Kizzie « Tales » – Story of an Adopted Dog

KizzieThe first year I moved to France, I dreamed my dog, Skippy, died. I knew she passed away before my folks even told me. Ever since I have pined for a puppy. So nobody was happier when my sister, Karen’s family, adopted Kizzie, a 9-month-old black lab.

Kizzie showed her true puppy colors from the get go. The Carlsons stopped counting the times they caught her chewing on forbidden objects: pillows, hats, glue bottles, photo albums, TV remotes. When Kizzie discovered the basement, Marie’s old baby gate came down from the attic to limit the curious pup’s explorations.

“Everyday we learn something new about each other!” Karen said. “Kizzie goes to school for dog obedience training, but I’m afraid she will never pass kindergarten.”

But our Kizzie is one smart pup. She locked Marie out of the house. Another time the “Houdini” dog slipped out of her locked kennel and met Marie at the door wagging her tail with pride.

In the evening, she not only dragged Dick’s boots to the door when she wanted to walk, but she also retrieved his orange reflector jacket for night strolls.

On her first trip to the lake, she found hidden mouse poison and made a precautionary trip to the vet for intervention. But she won over the entire family especially the grandparents who go ga ga whenever Kizzie is in the room. No wonder pet therapy is so beneficial in retirement homes. Don’t let her charm fool you. As soon as your back is turned, she will snatch up your favorite pillow, hat or slipper and chew, chew, chew.

But keep this in mind when that darn pup gnaws up another favorite shoe, dogs may be good for your health. When I was sick, my arm dangled off the bed to pet our adopted puppy, soothing my sore throat.

With a dog in the house, you never know what will happen next.

“One night, Kizzie whined all night, stopped eating and cringed when we got near her tail. She had eaten a dead fish at the lake, so we thought she had some intestinal infection,” Karen said. “Turns out that retriever dogs are especially susceptible to “swimmer’s tail” an injury to the base of the tail from using the tail as a rudder.”

Apparently, Kizzie suffered from a sprained tail known as  “Limber Tail Syndrome”.

“It was sad to see our happy-go-lucky pup look so downcast with her tail tucked between her legs.”

But not for long, her tail wagged double time during her first summer camp at the McKinzie’s cabin, a Club Med for dogs. Kizzie sat under the swing in yard, rode in the kayak, chased chipmunks, swam after ducks, and ate hotdogs over an open fire. Kizzie was always underfoot, especially at mealtimes when she would stick her nose in the frig or under your arm when you lifted your fork.

Yet despite her antics, when the Carlson’s drove home, we were sad to see her go. While we waved goodbye, the mischievous princess sprawled across three seats in the back of the van and preened like a celebrity. Apparently Kizzie’s kennel days are long gone. The dog, her dad swore would sleep in the garage now has her own bed on the porch, plate at the table, and special puppy toys.

Kizzie is an extraordinary dog – but don’t tell her that – she thinks she just another one of the Carlson girls!

Posted in family, humor, relationships, social view.


  1. Such a sweet “tail!” Makes me really miss my beloved Duke. It’s been two and a half months since he passed and I’m still grieving. Dogs are special gifts from above who grow to be a huge part of the family. In your case the extended family. I look forward to meeting her one day.

    • Oh Tina, I can only imagine how your heartaches. I still miss my Skippy and she died 30 years ago. Our favorite pets fill a special place in our hearts.

  2. As the mom of three adopted pound dogs, I can certainly relate to the antics, destruction, frustration, and especially the love and companionship provided by the dogs that were initially thrown away by their original owners. I LOVE that Kizzie is one of the few that gets a happy ending. And I’m happy for those that get to experience her zest for life!

  3. Nicely done, Pat. I don’t supposed dog ownership is for everyone, but it’s wonderful when a dog and family “click.” And you’re so right, having a dog (even just petting somebody else’s dog) has been shown to have so many medical benefits! Thanks for introducing us to Kizzie — she looks like a sweetheart!

    • Debbie, I know you know the value of dogs having raised Dallas right along with Domer. Being around Kizzie makes me long to adopt a dog, but I would never want to impose those cross Atlantic flights on a pet.

  4. Sis,
    Love! Love! Love! this blog, almost as much as I love our Kizzie Girl! I am grateful the rest of the fam has bonded just as well! This entry will be cut short because….you guessed, Kiz is up to her shananigans (again!) She is making her voice heard that she does not Want her Sister Hannah to return to college!
    Gosh! are dogs perceptive or What??? Thanks for capturing our beloved in words! We ALL miss you!
    (love the Picture video too! Thank you G-Man!)

    • Karsy, thanks for adopting a dog and making my dream come true to have a dog in the family again. Oh yeah, and thanks for sharing her with the whole clan.

  5. As you know, we are fans of adopted dogs. Downstate farms, downtown alleys and do-what’s-right shelters have brought wonderful dogs to our home. We think we are doing the pups a favor, but they warm our hearts and toes on chilly nights. Oh yeah, there are skunk encounters and muddy paw prints. But that’s a small price to pay for unflagging loyalty and unbridled joy at the sound of a jangling leash. The quiet evening walks do my heart good as I reflect on the day, thankful for good gifts from Above.

    • Oh yes, Amy, I remember how much you love animals. I will never forget when we hid your puppy in our Dunn Barton dorm room. I can just imagine the “unflagging loyalty and unbridled joy at the sound of a jangling leash” of your adoptees. Sounds so much like Kizzie’s adoration of her family.

  6. Hi Pat,
    Kizzie reminds me of a beautiful black coated Doberman Pincher who became like one of the family. Sadly he passed, but their spirit lives on to shine in their canine cousins:)


  7. You had me at “adopted dog.” Our Duncan was a rescue in 2005 and I like to say that he thanks us every day. Like your family, my children and my parents adore him. We laughingly refer to him as “the favorite grandchild.” Love this read, Pat.

    • Ha ha Helene. Kizzie fits the bill…favorite grandchild is right! If I didn’t live between worlds, I would adopt a dog. For now I will just have to share in the joys of being Kizzie’s favorite aunt.

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