Seven years ago we contacted our local
animal shelter in Escondido, CA and put a request for a "husky
type" dog on their wish list. A few weeks later they called to tell
us they had a stray husky that no one had claimed. The next day we
adopted Kono and brought him home (he rode in the car with his head on
my lap and we immediately bonded.) His age was a mystery, but somewhere
between 4 and 6 years was their belief. We
called him our "Dido Boy" (short for Escondido) and began
making up silly stories about his days on the streets of Escondido.
- How he was the leader of a homeless bunch of dogs called the Dido Boys
until he was caught by the dog police and bailed out by us. My daughter
even made a book up about his days as a renegade. It had pictures
(cartoon type from the computer) and an amusing story to go with it. The
family all helped make up the silly tales. The
first few days with us he really was a bit of a renegade - stole frozen
ground meat from the counter (a few pounds - quite heavy and we could
never figure out how he had gotten it down) and of course, we were able
to salvage most of it because it was still quite frozen. He helped
himself to some coffee cake left on the counter (the leftover plastic
wrap told the tale). One afternoon I went to get a hamburger my daughter
had made for me and there was only an empty plate on the table.
realized what had happened and I had to have an alternate meal for
dinner. These little episodes seemed to fit in perfectly with his
renegade story and we soon learned not to leave things around that he
could help himself to. Fortunately, once he knew he was not going to be
hungry his stealing stopped and he became very trustworthy. Once we had
a bag of cookies sitting on a low table and he brought the bag
(unopened) to us as if to tell us he wanted one.
On another occasion my
granddaughter had hidden some food (she wasn't supposed to have) under
her bed. Kono brought it out unopened and dropped it at my feet. My
granddaughter admitted hiding the bag under the bed and we were amazed
at Kono - almost as though he was showing us she had something she
shouldn't. Luckily, he was good and didn't eat it since he was already
diabetic and it would have made him ill.
loved to go for walks with us until he got
diabetes, and then he just couldn't do it anymore. We walked three miles
daily and he would walk nicely (never pulling) along with us. He would
jump and get excited as soon as he saw his leash. When he became ill, he
would go about a block and then turn around and try to head back home.
One week after being diagnosed with diabetes he went totally blind.
Although he did manage quite well, the doctor told us he was a good
candidate for surgery to remove the cataracts. He saw quite well after
the surgery and seemed to enjoy life again. He had uveitis and glaucoma,
had to go twice a year to the eye vet and he required eye drops in his
eyes daily for the rest of his life. He was absolutely the best patient
I'd ever seen. He went willingly to the vet's office, would lay down and
let them do whatever needed to be done. He was large and they would do
his blood tests, etc. on the floor and I would get on the floor with him
and hold his head and talk to him. They were always amazed at how good
he was. He never growled at anyone.
he could not have regular dog treats, we baked
him cookies using the prescription WD food, which he absolutely loved
and never seemed to miss the store bought dog treats. He always got
cookies when we went out and he would always get excited when I picked
up my purse to leave. This way he didn't seem to mind us leaving. We
also gave him cookies when he got his insulin shot, thyroid pills, eye
drops and eye salve. He was a very good patient and was the most loving,
gentle dog I've ever had.
He was truly devoted to me. During my recent
hip replacement surgery he never left my side except to go out and to
eat. Everyone called him a "Momma's Boy."
Often I still think I hear him with his I.D. tags jingling, following me
down the hall. He was always with me. That's what makes it so difficult
because there is such a void now without him. I look for him when I
return home and those times when I would give him his shot, etc. As with
so many others, arthritis and old age were the main causes of Kono's
death. He was diabetic for almost 3 years, was well regulated, and we
didn't experience any extreme difficulties as a result of the
disease. But we believe it had taken its toll on his
liver, etc. weakening him. I miss him so much, but know he is free from
pain and waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.