Kilo. Kilo is a complete sentence. Someone can just say, “Kilo” to me and there’s a common understanding of what it means. It’s just Kilo. When she came into my life a little over two years ago, she had the cutest little under-bite and eyes only for her Daddy. Jeffrey and I were just friends, we were going somewhere together, but I came to his apartment just so that I could meet Kilo, because…well duh. I remember that day, Jeffrey gave me a pink Pitbull shirt which he will tell you I lost, but a friend just borrowed it, thank you very much!
My very first time meeting Kilo in the fall of 2015.
I didn’t see Kilo too much because like I said, Jeffrey and I were just friends so we didn’t hang out at his place, but she did accompany him to some meetings and some lunch not-dates. By this point, I had come to understand that she was every bit as important to him, as Jack and Sally were to me. And that’s all I needed to know, she didn’t even need to work her way into my heart, as her Dahd was already there. And by default, she was too. Most of you know that shortly after this, I moved to Florida to spread my wings, but I still thought about both of them often. I won’t bore you with those details since this is a story about Kilo, not me, and she will be sure to blow the whistle if I don’t get on with it. So, we shall fast forward to where the good stuff happens.
In June of 2016, I came home for my sister’s wedding. Jeffrey was my date and though we were just friends, that was where we became more than friends.
We hung out every moment we could while I was home that week. When I went back to Florida but knew right then and there I needed to move home. Jeffrey and I FaceTimed every single day for hours after work.
More often than not, the pups were involved. I even met Kain over FaceTime.
In August, I went back to Cincinnati again for some job interviews and my high school reunion. This trip I got to meet baby Kain! This should explain how that went.
By September, I moved home from Florida, with Jack and Sally in tow. Jeffrey and I had been dating long distance for about 3 months, and were not ready to move in together, since we didn’t know what it was like to be a couple living in the same state. I was staying with a friend while searching for a house and saving money for a down payment. He had rescued Kain right before I moved home and would let me bring him over to see Jack and Sally but would never let me bring Kilo because he was so adamant about how much she hated other females. The problem wasn’t Jack or Kain, just Sally. I asked him over and over when could Kilo come meet my babies? The answer was always no. Then, in October, he went on a camping trip with his friends and I had to go to his apartment to take care of the pups. I told him that I didn’t want to drive back and forth so I was just going to bring them both to my friend’s house and I would keep them separated if I needed to. Jeffrey made me super scared about what was going to happen, and rightfully so, I can’t blame him for knowing how his dog will most likely react. So, I put a shock collar on her, and one on Sally, just in case a fight was to break out, it would be easier for me to break it up.
I put Jack, Sally and Kain outside, with my friend’s dog, and then went back to get Kilo to walk her in on a leash. And it was fine. Everyone bum rushed her at first but once we got inside the fence, the crazy ones were too busy chasing each other to really bother Kilo. And there was one point in which Sally and Kilo were walking side by side, on their own. And I got so excited, like YES!!! They can be friends! I was still cautious and leery, keeping food separate and no toys out. Kilo was being very protective of me and just wanted to sit on my lap, while the others played, and if anyone got too close, she did a little bit of a growl but nothing serious. On our way up to bed, we walked by a water bowl, and that’s all it took. It set Kilo off because Sally got too close to it, and she just snapped on her. I screamed and kinda choked Kilo out just to get her off Sally. I got them separated and everyone up to the bedroom and Kilo would not let Sally on the bed for like an hour. Then finally, Sally wormed her way up there, and it was my first experience sleeping in a full size bed with 4 large dogs.
I took Kilo home the next day, and we didn’t try bringing them back together again for a while. I bought my house at the end of November, and Kilo finally came over for the first time in the beginning of January. I was a little worried how it would go since it was clearly Jack and Sally’s territory, but we hadn’t been there too long that I was hoping it would go smoothly. And it went okay. No fights, but Kilo was clearly not happy. She did not enjoy being around the other dogs, she did not enjoy them playing, she did not play at all with them, and when they tried to play with her, she flat out refused. She sat in my lap like a grumpy old lady and looked out the window at the babies having fun, sighing every once in a while.
Jeffrey had yet to see them in action because he was afraid she would be worse if he was around, and I think he was right. The next few times we all hung out, it was just SUPER stressful and everyone was on edge. I know all the dogs could feel it too, so they fed off the energy, and it was just not fun. We were at a point in our relationship where we were talking about the future and I told him that if Kilo and Sally couldn’t get it together, him and I could not stay together. We decided to do a trial at my house where he stayed there with me and all the dogs and by the second day, Jeffrey couldn’t deal with it, packed up his stuff and went home with the pups. There was no way either of us were re-homing either of our dogs just so that we could live together, and I was ready to call it quits.
I remember when I told him, I don’t think he believed me, but I meant it. Sally wasn’t going anywhere. Kilo wasn’t going anywhere. And they certainly weren’t going anywhere together. We both posted in dog groups asking for ideas on how to help our girls get along and finally we settled on trying to take them on walks. So, that’s what we did. I walked Sally and Jeffrey walked Kilo. We didn’t acknowledge each other and we just walked. And it was like when we were out these walks, all of the different sights and sounds and smells were so distracting, that they didn’t even realize they were in the same vicinity. And before they knew it, they were nose to nose smelling the same thing without a care in the world. We were still rather worried about them and I thought there would never be a day that they could be in the same room without supervision and everyone on constant alert.
I’m definitely a silver linings kind of person. As long as I put in the footwork, whatever is supposed to happen, will happen. So, as fate would have it, I was fired from my job. As soon as a I found a new job and could breathe for a moment, I realized I’d have a whole week off work and I thought to myself, “this is my chance to get them to get along.” I asked Jeffrey if I could keep Kilo (I already had Kain pretty much full time anyway) for the week while I was off and just work on getting them to simply be okay together. I would have been okay if they never liked each other, but simply tolerated each other. I took them on walks together, practiced treat times with them, continued to keep them around each other without forcing anything, and always let them know that no matter what happens, I loved them both. And they did great. A whole week without any scuffles. It was like a miracle. And it built my confidence in myself as a dog owner and a person capable of learning how to deal with two dogs that don’t necessarily like each other. I refuse to chalk it up to a coincidence that things just happened to work out. Sometimes bad things happen so better things can come of it. The six of us went on a walk and I saw my future in front of me.
As much as I would like to say the rest is history, there have been fights since then. Some pretty scary fights. I have a few scars from breaking them up. And the funny part about it all is that even though Kilo always comes out worse for wear, she somehow maintains her role as alpha. Sally will win every fight because Kilo doesn’t really want to fight, she just wants you to know who she is and back down. She’s all bark and no bite you could say.
Well, Sally is about that life and she’s going for the knockdown, drag out, ass beating. Jack used to try to jump in the middle which made it even scarier, but as time has gone on, the fights have become fewer and farther between, and don’t last as long. As soon as they’re over, Kain is making his rounds, nursing everyone’s wounds. We’ve not had anything serious enough to warrant trips to the ER or stitches or anything, THANK GOD. We don’t have blinders on or think that it will never happen, because it very well could, especially now that we’ve added Lotto into the mix – and Kain’s intense feeling of protection over him.
But, when you watch their everyday interactions in pictures and videos, you would never know that they once couldn’t be in the same room together and that our future was almost written off as a result of it. Our girls were able to work it out – with help from us – a lot of love, patience, understanding, listening and watching of cues, practice, and did I mention love? As much as we receive love from dogs, dogs receive love from us and I choose to believe that they were shown enough love to put their differences aside (for the most part). Kilo is still our grumpy girl, and at the end of the day would much rather be an only child, with just her Dahd, for the rest of her life. But, that isn’t going to happen. So buckle up, and put your badge on, Miss Fun Police. We’ve got a wild ride ahead and we’re not going to stop loving you anytime soon. One day, you just might like it, sweet girl. Happy Birthday.
This last picture, I took at 4:18 pm, right before uploading her story… She’s not such a hardass after all.