Adult black medium haired dog is sitting looking at camera. Dog is wearing an orange Merrick headband. There are blue 8lb weights on either side of her with a brown couch in the background.

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Close up of the face of a medium haired black dog. Hair is wet and there are dew drops perfectly formed and visible on her face.
Dew Drops

Danny and I had met in Sept 2011 and it took several months for him to convince me to have our relationship become anything more than just friends. After that things moved quickly, and almost right away he had somehow moved in with me. I had always wanted to get a 2nd dog and after working with several dogs at a shelter in Virginia I was convinced that I wanted a Lab/Chow mix. Danny being an animal lover and always wanting me to be happy quickly agreed that we should add another dog to our recently formed family. We had a discussion of what would happen to the new dog if we ever broke up (I had Remington and we decided that he would take ownership of this next dog) and we immediately started looking at different rescues and animal shelters for lab/chow mixes. During this time, I unfortunately had injured my back at work which meant frequent trips to the doctor and physical therapy appointments. I had found several lab/chow puppies available with Miami Dade County, so we had made plans to go after one of my doctor appointments. The day that we had planned to go, we had brought Remington with us for any introductions that would need to happen so Danny decided to take Remington to a nearby Petco while waiting for my appointment to be done.

Close up of a pile of stuffed animals and toys of all types and colors. At the bottom of the pile is a little black puppy face sticking out that blends in with the toys.
Can you find the puppy?

When I got out of my appointment, I called Danny so he could come back and pick me up so we can go on to find ourselves a puppy. When he answered the phone, he told me that the Broward Humane Society had an adorable lab/chow puppy at the Petco they had gone to. Her name was Dixie and she was enamored with Remington. We went straight back to the Petco so I could meet her. She was so tiny and cute. Dixie was in a small playpen with another dog, but she just was just sitting in the corner. When Remington walked up to the pen, Dixie immediately got up and went over to him tail wagging and everything. The volunteers told me that Remington was the only thing she showed any interest in the whole time she was there. Remington was also interested in her, just not as much as she was in him. Danny and I quickly decided that Dixie joining our family was meant to be. We filled out the paperwork and paid the adoption fee and bought the puppy items I knew we would need. Luckily, her adoption papers only listed her as a lab mix since Chow Chows are one of the breeds that are heavily discriminated against. It took a couple of days, but Danny and decided on the name Kiara Penelope.

Black fluffy puppy laying down with a yellow elephant toy that has pink ears laying on her front paws.
Baby Kiara

Black puppy wearing a bright green life jacket sitting and looking at camera. Her ears are up and she is sitting on a beach.
First day at the Beach!

Kiara ironically had the opposite personality of the lab/chow mixes that I had seen and worked with as a volunteer at a previous rescue. Kiara has the overall goofy personality of a Labrador; whereas I was expecting the more controlled personality of a chow. As she grew up, the chow traits that came forward were the easily tangled and thick hair on her legs and around her ears and a protective streak. She was smart but definitely went through a destructive phase. I affectionately and admittedly, angrily gave her the nickname ‘Abaddon the Destroyer’, as she had destroyed my brand new nook, multiple pillows, and my I-pod. She is the friendliest dog but has a horrible habit of barking whenever she gets excited. Unfortunately, her bark is very loud and sounds scary which frightens everybody that encounters her. She wants to go up and love everybody, but her barks scare most people off. If I go anywhere at night by myself she is the dog I take with me because her bark keeps everybody back at a safe distance until I choose to reassure them that Kiara is harmless. This is something that we constantly work on! She gets easily stressed out, at one point she even needed to be hospitalized because her stress level triggered acute pancreatitis. She has a strong mothering instinct and is very high-energy. She is very attached to Danny and me and loves/needs attention from everyone around her. During our travels, we have had to learn to adjust our travel plans as Kiara is much more hesitant to try new things than Remington ever was. I was used to having a dog that trusted me enough to try new things and go anywhere I asked. Kiara was not that type of dog. It is a constant challenge to find the perfect mesh of getting her to try things without causing her too much stress but we manage to work through it. She also ironically is fearful of other black dogs. I would love to be able to read her mind and enroll her in therapy so we could work through her issues more readily and easily!

Adult black medium haired dog is sitting looking at camera. Dog is wearing an orange Merrick headband. There are blue 8lb weights on either side of her with a brown couch in the background.
Kiara the Personal Trainer

Unfortunately, Kiara was diagnosed with oral melanoma cancer in November of 2022. The tumor was originally found during a routine dental exam. This cancer spreads very quickly and sadly does not respond well to treatment. After exhausting all treatments and options we had to say goodbye to her on June 6, 2023, as the tumor had come back with a vengeance and was greatly affecting her quality of life. Losing a family member is never easy and she will forever be with us in heart and spirit.

Want to meet Kiara’s Siblings? Click the name to meet Emma or her brothers Charlie and Remington!

You can also read about what we did to help Kiara with her anxiety issues and what we did when she suddenly started peeing the bed.

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About Author

Animal and wildlife enthusiast that currently owns four dogs, loves to travel, and try new things while saving as much money as possible!

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