Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun Fact Friday: Kyo

Another Friday is upon us and in that honour I have another fifteen fun facts. It's about a guy I haven't talked about in a while, but I found some pictures of him in training and I wanted to write about him today.

Fifteen Fun Facts About Kyo

1. Kyo is a Lab/Great Dane cross I rescued from the Guelph Humane Society in March of 2010.
2. He is all black with a white spot on his chest/neck and his face is a darker brown.
3. Kyo is nicknamed Moose because he is even bigger than Glacier. He doesn't have a bigger head, but is taller and weighs almost ten pounds more.
4. He came to me over weight and unruly, but just six weeks after having him he had dropped twenty pounds and had learned "sit, down and stay." His recall was always great, but I think it was because of his separation anxiety.
5. After moving to SC we were not able to provide Kyo with the structure and schedule he needed. He is a very high energy boy and while I was in Cambridge I was able to attend to his needs, but the move changed everything. He started sliding backwards and all of the training I had done seemed to come undone.
6. After a long agonizing search, we found the perfect place for Kyo. PAALS, an Assistance Dog organisation, temperament tested him and once his elbows and hips cleared, they accepted him into their program.
7. Kyo is an incredibly fast learner and loves to work. Within having him in the "training room" at PAALS for a few minutes,  he learned how to open the dryer without treats.
8. Kyo passed his Canine Good Citizen test in February and we were given the good news that he would be moving into advanced training. This meant he would start learning specific skills to an assistance dog and was able to go out into public for more training.
9. Kyo had some serious counter surfing issues when we got him and that was a habit he held on to. Once while out in training, he counter surfed in the mall. The woman who runs PAALS and is the head trainer said that was a first for her. I'm sure he has given her many more "firsts." He is almost too smart for most people. I am sure he has kept her on her toes the last few months. That is why I loved him.
10. Kyo was the best cuddler. With the exception of Baloo, Kyo was the best. He would lay on his side, drape his front leg over you and tuck his head up against your chest. Best 85 pound teddy bear around. :) This trait actually may help him if he graduates from the program. If he goes out to work with a child with Autism, his snuggling will be important.
11. Kyo is probably about two now. We don't know his birth date or anything really about him. He was dropped off by a family at the shelter because they had three little kids and the dog had grown too big for them. They crated him for over eight hours a day.
12 Remember that counter surfing I was talking about? Kyo once stole six sausage buns off of the counter and swallowed them all whole in less than 30 seconds.
13 Mr. K's introduction to Kyo involved a lot of blood. When I got him home from the shelter, I found a healing wound on the end of his tail. In his excitement that we were home, he wagged it so hard the scab flew off and it covered the entire apartment in blood. We cleaned the tail, wrapped it with some gauze and taped a sock over it until we could get him to a vet. She said he may have to lose the tail if we couldn't get it to heal. Tail wounds, especially on dogs with skinny  tails, sometimes do not heal, but with some sea salt and careful monitoring,  the tail healed very nicely.
14. I am not entirely sure how Kyo's advanced training is going as I have not had an update since February, but if you visit the PAALS website found
you will see pictures of Kyo at the Memorial Day Pool Party and a few others. You have to click on the "gallery" link. There are also pictures of Kyo up on the PAALS Facebook page. The most recent is of him at a bolathon. It's incredible that this dog who was afraid of traffic can now sit in noisy places like that.
15. Despite his short stay in my life, Kyo has left huge paw prints on my heart. He is my inspiration to start a rescue one day. His beautiful spirit and great, goofy self gives me hope for all shelter animals out there. When most people think of Service dog they do not think mixed breed, shelter dog who was rescued at almost one year of age. Even if he doesn't graduate, I know that he will change someone's life for the better.
And as a bonus
16. "Kyo" means "big" in Japanese and Kyo is quite big. So, we changed his name from "Tank" to "Kyo." :)

So there is a brief snapshot of a very special dog. I think of him often and hope that he is able to become a full fledged service dog because I know that working is where his heart lies. Just before he went off to PAALS, I started training him to pick up objects and was absolutely stunned at how quickly he caught on. The head trainer at PAALS was astonished that he willingly retrieved the telephone in such a short period of time. I hope you have time and are able to go and view some of the pictures of Kyo. If and when I get an update, I will make sure to write about it.
Happy Friday. :)


pattib said...

THAT is a wonderful story about Kyo! Good for you, and for him. And for whomever he graces with his future life!

Kolchak Puggle said...

He sounds awesome! Isn't it amazing how dogs can leave a big paw print on your heart?