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Valkyrie's Page

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To view any photo at full size, click on the photo with the right mouse button. All photos are copyright Wayne and Patricia Primeau. All Rights Reserved.
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puppy photoPatti and Hannah found Kyrie on August 28, 2002, in a plastic garbage bag on the street, beside a neighbourhood rubbish tip in Occupied East Jerusalem. She was, the vet estimated, only five weeks old. We brought her home, fed her, bathed her, held her until she stopped shivering and went to sleep.

puppy photoShe was crawling with parasites: fleas, ticks and lice, a real mess. Even the vets at the JSPCA (Jerusalem Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) had never seen a puppy so badly infested. Because she was, as puppies can be, somewhat annoying (with her crying and chewing and peeing everywhere) and because she was so full of bugs, we considered naming her MICROSOFT.

puppy photo Unfortunately, neither of Israel/Palestine's "two solitudes" are particularly kind to animals. There are many strays, homeless and feral cats and dogs, and many more animals are neglected and abused. Someone had just left her at the rubbish tip to die because they didn't know enough to take her to the JSPCA.

puppy photoWe had not planned to get another dog, but she was so very young that we agreed to foster her until she had her puppy shots and the JSPCA could find her a home. The vet at the JSPCA told us that she was probably mostly Canaan dog, an Israeli/Bedouin breed used for guarding and herding. One family promised to take her, but after waiting for several months, they changed their minds. As the JSPCA was unable to find another home for her, we eventually realized that we had a new member of the family.

puppy photoKyrie bonded immediately with Hannah, our beagle-mix. She followed Hannah everywhere, chewing on her, playing with her toys, interrupting her nap time, sleeping on her. Although Hannah took most of this in her stride, the only real advantage to having a puppy in the house, from her perspective, was that it meant more frequent walks.

puppy photo As Kyrie grew, we started taking both dogs to the dog park, near the Knesset. Hannah loved it. For Kyrie it was terrifying. In Kyrie's mind, all dogs other than Hannah were a threat, probably due to her infant experiences with the pack of wild dogs that lived at the top of the hill above our house. When another dog would approach her, she would run, screaming, to where we were sitting on a bench, jump on the bench and cower beside us. Of course all the other dogs in the park would hear a puppy screaming and would run over to see what was wrong, which only made Kyrie more frightened. Even though Hannah loved the place and the society of other dogs, we eventually had to stop going because of Kyrie's unconquerable fear.

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dog friendsSo Kyrie grew up in a dog pack consisting of two humans, two dogs, and three cats. Kyrie had, by nature, a dominant personality. Unlike Hannah, she wanted, needed, to be Alpha. However, Wayne, Patti, Tamerlane and Bubi had other ideas. Tamerlane in particular had little use for her and no intention of being dominated by a mere puppy. Kyrie quickly learned, after a few scratches on the nose, that Tam was serious when he didn't want to play or snuggle. Life wasn't all bad though, for she still had her best buddy Hannah to rely on as constant companion and playmate.

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dog photoIn August of 2004, We returned to Canada, with all five pets. Kyrie learned about living in a place where children did not throw rocks at dogs, where strangers wanted to pet dogs instead of threatening them with sticks. It took almost a year for her to overcome her fear of children. She loved having her own fenced back garden to play in. She learned about snow, and decided that she liked wearing a sweater to keep warm in the winter.

Kyrie is also gradually overcoming her fear of other dogs. Almost every day, she and Hannah go for walks at the Bruce Pit, the huge off-leash dog park in the west end of Ottawa. There she has learned that strange humans and strange dogs just want to be friends. At first she was timid and frightened of all the strange dogs and people, but now she loves going to the Pit.

barking out the windowCanaan dogs are known as a barking breed which is probably why they are used as guard dogs in the Middle East. They bark to warn everyone else to stay away. They bark constantly. They bark when they hear something. They bark when they see something. They bark when a leaf falls. They bark when the wind blows. They just bark. According to information on the Web, some owners in the United States have even gone so far as to have their Canaan dog's vocal cords removed, a practice we believe to be highly questionable.

looking out the windowKyrie is no exception. One of her favourite pastimes is barking out the window. She barks at cars going past on our street. She barks at humans walking on the sidewalk. She barks when a leaf falls, and when the wind blows. She barks when nothing happens at all. She barks even louder and more enthusiastically when she sees another dog, or a bird, or a squirrel, or a rabbit, or worst of all, a cat.

barking dog People, mainly those who do not live with dogs, say that dogs can't distinguish images on a TV screen. They say that a dog cannot see an animal on the TV. Those people have never lived with Kyrie. Due to the fact that she is a dominant personality and very protective of her property, she goes nuts when she sees an animal on TV. We could understand this if it happened only with dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and squirrels, animals she has actually seen, but she goes berserk and tries to attach the TV when she sees cows, horses, elephants and giraffs too. She can obviously recognize them as other animals, though how remains a mystery to us.

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To see photos of our other furry friends, click on the links below.

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This page was updated on 26 November 2007.

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