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Kali is such a wonderful dog! Laurel, Caitlin and I adore and dote on her. She’s the one who always greets me with enthusiasm when I come home, bringing me one of her stinky, shredded toys to tug on.

We love her intelligence, agility, personable demeanor and her willingness to learn. Housetraining problems are a dim memory, and we have found a happy chewing solution–lots of chewy things of various textures–so virtually nothing of value has been “eaten,” though she did snitch one of the parts from the vacuum when I was repairing it. Funny, she has started to bring such things to “mom” right away, seeming to be asking if it’s OK to chew. And, oh, when give her a plastic water bottle to chomp or new cheapo stuffed animal to dismember, she’s delighted.

KaliKali has come a long way in overcoming her fearfulness. Walks are no longer an exercise in calming her, and she and Laurel are working out jogging together. She’s been to a community concert (with us sitting off to the side of the crowd) and even into Old Town Alexandria, though that was a little too much sensory input and left her quaking so much I had to carry her in my arms (thank goodness she’s no bigger than she is).

On Sunday morning we will hold off feeding her (she still gets car sick on longer rides) and take her with us out to the mountains, to buy apples and cold cider and hot donuts, and go for a hike.

Kali’s health is very good. We had trouble with itchy skin and food allergies at first, but changing her diet and–it seems most importantly–worming her, has made a huge difference. Her coat is now glossy black and she is the perfect combination of cute and beautiful, elegant and silly. Those ears! They go up and down and in and out in a most amusing manner.

She is a very agile dog, making amazing rushes around the back yard, leaping over planters, dodging under shrubs, circling the raised bed and landing with a “plop” on the chaise lounge. I’m encouraging Laurel to work with her on agility training, as I think they would both enjoy it. Kali is still learning to sit up and does a good job of it most of the time. She also does well: sit, stay, come, drop, leave and no–though sometimes you can see her little will digging in its heels. Laurel is mindful that she must be “top dog” or an underdog.

The cats still don’t think our dog is the greatest thing, but they get along well enough, especially because Kali’s learning that it’s not OK to chase them. Life with Kali isn’t perfect, but pretty darn close. She is fully integrated as an important part of our family, and we love having her around and cannot imagine life without her.

Thanks again to all Homeward Trails folks for making our doggy dream come true!

-Shay, Occoquan, VA

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