Kai Ken (甲斐犬)
Breakdown of Kiba's first year with us.
I decided to make a new discussion post about this because I wanted to keep it separate from his normal progress post.
We got Kiba 1 year ago yesterday on September 13, 2014 from Kim Fairbanks in Portland. Just about a month prior, I don't think I even really knew Kai existed. I had googled the other japanese breeds before, but never really had paid attention so honestly, I only really ever remembered Akita and Shiba.
Well. Around the beginning of September, CJ Hammond (owner of TK, Nami, and Fionna) posted about a bunch of kai that needed to be rehomed on the shiba subreddit. There was no other dedicated subreddit to the other breeds since numbers are so small, but the community embraced the other breeds.
Here is the original post:
So we got into contact with Kim and pretty much 3 days later, we were heading down to Portland to go visit him to make sure we really wanted him. The first visit was rough. He was shy, didn't interact with Taro (but she didn't really care for him either). He interacted with us, but was definitely a bit scared. Kona (Clara Bell) had just been sent off, so the dogs were pretty stressed all together with the changes. But, he was a very sweet dog so we decided to go for it.
I came back down by myself the following sunday to get him. That was a really rough car ride for him. He was scared, frantic, moving all over the place, whimpering. I ended up crying a lot during the ride because I felt awful for ripping him away from his littermates and all he has ever known into a scary unknown world. I took some time off of work to help him the first few days.
We were pretty worried that first month. He wasn't really eating and worse, he wasn't really drinking water. I tried my best to get him to drink anything. He went from 30lbs to 22lbs pretty quickly (but according to our vet, 23lbs is healthy for him and he might have been a little chubs).
In our first week with him, the leashes got tangled and Taro ran after a rabbit, pulling the leashes out of hand and Kiba escaped. Ran across the busy road with me screaming after him (which I shouldn't have done anyways). He got caught in the brambles in a neighbors yard and a man helped me get him unstuck. Crying frantically I decided to not wait another minute to get him microchipped and his TAGG tracker FINALLY came in the mail a few days later.
We hit a setback in his transition when we moved aparments a few months later. Before he would come out from time to time, sit with us, cuddle a bit, and ask for pets. At the new place, he never came out, would run anytime we approached him, overall more fearful. He replaced his crate with the bathroom closet and pretty much lived in it.
Then the worse happened. At 4am when Adam was taking out Taro, Kiba snuck behind him and ran out. Gone for 24 hours overnight, I was beyond myself. I felt awful that Kim left Kiba in my care and I had lost him and he could die. At 6am my neighbor was knocking on our back door saying she just saw him running to the other side of the complex. I threw on shoes, went running to the front door, when I opened the door, he bolted in STRAIGHT for his bathroom closet.
He would make a few random escapes that last only about 5mins a couple more times. Mostly he was just bolting out after we put on his harness, confusing him for a walk, but he would just come right back to his closet.
We then started to see him and Taro slowly wrestling. Mostly when they weren't being watched. Then it became almost a morning ritual after I went to work.
In the last few months, he no longer runs away when we approach him. He now hops in the bed and snuggles right up and sometimes comes into the bedroom whenever he hears someone is in the bed (whether if we are going for a nap or actual bedtime).
He went from this scared, fearful, shaking constantly dog with always a fearful concerned look, tail almost never up, lowered head, scared pose to a standing up straight, perked up, curious look, tail up and wagging far more often, outgoing, allows himself to relax and melt.
It's been a long and emotional journey and it still will continue to be one until his true self fully comes out. But I am glad he is in our lives. Sorry for the long post, but I really love my dogs!
Here is a imgur album showcasing some pics of him from the very first to the most recent of his transformation.
Thanks for reading my long ass post and keeping up with Kiba's progress.
Thanks for writing this!! It will be a good perspective for others adopting adult Kai Ken in the future. I think you and Kiba have done really well- it does take a while with Kai (as is also true of other breeds, e.g. I have heard that Bernese Mtn Dogs also take a long time to bond with a new owner)
Kai to the Core!
I loved that entire post, and I LOVED the album you made. Kiba is SO so so lucky to have such an amazing home that gives him all this love and affection, it really does go a long way. I think he's pretty stoked
Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
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