that moment, Kira and he bonded.
When I went to see Kira, months had passed and she was her old self again. She bounded over to see me, introduced me to her new family, and brought over her best toy, Conejo, a stuffed rabbit that she’s had since she was a pup.
Since Lucia passed away, Kira has become great friends with Loba. Although they look like sisters, the two are quite different: Kira is adventurous, and a rough-houser who loves nothing better than to jump in the pool. Loba is a lady through and through, and she refuses to get her paws wet. But the two play together, enjoy long walks in the countryside with their parents, and have a blast egging each other on to beg for treats.
With the change in home, Kira looks a little different. Her fur is a little longer, and she’s more rounded. It’s not fat; it’s muscle. Kira is maturing. In addition, our friend has also developed new character traits.
For three years Kira was an only dog. Now Kira has Loba for company, we all expected Loba to take control and behave as the dominant dog. After all, Kira moved into her home. However, it’s Kira who dominates.
When there are treats, Kira will gobble hers, and she has to be watched in case she steals Loba’s. When it comes to toys, Kira is also quite capable of walking up to Loba and taking away a toy she’s playing with, just because she can! Luckily, Loba is a very gentle girl and her parents are there to make sure that Kira doesn’t become an out and out bully.
When I saw Kira, we had a great reunion. We played with her Conejo, her football and we had a long cuddle. When we said goodbye, Kira bounced back to her dad’s side, and was happily playing with him. I know she enjoyed my visit but she wouldn’t miss me for a second.
Sadly, though, when Kira’s original family came back for a short holiday, they wanted to visit but were too afraid that Kira might think they were back for good, and then pine again when they left. They put their dog’s best interests before their own and stayed away. To help them, Kira’s new family went over with pictures and a video of Kira playing in the pool. Still, losing Kira was like losing a child; our hearts go out to them.
When disaster strikes, and a family is split up, there is always grief but Kira was lucky she had people around her looking out for her best interests. For Kira, life is good again. Don’t you wish all stories had a happy ending?
*Ellen Whyte lives with three cats but sneaks out to visit dog friends regularly. She blogs at blog.lepak.com.