Some of you may recall that my household went through a Great Extinction Event last spring; my Lab cross, Beau, died in March, followed by Milo (cat), three weeks later, followed by Gus (tamed feral cat) three weeks after that. Leaving only two cats, Biscuit and Monty.

Then came the lengthy dog search, after a period of mourning. So in August, I was able to adopt Kia (she came with the name, and she’s 8, so I’m not changing it), a supposed GSD cross. Well ... she does look like a miniature GSD, but she’s half the size, although I should say she’s half the size now; she was 70 lbs when she went into rescue, 68 when I got her, and she is 49 lbs now. She looked like a salami with toothpicks at either end, or an armadillo, with a tiny pointy head and large body. Her front legs were pushed apart by the fat pads on her chest.

Then (rescue shaved her down to her undercoat because of fleas);

Now (with her black and tan coat grown in);

She runs everywhere now, and has the much sought after “abdominal tuck”, which is a sign of a healthy weight in dogs. I think she has about 4 lbs to go.

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I believe she is a cross between two fine Aussie herding breeds; the kelpie (black and tan and sharp face) and the cattle dog. I think mostly kelpie, but there are some cattle dog features; her blue merle undercoat which the “blue heeler” variety sports, and she’s a little sturdier build than the kelpie.

And she is smart! At this point, I just assume she understands everything I say, and she understands full sentences. “Get your blue ball, it’s in your bed in the bedroom.” And she gets the ball. And then very gently puts it into my hand.

Sweet natured, playful (endless games of fetch), but there has been virtually no mischief; no getting into the garbage or ripping up anything but her own toys.

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The raincoat was Beau’s. He was a much larger dog, so I’ve taken a tuck with some duck tape on the underside.