Kip is my first Cardigan. I had German Shepherd Dogs, a parti-color American Cocker, a Pem . . . then, when I first started practicing law, I had no dogs. I traveled all the time (or at least it felt that way) and it was too difficult to keep and train a dog when I was out of town so often. When my last Shepherd died, I didn’t replace him. Instead I bought a townhouse. The boys were on their own (I wanted to make sure there wasn’t room for them to move back in), and I needed to simplify my lifestyle so I could juggle the work load. After about ten years of the sterile life — even off-white carpet and white tile — missing a dog caught up with me — though I did not miss the absence of kids in the house. I cut down on the travel, turned away out of town cases, and begin looking for a dog. Since I had sold the restored Victorian (read: “scads of room”) to purchase the townhouse, German Shepherds were not a practical choice. The Pem had been fun, but the temperament was a little sharp for me — I like serious thinking dogs. Cardigans were the breed that was the closest to perfect in my mind. I waited almost a year for Kip to be born. Adrienne and I visited him (not knowing which one of the puppies we’d get) from the time the litter was nine days old. She told me after the first visit, “we want the one with the green necklace.” That happens to be how it worked out, and our Kip came to live with me.
Kip will be four in July. He is the happiest, easiest going dog in the world. He has very bad hips so he’s not been allowed to do agility or herding — both of which he wanted to do — but he’s been a sparkling obedience dog and a fine tracking dog. He’s earned his CD TD RN, is a registered therapy dog and a Reading Education Assistance Dog. He’s trained for Open Obedience and needs only one more leg for his Rally Advanced Title. BUT . . .
This makes me cry . . .
Chase picks on Kip, and Inca joins in. Chase is assertive and strong. Kip is a small Cardi and very submissive. He won’t fight back. I don’t have a kennel set-up — and no place to create one. Logically, Chase should go away because he’s the last dog in the door. I could probably find someone to take him (ya’ think?). However, Chase loves to work and is physically able to do it all. He’s also handsome and showy. Chase and I can do everything that I enjoy about having dogs. Kip is, however, not safe when Chase is at the house — and he will be, full time, in another few weeks.
My son Brock, his wife, and my granddaughter want Kip — when their old dog dies. She’s acting like she’ll live forever though and I need Kip to be safe now. So, here comes the probable decision . . . my friend/house sitter and her parents had two Goldens. Last week, the older Golden died. The younger dog is so lonely. I went to law school with my friend’s dad (who is also a doctor), and she was my paralegal for years. Their dogs are house dogs that get the best care and companionship you can imagine. They don’t want to go through the puppy stages again. They want a happy, already trained companion. Jill already loves Kip. He’s going to go to their house for a couple of trial days this week. I know this is a perfect arrangement. I know I’ll miss Kip more than he’ll miss me (dogs are so adaptive). I know it is my responsibility to keep Kip safe . . . I know, I know, I know . . . but I’m so sad.