Can you say special? This little lady is not just special, but is beautiful and wonderful inside and out. Kia is an 8 month old little tripod, (she has only three legs). Kia's leg was amputated when she was about 3 months old. Now, before you say, "oh, poor little girl" I have to say that she has already had more time without her leg than she had with it, and it is NOT an issue for her at all.
When Kia first came to our home, she was anxious and nervous. Our home is a busy one. We are a family with two adults, three teenagers, two 100+ lb GSD's , a Jack Russell and a cat that is No-Nonsense. This was initially a bit intimidating, and resulted in her whining. I kept her on a leash, and by my side for about 4 days. I wanted her to know that I was close and that she was safe. This created a very close bond between the two of us, one that she values, appreciates and needs. Kia is looking for security in her leader and a best friend. This has resulted in a love and devotion that is unwavering and precious. Kia is no longer on a leash, but still seeks me out and wants to always be near me.
Kia is unique in so many ways. Her leg is an obvious first, however, it is only because she has to hop. This poses challenges, and those challenges are NOT for her. Walking next to or alongside Kia can be less than easy. She is just a puppy and not unlike all puppies, she is moving from point A to point B at lightning speed, hopping very excitedly, and she is always looking to make sure I am coming along. This has resulted in toes being stepped on and some side-swiping.
Being a young puppy, Kia behaves appropriately for her age. She is full of energy! I have walked Kia on leash and she does very well, however, long walks are far more fatiguing for her than they are for the average dog. One day a friend mentioned that swimming might help with some of this puppy energy. I decided to give it a try. Wow!! It was a life-changing event. This was a whole new experience for Kia. She had clearly not been exposed to this activity before. Initially it did take some prodding to get her into the pool, but once she was in, that trust that she holds so dear came right out. She swam with me as I held her under her belly. Gradually I let her go, and guided her with a leash to the steps of the pool. We did this several times until she knew just where to go to stand. I would get her to the step and ask her to come to me, she was fearful, but trusted and swam off the step and right at me. That is when the party started! This little girl was a swimming fool. Now Kia swims from one end of the pool and back, catches her breath and does it again. She will often glance my way as she swims past me and the look says, "Are you watching me?" I assure her, "Oh yes angel, I am watching, and you are AWESOME!" This is the greatest thing in Kia's world.
Swimming is a reflection of all that Kia is. Kia has had her challenges in her little life, but like swimming, she has faced them and conquered them. She has come out of it showing complete bravery and embraces her world with a spirit of joy and appreciation in all that she has, never of what she has not.
Kia does require some extra work and understanding as a dog owner, however, for that special someone who would love to do it, lucky you! She is a true blessing!
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