Because I’m still on a running hiatus I felt compelled to write more about Kobi, my running partner, super hero, dragon-slayer and best friend.
She was born on or around the end of September 2011 in the small Hamlet of Fort Liard, Northwest Territories. Her and her four siblings were brought to my town by someone who had visited Fort Liard. He was going to attempt to find homes for them. I have no idea what happened to the mother.
I came across the puppies on a random work visit. It was turning very cold outside (late October) and the fellow who had the best intentions of helping/adopting them out was overwhelmed by 5 young puppies and the amount of poop they were producing. My husband was away for the weekend and I felt I could take on the task of finding homes for these little guys before he even got home. I dream big!
I took 3 of the 5 puppies as 2 were going to this fellow’s niece. Then it was me and my cat’s turn to become completely overwhelmed by the crying and pooping.
I made a makeshift kennel in the shop out of television boxes and other random stuff. I adopted the little black one out right away and then held onto the two white ones to make sure they went to really good homes. Two weeks went by and I still had them.
After spending a few weeks with these two, I was falling for the one with folded ears, not Kobi (upright ears). Folded Ears was sweeter, calmer, and more affectionate, also a bit smarter. I had tentatively adopted Kobi out twice. The first person declined Kobi after thinking about it (she liked Folded Ears too, but I said I wanted her) and the second family called after four hours with Kobi and said it wasn’t working out, they had an older dog who wasn’t impressed with her.
Plan B. I learned there was a young, super nice couple in town looking to adopt a puppy, but not until spring. I knew how to play that card. If I were to show up with two adorable puppies in tow at his place of employment, how could he say no. I placed Folded Ears in his arms and knew I had him at hello. He brought his wife over that evening and she quickly fell in love as well.
They took Folded Ears and named her Caribou. I decided I’d keep the other one – and named her Kobi.
I kept thinking back to Cesar Millan The Dog Whisperer and how he always says, “you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need.” That was Kobi. She was beyond challenging in so many ways. She seemed un trainable and was not food motivated so it made it very difficult to encourage her to do anything. She hardly slept and had way too much energy. She even went so far as refusing to use outside facilities until about 3 months old. My work-out mat was preferable to the cold outdoors.
We would have playdates with Caribou who would dazzle us with her ability to perform at least 75 different tricks and stunts in three different languages (I’m exaggerating a little bit), and yet Kobi could barely manage “sit”.
Then we started skiing and running together and our life changed. She was finally content. Her job is to be my playmate, or more like, my job is to be her playmate. Her energy level is higher than mine, but she is a great middle-distance athlete.
As far as “areas of improvement”, she is a fearful dog and takes stranger danger to a whole new level. If new people just ignore her entirely for 10-30 seconds while she checks them out, she’s cool. Any attempt at touching her first does not go well. I am constantly explaining to people not to touch, talk or look at her when she meets them for the first time.
Kobi learned to swim in July 2012. The look on her face when she figured out she could move in this new element was priceless. It was like a whole new world opened up for her. She likes to swim for sticks, but she also just likes to swim and explore. For this reason we stay away from the terribly large rivers that exist in this neck of the woods as she would definitely just swim out and get caught in the current. My worst fear.
Kobi’s likes are her BFF’s: Dino the wolf hound/Pyrenees, Ginger Daisy the Nova Scotia Duck Toller, her sister Caribou of course, and Kato the cat. She also loves running and skiing, pool parties, car rides, sticks, blueberries, warm milk, slaying dragons, bouncing tennis balls, and mixed martial arts sparring with Kato.
Least favorite things: strangers, oranges, and dogs that come into our yard uninvited.
She has tested me in ways I thought I would never tolerate, but she has also been the reason for so many great adventures. She has shown me another lighter way of looking at the world. She approaches every run, walk, ski or swim with unbridled enthusiasm. Something we should all do. I don’t regret her for a second.