Kara is, my best guess anyway, part yellow lab and part pitbull. She was born in July 1998. Kara had three
strikes against her when she was young. She was born with a very shy personality, she was taken from her litter
at less than 5 weeks, and she received very little socialization during her first year. I agreed to adopt her so she
wouldn't end up in a shelter and surely be euthanized becasue of her problems.
When Kara came to me she couldn't
keep food down, was afraid of having a collar put on, she refused to walk on a leash, and displayed fear aggression
toward strangers, other dogs, and especially kids. She had absolutely no dog-to-dog social skills whatsoever.
about two years of rehabilitation its hard to believe Kara is the same dog. She has taken agility classes and run
the obstacles off leash with other dogs present, she greets kids with a tail wag and allows being petted and loves
treats from them, she is friendly around most strangers and even attended a beach party in Daytona with over a 1000 people
present. She now loves to travel with us and one of her most favorite things in the world is rolling
around on the slippery covers on the beds at Super 8 motels.
Kara still finds some things fearful, and she will never
have the outgoing personality of Nickel, but she has learned skills on how to deal with fearful things that are much better than
barking, lunging, and growling. The journey I took with Kara to help her has been one of the most rewarding things
I've ever done with any dog and I owe her a great deal for what she has enabled me to learn.
Kara loves to
swim in the pond (only when its warm enough!) and spends hours pushing her ball (one that she doesn't allow either Cougar
or Nickel to touch) around it. She has learned to retrieve and even catch the frisbee on short throws. Her most
fun though, is killing the small critters that Nickel finds! Yes, after a rocky start, she fell in love with Nickel!
My dearest Kara passed away on July 1, 2014 due to her arthritis getting so bad that she finally lost all control
of her rear legs. She passed on her 16th birthday and enjoyed an afternoon swim with me followed by cake and ice cream
before saying goodbye. Of all my three dogs I'm most indebted to her as she taught me patience, consistency, and
helped me the most in understanding the world from "the dog's point of view."