I remember when I first met Kain. I lived in Florida at the time and Jeffrey was in Ohio, so the introduction took place over FaceTime. He was this snuggly, little, cuddly, all white, beautiful baby boy. He had the most soulful eyes. He looked hungry. But not just physically; even though he was a skinny little feller. He looked hungry for life. And when Jeffrey told me how Kain came to be his, it all made sense. The following are Jeffrey’s words.
“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.”
It didn’t take long for either of us to fall in love with him. Jeffrey worked on fattening him up. Kain was so hungry all the time and ate so fast that he had to start using one of those puzzle slow feeders. Now that I think about it, Jeffrey could use one too. We laughed about how I had two black dogs and he now has two white dogs. I told him he was trying to copy me and that he didn’t have to do all that to prove he liked me. Over FaceTime, I watched Kilo and Kain play bitey face every night and when they were tired, Kilo would go under the blankets and Kain up on top of the pillow by his Dahd’s head. When I came home to visit, the first thing I did was go to his apartment to see the bebes. And they immediately traded in Dahd for a potential Mahm. But, I think if Kilo had any inkling about how her life would turn out, she might not have been so cozy with me. When I moved back to Ohio, I kept asking to let our dogs meet and Jeffrey would only let Kain come over. That’s a true testament to Kain’s character. He is the biggest love bug you’ll ever meet. He knew Kain would get along just fine with mine, but Kilo was the problem – if you haven’t read that story, you can find it here.
A few months later, Jeffrey finally moved in with me and saw for himself just how tough having four dogs can be. Kain was NUTS. Kain was a true puppy. He was either on 100 or asleep. There was no in between. And that wouldn’t have been that bad, but because he was always on 100, he constantly wanted to play. And in the beginning, Kilo tolerated absolutely zero fun. You think she’s bad now, you should have seen her a year ago. She has lightened up quite a bit. So, this caused for a very stressful environment. We were on edge a lot and still trying to figure out how to live together as a couple and as parents to four dogs. He was always goofing around and getting in trouble. To put it truthfully, Jeffrey was rather overwhelmed and decided he wanted to re-home Kain. I disagreed with him but told him that since Kain is his dog, I would support whatever decision he made. Before we started looking for potential homes, I asked, “Are you absolutely sure this is what you want to do?” And he said it was. But when people started calling with interest in Kain, Jeffrey had a million questions and a million excuses as to why this particular home would not be a good fit. Finally he said, “Kain already has a home. And it’s here with us.”
Soon after, around July last year, we were trying to herd all the pups down the stairs and Kain didn’t want to listen to directions (shocker) so Jeffrey assisted him off the bed. And his leg got caught in the blankets so he ended up falling rather than landing on his feet. He immediately started limping and I think we both knew something was wrong, but didn’t want to believe it. We took him to our vet and they said he was fine, he probably just sprained it. After a month or so of no limping, he was started limping again so we took him back again and his knee was out of socket so they popped it back in. They did an x-ray and said other than some early onset arthritis starting to form, his knee was okay. The vet noticed some movement in his kneecap and said his knee would continue to pop out of place for the rest of his life due to this genetic defect of a shallow patella. He never once cried, never whined, never led us to believe that he was in pain, but by October, I couldn’t stand to watch him limp anymore. Our vet recommended we go to MedVet – a surgery center, for a consultation. I was really anxious when I took him in that day. Like I said before, I think in my heart I knew something pretty major was wrong, but just didn’t want to face it. When the doctor came in to talk to me after the exam, first he told me how Kain was the star patient of the day. He wooed all the girls and just trotted around back to each person and made them say hello to him. Then he told me the bad news. Kain’s right ACL was torn. His right patella was at a 4 (needs to be a 0/1) and his left patella was at a 3 which meant it would most likely not be a matter of if, but when his left ACL would also tear. I wanted to just sit there and cry and apologize to Kain for not getting it looked at sooner and for all the pain he must have been in. And I wanted to cry about the potential of him tearing his left ACL as well. But, first things first. I called Jeffrey and told him the news and not knowing how we were going to pay for it, he said, “Go ahead and schedule it.”
The first surgery cost right at $4,800. I sold an insane amount of bows to help pay for surgery, and we put the rest on Care Credit. I highly recommend looking into it if you need help paying for vet expenses, as it’s no interest if you pay it off within 6 months. So, we went through with the surgery on November 4, and had a long recovery period. He did not want to do any of the at home physical therapy for us. He hated the heating and icing. But, when we took him back for his post op check-up, everything was in place and looked good. And while there was never a day that I thought, “Okay, this is it, we are turning the corner for good,” it was promising to hear that he was healing. And then, we did the best thing we ever could have for Kain. We got him his very own puppy. You can read Lotto’s story here. I remember on our way home with Lotto, Jeffrey said, “Kain is going to be his best friend.” And though I believed it, I don’t think any of us were quite prepared for just how true that statement was. He took Lotto under his wing in a way I’ve never seen before. He just loved him wholly and without question. I often wonder if he knew he was no longer the baby of the family, and he wanted to protect the new baby of the family. God’s purpose for Kain is to be Lotto’s Dahd. God’s purpose for us was to give Kain the opportunity to become that Dahd.
Our poor baby. Kain was born with very unstable knees. And unfortunately, through no fault of his own, or ours, again in February, he was diagnosed with an ACL tear in his left leg. It took everything in me (again) not to burst into tears when the surgeon told me how bad it was. This is not a cheap surgery and considering we were still paying on his first surgery at the time, when I asked my husband what he wanted to do, he said, “I think that Kain is the sweetest dog in the whole wide world and we need to get him taken care of.” And he couldn’t be more right.
Most of you know he ended up having bilateral surgery the second time around. During surgery on the left leg, they decided they needed to open the right again as the hardware had shifted and needed to be fixed. They called to tell me and get permission and since I wasn’t expecting it, I cried at my desk for probably an hour. I just felt so bad for all the things he’s been through and the long, hard recovery process he was facing. Since surgery, he has excelled. His physical therapy is going wonderfully. He loves going there and seeing all his friends. I think he will be sad when he realizes he’s done with that but hopefully Lotto will fill that void. He’s still on restrictions but I can’t wait to see him run unleashed and unmedicated. Jeffrey and I joke that once he’s all fixed and healed, we’ll regret having done the surgeries because he’ll be back to being on 100 all the time. 🤣 He truly missed out on a whole year of being a puppy so it’s about time he gets to experience it again.
Kain is our special boy. He is the most loving dog I’ve ever met. They nicknamed him Candy Kain at physical therapy because of how sweet he is. He has seen so much bad in his short life yet he holds no grudges, practices forgivess, and shows unconditional love and empathy. He gets back up after each setback and he does so with grace. I think we could all stand to take some notes from Kain on how to live life. Happy Birthday, our sweet little boy. 💜