Thirteen years ago we fostered Tiny, named such due to her small size.  As the smallest runt she was on death’s door.  But I’ve always been one to root for the underdog.  So Tiny was renamed Kiki and never left.

Kiki has gone by many names.  Kamikaze Kiki and Ritalin Dog are two that seemed to stick.  They were given with great affection.  Those names came from a spirit that could not be squashed.

Looking back, I am profoundly stricken by the amount of energy I expended trying to turn her into something she was not.

In hindsight, I’m not sure I would have done so.  But I can rest comfortably knowing her training was fun and positive.  It forged our bond closer.

I believe every dog comes with a lesson.  Looking back, I know Kiki taught me that it is okay to have fun.  Let your inner child out and enjoy life!

Years have passed.  And I have always been impressed by the sight of an old dog – except when I’m looking in the mirror.  In that moment I prefer “young pup”.

But the sight of an old dog is about a placement and relationship that worked out.  It’s a successful adoption.

Looking in the mirror at my emerging wrinkles, Kiki is often calmly by my side hoping to get blown by my hair dryer.  She still has that spirit.  But these days she’s moving a little more slowly.

It’s ironic.  Clients often tell me they want their puppy to mature quickly.  I say, “Be careful what you wish for.”

One day, the time will comes when you look back with a happy, but wistful feeling.  Old dogs should bring happy thoughts.  But you’ll miss those early days and want them back so very desperately.  I certainly do.