Quite a few people have asked for our story on how we got each dog. Enjoy!
Katelyn's story: So this is the not so short, actually very long, sorry not sorry, version of how we came to be a pack. But, y'all asked and it's something that's very near and dear to my heart so I want to give it the time and attention I feel it deserves. Jeffrey will have to give you guys his version of events and fill you in on Kilo and Kain's history. To start, we have to go back in time a bit to paint a better picture.
Back in December of 2012, I got arrested on three felonies for aggravated possession of drugs, receiving stolen property, fraud and a few misdemeanor drug charges. By this time I was a full blown drug addict and had been for quite some time, 6 years to more precise. And by that I mean the worst of the worst. I was an IV heroin user. This means my life consisted of nothing more than snorting pills and sticking a needle full of dope in my arm as many times as I could. Every single day.
I would like to say I hate to be graphic, but brutal honesty about what my life looked like is in my nature; it's just part of who I am. Back then, I lied, cheated and stole from anyone that let me get close enough. I would only stick around long enough to destroy your lives and then retreat back to my own self inflicted isolation. I sold my body for dope. I sold other people's body for dope. My body was sold by other people for dope, and if I was lucky, I would get a cut of it. If not, off to the next lick so I could get my next hit.
Between the time I graduated college in 2009 and the time I got arrested, I couldn't tell you much of what happened. It was like Groundhog Day – the same thing every day: wake up and find the ways and means to get one more. I know that during this time I moved to California in an attempt to physically separate myself from the dope. I went to treatment twice. I tried to be abstinent. I tried to control my use. I tried to only drink. I just couldn't stop. And at some point, I lost all hope and surrendered to the fact that I would be a dope fiend for the rest of my life.
So, back to December 2012 – I had a wonderfully codependent boyfriend, Brandon, that was not an addict, but might as well have been. He sold dope and lived the life, he just didn't use dope. So, he bailed me out of jail and watched me like a hawk so that I couldn't use. I ended up taking a plea deal and was granted Intervention in Lieu of Conviction. I pled guilty to all my charges, but if I did everything as I was supposed to and completed probation successfully, they would drop my charges and I would not be convicted. The flip side to that was if I messed up once, they would immediatly enter my guilty plea and I would go to prison to serve my time on the shelf – three years.
I still used every chance I got, from the moment I got out of jail, but after a while he thought I was being good and as a way of manipulating or controlling me, he bought me a puppy. It was my reward. The sweetest little Great Dane puppy came bounding into my arms. And he became my lifeline. By this time, there was so much damage in the relationship, that Brandon hated who I was and was gone all the time so I was alone with this dog just about 24 hours a day. I would get high and sit with him in complete misery, but he never left me. No matter what kind of low down, scum of the earth dope fiend I was, he loved me.
Eventually I couldn't pass a drug test and got caught but rather than face the truth right there, I made them send it to the lab for more testing. Knowing I was facing certain prison time, I said fuck it and kept using. The following week, I woke up on a Monday morning completely miserable. I was angry, not just that I was awake but that I was alive. I was angry I didn't OD the night before. I was angry that I had to try to find the ways and means yet again to get high. I was devastated. Death seemed so much more inviting than trying to exist another day. I was hopeless and desperate. I called my sister and she convinced me to turn myself in to my probation officer. Normally I would fight tooth and nail, a suggestion like that. Turn myself in??? But, I was out of options, I couldn't live with or without drugs and nothing I could think of sounded like a better idea so I did it. She came and helped me pack up all my stuff and I remember that I walked out of that house and I didn't tell Brandon I was turning myself in. I just wanted to cut all ties. I couldn't even say bye to the dog. I was so sad to be leaving him but my sister convinced me that I needed to get better in order to ever be able to take care of that sweet boy. Knowing I was about to be shipped off to prison, I walked into my jail cell that night feeling relief, peace, comfort all because I knew in that moment that there was a way out. I didn't have to get high when I woke up the next day. I couldn't get high the next day when I woke up.
Fast forward a month and a half: my judge decided not to send me to prison and sent me to inpatient rehab instead. I don't call that luck, it's more of divine intervention. My Higher Power put me where I needed to be to build a life, not take one away. And while I was in treatment, I got a call that Zero had died, this angel of a goofy Great Dane. The story I was told is that he was on a chain in someone's backyard and got so excited he jumped and somehow got stuck in the porch stairs and broke his neck. My heart was truly broken. I was inconsolable. I only had him for about 6 months, but he loved me when no one else did. I felt 100% responsible because I left him. And I left him with someone that wasn't able to take care of him. Right then and there I made a decision. I would never get another animal that I could not guarantee that no harm would ever be done to it as a result of my choices. Thank God I was in treatment when this happened because had I been fresh out of treatment, I would have gotten high over that death.
I graduated treatment, followed suggestions by going to NA meetings, getting a sponsor, actually calling her, working steps and being of service to others. It was like magic, my life just started getting better. Somehow I was given an opportunity to work as an Accountant (even with my felonies still on my record), and I had a steady income for the first time in my life. But something was missing, I was lonely. And that led me back to that crazy controlling ex – the pain and misery I knew I would experience with him was comfortable. Doing something different is the hard part. Low and behold, he comes home with a surprise one day. The cutest little black puppy with a white patch on it's chest. I looked at it and said, "What is that?" He went on to explain he found this Great Dane puppy on Craigslist and when he went to pick him up, he ended up being a girl and the people were very sketchy and the puppy was not in good shape so he had to bring her home anyway, but he was convinced she was a Great Dane. I laughed and laughed as there was no way this dog was a Great Dane. I named her Sally. After about a month, I thought she needed a friend because I didn't want her to ever feel as lonely as I had. One day Brandon sends me a picture and said he put a deposit down on this pup from a breeder. I couldn't wait to hold it in my arms and the wait was awful – knowing he would be mine but not until he weaned from his Mom. The second I saw him, another little black puppy with a white patch on his chest and little white toesies, I knew he was absolute perfection and that he would be Jack.
Sally was mortified at first, like how could I do this to her? Why did another puppy have to come in to her life? She didn't want to share Momma with anyone. But, over time that changed – and as Jack started growing faster and bigger than her, she was kind of forced to accept reality. I came to my senses about two months after we got Jack and left Brandon for good. But, I'm no dummy – I made sure to register them to me so that he had no claim on them. I had about a year and a half clean, had never really been on my own before, was now responsible for my own apartment, car payment, bills and most importantly two puppies all by myself. I had faith though that everything would be okay. And it was. I got by. I was making friends and actually starting to live – but they were always my number 1 priority. I went home at lunch every day to let them out, and after work but before going to NA meetings, I would go home and feed and walk them, and usually immediately after meetings I wanted to go home to snuggle them. They taught me about responsibility; responsibility for another life.
September 17, 2015 I celebrated 2 years clean. Before the meeting, I met with some friends for coffee and heard about this new boy in town that had just moved to Cincinnati from Seattle. I tried to call dibs on the first chance at him but was bummed to hear he had already been set up on a double date. After the meeting, a bunch of us went out for dinner to celebrate and he tagged along, we still hadn't even talked yet. Standing outside a bunch of us started getting hustled by this 10 year old kid selling candy bars and he told the new kid that he needed to be a man and buy his girl some candy. And so I officially met Jeffrey. We started cracking jokes like we had known each other for years. We very shortly found out we both loved dogs. And that's all it took. I invited him to come with me to a meeting the following night where my sponsor would present me with a medallion for my clean time. He ended up coming to dinner beforehand with my family and sponsor and it was like I wasn't even there. My parents fell in love with him. Not long after that I remember telling my Mom that I would marry him, or if I couldn't have him, then a man like him.
We were friends. We hung out and went to some meeting and dinner every once in a while, but that was all. I remember when I went to his apartment and met Kilo – what a sweet soul she is. But, he never tried to sleep with me so I thought that's all it would ever be. All I knew was that guys that were interested in me always tried to sleep with me asap and Jeffrey did not do this, only to later find out that he did not do this because he actually did like me. What a concept. So, I decided I needed to spread my wings and wanted to move away. I detached and pushed Jeffrey away because I knew I was leaving and I knew it would hurt so I instead chose not to feel anything. It gave me this false sense of being in control of my emotions when in reality I just didn't know how to deal with them. So I moved to Florida in January. And we didn't talk. Just me and the pups in a city we didn't know, surrounded by people we didn't know, which in turn gave me all the time in the world to get to know the one person that matters: me. Because of bad past relationships, I had become jaded and thought that there was not much left for me. I didn't think I'd ever get married or have kids. Through a lot of trial and error, experiences both good and bad, and some serious step work, I learned who I was, what was important to me and what kind of life I wanted. I fostered white a few dogs while there because it was just what I felt like I should do. Living in Florida was hard and I do not think I could have done it with out Jack and Sally. They made me not feel so alone. I found self acceptance and in that came complete freedom.
My sister was getting married in June and by about May my mom casually brought up that she thinks I should ask Jeffrey to be my date to the wedding. I thought what the hell, he will be a fun date. So I asked him and we started talking a little more and by the time I came home for the wedding, I knew I valued him as a human and wanted him in my life, no matter how that looked. I got home a few days before the wedding and we hung out every moment we could. The wedding was picture perfect, down to the moment when we were in the photo booth and he kissed me for the first time. I remember being shocked like oh, he actually does like me. When I went back to Florida, we decided to not see other people even though we weren't exactly sure what was going on with us. But, we talked every day. We texted during the day, FaceTimed for hours after work, and just got to know each other better. And before you know it, the 10 year High School Reunion that I was convinced I would never go to, sounded like a good excuse to visit home. Of course, Jeffrey came with me. I had already been thinking that I wanted to move home so I had a few job interviews while I was there. I received two offers making much more than I was at the time.
Sometimes God gives you what you desire just to show you that it's not what you really want. I moved to Florida thinking home is where you make it, only to find out that I truly wanted to make a home in Cincinnati near my family. And with Jeffrey. So that's what I did. I moved home, stayed with a friend, bought a house and started to try make it a home. By this time, Jeffrey had rescued Kain (I'll let him tell his story) and Kain would spend lots of time with us at my house staying the night, but Jeffrey never could because Kilo absolutely hated females and couldn't come over so he had to go home to her. I tried introducing them but it didn't go well. Kilo went after Sally a few times and was just very aggressive and not happy to be around her. I almost gave up and was prepared to walk away from the relationship because we could never integrate the pups and live together. Then, it's as if God heard me and I was fired from my job. I found a job within two weeks, but once I accepted the new position, I was home all day every day for a whole week. I wanted to give it one last shot with Kilo and brought her to my house to stay. It was rocky at first, but all she needed was a little time and consistency. The longer and more she was exposed to Sally, the easier it became. By the end of the week, they seemed like they could be buds after all. Which leads us to where we are today. Once Jeffrey saw that they could get along and maybe, just MAYBE, become a pack one day…he relented and moved in with me. That was about 3 and a half months ago. We've had a few scuffles but no serious injuries and they are without a doubt, a very tight pack. As much as Kilo would love to be an only child again, she's out of luck and I'm convinced that somewhere in that deep heart of hers, she has love for her siblings.
All because I made a promise the day Zero died – I make amends to him by giving Jack, Sally and now Kilo and Kain lives better than they ever could have had with anyone else. And as a result, I have more than I could ever wish for, a life greater than I ever could have imagined; the love of four of the sweetest puppies and the man of my dreams all under one roof. 🙅🏼🐶🐶🐶🐶🙋🏻♂️
My first piece of Unsolicited Advice: Don't do drugs. 🚫
Jeffery's story in his own words: Drum roll please… with much deliberation and encouragement from other members to tell the story of how Jeffrey Kilo and kain came about, here goes. This will not be as correctly punctuated nor as beautifully written as Katelyn's.
Our story begins in the same depths of addiction as my better half ( only add 9 more years of pain and abuse to my body and spirit ) After being with the same girl for almost 9 years. Her not being an addict and putting her soul and spirit on the line everyday dealing with an emotionally and verbally abusive partner who was never ever faithful to her. I used and abusive every part of her before deciding one day to walk away when she had no more to give. Jumping straight into another relationship that was equally as "beautiful" with another woman who had 3 children. A relationship filled with abuse and drug use by both parties. During my entire time abusing society, women, and drugs I never really cared about anyone or anything more than myself; until the day I laid eyes on this little white pitbull that could barely open her eyes. She was taken early from her mother and left with her family in a dope house. I asked how much for the little white girl, and was asked "what do you got?" "Bro, I got a quarter of weed and an iPod." And just like that, me, a low down POS junkie was now the owner of the soon to be named Kilo. From that moment she began teaching me what it was like to care for something besides myself. While I still remained in active addiction kilo suffered no consequence of my actions. Jeffrey had no food, kilo had the best food daddy could steal. Jeffrey's power and water got shut off. Kilo had stolen spring water and as many covers as she needed to stay warm. All the while remaining in this ugly ugly lifestyle, until I was caught up by the Seattle PD and charged with 14 felonies. 7 counts of possession and 7 counts of trafficking. Daddy was now looking at 3-15 years in prison, only having been locked up on a few occasions for very short periods of time. Fortunately Washington state affords addicts the opportunity to take DOSA ( drug offenders sentencing act. ) you plea guilty, go to treatment for 90 days, go to IOP for 6 months and then are on probation for two more years. This was the first time in nearly 15 years that I didn't have drugs (oxy, heroin, meth) in my system. Something began to happen. I got clear headed, began going to NA meetings, began really seeing the world around me, and loving myself. Upon my release and upon an unsuccessful reuniting with my ex I decided to make a commitment to the recovery of my body and soul as well as my recovery from drug addiction. Years of exploiting, abusing, using, and manipulating women wasn't sitting well with me me and I decided that I was going to remain single for a period of time. I wasn't quite sure how long that would last but I signed up for it. During this time Kilo, who had stayed with my ex while I was in treatment, became my rock. She was more excited to see me when I came home than anyone had ever been. She was a warm body to snuggle up to at night when I felt lonely and wanted the company of a woman. She was a listening non judgemental ear when I needed to cry and was to ashamed to do it in front of people. She single handedly got me through some of my roughest times being clean. A true gift from my higher power for this leg of my journey.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years still single, still clean I decided to move from Seattle to Cincinnati, Ohio. I had a few relatives here and wanted to spread my wings and get out of the town I had used and abused for so long. I was discourage by the Breed specific discrimination here. I called about 30 apartments before moving here and could find no one that would allow kilo to live there as well. I decided to move anyways and leave Kilo with a friend until I could find housing. I stay with my aunt for two months, with doors being shut in my face day after day because of her breed. Finally 3 days before the limit that my aunt had put on what the length of my stay could be I found the most perfect little shit hole, slum lord ran apartment that had not a care in the world what kind of dog I had. 😍😍😍 I immediately signed a lease ( before looking at the apartment ) and bought a one way ticket to Seattle. Flew home. Rented an economy car. Picked Kilo up. And for the second time in 2 months drove from Seattle to Cincinnati, this time with my princess on board.
After about a year in our apartment Kilo and I started to discuss getting a puppy. She hated the idea and I decided that I was not going to be financially able afford what a new puppy would need to start a life with us so we stopped our discussions. About two weeks later I arrived home from work and the SPCA was at my apartment walking around and when I got out of my truck I asked him what was going on and he asked me if I knew who's dog was in the back parking lot. I said no but decided to walk around back to see if I recognized the dog. In the middle of our blacktop, sun beating down on him in his cage, was this emaciated, beautiful, shit coved, blue eyed sweetheart. No food. No water. 95 degrees outside. I immediately recognized that he was my neighbors. The SPCA finally got the guy to come outside where he continued to tell us "oh shit, I forgot he was out here ( for four hours I come to find out ) man I got court, I can't take him inside until I can clean all the shit off of him." He had clearly spent days in the crate. It was coved in shit, even on the top of the crate. Words were exchanged, the neighbor tried to sell him to me😂😂😂😂 but finally agreed to let me take the dog, and the spca officer after inspecting my house and seeing how well taken care of Kilo was, agreed that I could keep him. 2 weeks after deciding no puppy!!!!!! LMAO. Very quickly I decide that Kilo and Kain has a very appropriate nice ring to it. Kain was about 15 lbs. I could touch my fingers together around his spine he was chalk full of worms and not potty trained. He was however sweet, loving, and full of energy. ( something that kilo needed) and so began our journey. The rest of the story katelyn told. My take away from all of this is not that I left Seattle to spread my wings and be free, but instead to find my patch of earth to put down roots and to finally feel like I was home. Oh and because Kain needed me. Maybe just maybe it was because I needed Katelyn in my life.