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