An American Pit Bull Terrier named Kenya

An American Pit Bull Terrier named Kenya, was my very first dog
in my very first home of my own. I co parented her with the
best ever friend a girl could have for 2 years until I
moved abroad and she still holds a most special place in my
heart. My friend, Butch bought her for me so that I’d have a
companion and a deterrent against crime being a woman
living alone at the time. Funnily, at her house the only
person Kenya ever barked at was the postman. 🙂

Kenya the American Pit Bull Terrier, APBT for short, came
to me at 6 weeks old. Her parents were my friend’s
neighbours so I felt safe having a Pitt Bull. To my friends
and relatives who said they would never have one in their
home citing all the stories they’d heard about their bad
reputation as a breed, “It’s not the breed, it’s the
breeder and the training” was always my response and still
my belief.

The first weeks were full of smelly poop, nibbling at my
toes, lots of loving licks and short puppy breaths. I could
not have loved her more if I had given birth to Kenya.

For her own safety, training, obedience and needless to
say, the carpet and furnishings in my newly decorated home,
we decided we would crate train her. I cried along with her
those first few nights with frequent trips out to the
backyard in the wee hours of the morning (pun intended).

I read that if you put a ticking clock in the crate with a
puppy it mimics the mother’s heartbeat and comforts them. I
thought “chewing puppy plus plastic clock: not a good
combination”, so I wrapped the clock in rolled up socks and
that seemed to do the trick.

Once she was potty trained, Kenya did not sleep in the
crate, but on a futon in my home office adjacent to my
bedroom.

Cuddling my APBT puppy, Kenya

Kenya was so cute,
I couldn’t cuddle her enough

Crate training Kenya the APBT puppy for safety

How sad is that little face when
she first went into her crate!

We would wake early each morning, I would take her outside
for potty, feed her and she’d follow me around the house
while I had my breakfast and get ready for work for the
next hour and a half, then I’d put her in the crate and
leave for the day.

Each day for the next 4 weeks I would come home to the
lovely aroma of poop, drop my briefcase, put my glad rags
on and take her along with the crate out to the backyard
and wash them off, Kenya the puppy with warm water in a
bucket and then hosing the crate down after scrubbing with
baking soda and lemon paste. It was all a learning
experience like parenting always is. Each creature is
unique with their own personality and no guidebook covers
every possible scenario. Kenya came to love her bath as it
always meant lots of cuddles with Mummy because she smelled
so pretty afterwards and to this day is just so darned cute
and affectionate.

Butch saw to it that Kenya had the best of everything;
food, safe crate, toys, pooper scooper with extended
handle, and posh ceramic bowls so we wanted for nothing. He
is also a wonderful dad to Kenya to this day. When I went
on vacations he would pick her up and take her to his house
for a week or two. When my grandmother passed away after a
prolonged hospital stay, we got the expected and very sad
phone call at 2:00 a.m. I called Butch immediately to say
we’d be leaving for Toronto at daybreak and he naturally
came to pick Kenya up for a few days with daddy until my
return from the funeral. He kept her on the 2 occasions
when I had surgery until I recovered each time.

Kenya the APBT puppy feeding bowls, tray

Feeding bowls. Only the best for his baby, her daddy always said.

Kenya the floppy eared APBT puppy

Kenya has one floppy ear which makes both her ears flop the same way looking like a windswept model.

Kenya the APBT enjoying treats in the hallway

Kenya enjoying her chew treats in the hallway

The year we had her spayed, he was of two minds about the
whole thing. To him it seemed cruel to put her through what
he called “an elective surgery” (I begged to differ) and
when we picked her up afterwards seeing her in pain walk
gingerly to the grass outside the vet hospital to move her
bowels made him angry with me for insisting we do it. He
was so concerned for our baby, that he took the next day
off work to stay home with her at my house. At lunchtime he
phoned to say “I think someone’s got her mojo back” as she
was eating and eliminating normally. The next night we had
a professional social evening as we worked for the same
company and it had been planned for some time, my sister,
Kenya’s Auntie Odie, came over for the evening to take care
of her while we were out. That this dog, is a loved dog,
was never more evident than when I came home that evening
to find Kenya sprawled out on the futon and Auntie Odie
sitting on the carpeted floor in front of the futon
stroking her head as they watched television together.

When Kenya was about a year old we took her to Nanny’s for
Christmas. It was her first road trip and in the midst of
winter taking 9 hours instead of the normal 7 due to
weather and making sure Kenya had enough potty stops. As we
were crossing the border from the USA into Canada I had to
make sure she had all her vaccines and identity papers. We
travelled in Auntie Odie’s new Jeep and Kenya had the whole
back seat. Being a first time doggy mom, I wanted her to be
safe so Butch bought her a doggy seat belt. Well that
lasted all of 15 minutes. She kept stepping in and out of
it until she was all tangled up like the Cat’s Cradle
string game. Ironically, we had to abandon the seat belt
idea for her own safety. At rest stops Kenya never found a
scent she liked and would not have a poop. Still she drank
sips of water along the way and did make a few marker pees.
At the border as the official was examining our documents
and asking whose dog she was, she barked at him. He let us
through with a smile and as we pulled away from the gate I
said “You’re not supposed to bark at the cute border guard,
Kenya”, which she never did on the next few trips up to
Canada.

The next trip we took was in the summer to visit my friend,
Linda at her 5 acre farm complete with 3 horses, 3 dogs, 18
barn cats and ducks. Kenya just loved it in the paddocks.
The 7-hour drive home was filled with the lovely aroma of
horse manure. It’s a good thing Butch had leather seats in
his car and that Kenya loved her bath. He kept telling her
she smelled like a small horse. She hopped straight into
the bathtub on arrival home for a lovely scrub and more
cuddles once she was smelling all girly and pretty again.
She slept like a baby that night, dreaming a lot, running
in her sleep no doubt remembering her fun with the horses
and dogs at the farm.

Eventually when life took a surprising but joyful turn, I
went on a vacation to Spain where I reconnected with an old
friend, Brian who turned out to be my soul mate. Making the
decision to move to Spain was not easy, and taking Kenya
was not an option with the complication of my own
emigration. Heartbroken though I was about that, I knew
Butch would take excellent care of our baby. Still I didn’t
want her in the middle of all the shipping boxes and energy
of her home being emptied so we handled it like another
stay at Daddy’s. I took her and all her stuff to Butch’s
house a week before. We had a barbecue and spent a lovely
day together. She had her beloved futon, complete with
wooden frame to sleep on, all her toys, no more crate
needed as Butch also had her “sisters” at his house, Chanel
the staffordshire pit bull terrier and Shelby the
rottweiler whom she had visited with many times in her
life.

Kenya the ABPT and Shelby the Rottweiler kissing

Kenya and her sister Shelby kissing in the garden at their daddy’s house

Chanel the Staffordhire Pit Bull Terrier and Kenya the American Pitt Bull Terrier

Chanel and Kenya hanging out on daddy’s bed

I missed Kenya terribly and as time went on felt really
guilty about adopting another dog in Spain. I called Butch
about it and he said she was happy with him and her sisters
and would never know any different so gave me his blessing
on her behalf. My husband Brian and I then adopted Pedro
the husky-podenco mix in Spain knowing Kenya was happy
healthy and loved.

Kenya went with her daddy, Butch to
Alabama for a while until they
eventually moved back to the ‘Burgh.
Now 10 years old she is healthy, happy
and living with her daddy, and his
beautiful wife, Marlow enjoying their
new home and back yard. In fact,
Marlow just tagged me in this photo on
Facebook, with a caption “Hi Viv. Love,
Kenya”.

Kenya and Marlow

We are complete.

Kenya the APBT in her new back yard

Kenya exploring the back yard at her new forever home

Kenya the APBT now 10 years old on her new deck

Kenya enjoying her new deck

Kenya the APBT in her luxury doggy bed

Kenya settled down for the night in her comfy bed

I have seen comments on Marlow’s facebook saying how her
Nana loves Kenya and how well behaved she is, which warm my
heart knowing Kenya is so happy in her forever home with
only the best of everything,  just as it should be.

In a previous post I wrote about losing Pedro to cancer
last December after only 7 years. This post was meant to
precede the one about our newly rescued ex-racer greyhound,
Leihla, but as the greyhound picnic date crept up on me so
fast, I had to post about that first. Meaning no disrespect
to my first ever puppy daughter, Kenya I am so pleased I
finally got to write about her as she takes her rightful
place in the picture above with my other furry kids, I can
now happily blog on about all of them.

Until next time, rescue a dog or cat and have them spayed
or neutered. They will be happier and healthier.

Cherish Your Pets,

VivBounty

VivBounty all natural petcare – http://www.vivbounty.com/petcare

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