KizzieThe first year I moved to France, I dreamed my dog, Skippy, died. I knew she passed away before my folks even told me. Ever since I have pined for a puppy. So nobody was happier when my sister, Karen’s family, adopted Kizzie, a 9-month-old black lab.

Kizzie showed her true puppy colors from the get go. The Carlsons stopped counting the times they caught her chewing on forbidden objects: pillows, hats, glue bottles, photo albums, TV remotes. When Kizzie discovered the basement, Marie’s old baby gate came down from the attic to limit the curious pup’s explorations.

“Everyday we learn something new about each other!” Karen said. “Kizzie goes to school for dog obedience training, but I’m afraid she will never pass kindergarten.”

But our Kizzie is one smart pup. She locked Marie out of the house. Another time the “Houdini” dog slipped out of her locked kennel and met Marie at the door wagging her tail with pride.

In the evening, she not only dragged Dick’s boots to the door when she wanted to walk, but she also retrieved his orange reflector jacket for night strolls.

On her first trip to the lake, she found hidden mouse poison and made a precautionary trip to the vet for intervention. But she won over the entire family especially the grandparents who go ga ga whenever Kizzie is in the room. No wonder pet therapy is so beneficial in retirement homes. Don’t let her charm fool you. As soon as your back is turned, she will snatch up your favorite pillow, hat or slipper and chew, chew, chew.

But keep this in mind when that darn pup gnaws up another favorite shoe, dogs may be good for your health.  http://www.fmnetnews.com/latest-news/pet-therapy-reduces-fibromyalgia-pain When I was sick, my arm dangled off the bed to pet our adopted puppy, soothing my sore throat.

With a dog in the house, you never know what will happen next.

“One night, Kizzie whined all night, stopped eating and cringed when we got near her tail. She had eaten a dead fish at the lake, so we thought she had some intestinal infection,” Karen said. “Turns out that retriever dogs are especially susceptible to “swimmer’s tail” an injury to the base of the tail from using the tail as a rudder.”

Apparently, Kizzie suffered from a sprained tail known as  “Limber Tail Syndrome”. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/8_1/features/15685-1.html

“It was sad to see our happy-go-lucky pup look so downcast with her tail tucked between her legs.”

But not for long, her tail wagged double time during her first summer camp at the McKinzie’s cabin, a Club Med for dogs. Kizzie sat under the swing in yard, rode in the kayak, chased chipmunks, swam after ducks, and ate hotdogs over an open fire. Kizzie was always underfoot, especially at mealtimes when she would stick her nose in the frig or under your arm when you lifted your fork.

Yet despite her antics, when the Carlson’s drove home, we were sad to see her go. While we waved goodbye, the mischievous princess sprawled across three seats in the back of the van and preened like a celebrity. Apparently Kizzie’s kennel days are long gone. The dog, her dad swore would sleep in the garage now has her own bed on the porch, plate at the table, and special puppy toys.

Kizzie is an extraordinary dog – but don’t tell her that – she thinks she just another one of the Carlson girls!