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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Katie the whole story

I posted a video of Katie the other day. She is my little chihuahua. She was a rescue, and her story is worth telling. She was brought to this country by immigrant farm workers, here in Wisconsin illegally. She was a puppy, still, when they were deported. A friend of mine, who is Spanish speaking, and who befriended the owners of the dog, took Katie, and her brother in, and tried to find them homes.

She asked me if I knew of anyone who would like a little chihuahua, and I thought about my son, Nate. He lived in an apartment, alone, and needed a friend. I thought having a little dog would be good for him. He would have to take her for walks, and get out of the house. He would have something to focus on, besides himself. He is mentally ill, and isolates.

I asked Nate if he would be interested, and he decided to give pet ownership a try. I took her home, a few days later, and gradually introduced her to Nate. I made sure that he paid the pet deposit at his apartment, and got dog supplies for her. We were told that she was spayed. We were told that her shots were up to date. We were told that the paperwork would be given to us.

Nate and Katie became fast friends. Katie was walked more than any little dog has ever been walked. She was never left alone. She was loved. If there was one problem, it was that Katie preferred me, over Nate. She attached to me, as Chihuahua's sometimes do.

If Nate went away for the weekend, Katie came to stay with us. If we all went on a shopping trip, or something, Katie stayed with our Cat, Iggy. She has not been alone, ever!!!

Then a couple years into their life together, Nate's mental health became worse. He stopped walking Katie. He stopped taking care of himself. He got sick, really sick. My first blog, mentions how sick. To sum it up, Katie witnessed my son attempt suicide, not once, but several times. He slit his own throat with a huge knife. I would go to check on Nate everyday, and somehow, by some miracle, Nate did not die. Katie, saw it all. She knew she was once again, not safe.

Katie, then, came to live with me. She will always be "Nate's dog" but she will never again live with him. I will make sure that she is safe, and secure. She deserves stability.

Nate has been in the care of institutions, for the last two years, now. We still have high hopes that he will be independent again, one day. He does, too. He hopes to continue on to College, to study music.

Katie is sleeping, now, at my feet. She is calm, and may be the cause of my sore shoulder. She sleeps in the small of my back, and I do not turn, as I do not want to disturb the dog. She has had a tough little life.

Here is another fact about Katie. She never barks, never. I didn't even know if she could for the first few years. Chihuahua's are known to be "yippy". Not her, she is the most polite, special little dog, I have ever known. Oh, and went we first got her, she was trained, but did not know English. I thought that was funny, and it still makes me smile.