Growing up, my family lived on a farm and we always had dogs. Once I became an adult, I joined the military and really couldn’t have a dog. In 2006, I was stationed in Kansas and bought a home. I knew that I wanted a dog, but wasn’t really ready to make the commitment. Then came Kya. I first met Kya in August of 2009, and my life was forever changed.
Kya is a beautiful Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Dog mix. Someone dumped her on my sister and my sister really couldn’t keep her. I wasn’t looking for a dog, and had always imagined that when the time came, I’d get a small dog. The minute I laid eyes on Kya, any preconceived notions I’d had about what kind of dog I wanted flew out the window. Kya stole my heart. My husband said we weren’t ready for a dog, but I somehow convinced him to let me bring her home. I didn’t really know much about dogs since my parents had always taken care of ours, but a kind doctor at one of the veterinary clinics in Wichita taught me everything I needed to know.
Kya is a high energy dog and likes to run and play. In looking for socialization opportunities for her, I got in touch with a local meetup group that hosted playdates at one of the dog parks in Wichita. Through that group, I not only made some amazing friends, but I found my way into dog rescue. I didn’t realize what I was getting into. I just volunteered to transport a French Bulldog that was being surrended by his owner from Oklahoma City to Wichita. Before I knew it, I was driving dogs all over the Midwest, several days a week. I had to purchase a Mazda minivan and some extra crates because I was helping so many dogs. That wouldn’t have happened if Kya hadn’t come into my life.
In the spring of 2010, I kept feeling like Kya needed a canine sibling. I have two human children that adore her, but she needed doggie interaction. Again, I wasn’t actively looking. I had met a couple dogs during my volunteer hours at the Kansas Humane Society that I really loved, but they ended up not getting along with Kya when we took her in to meet them.
One day I stumbled on to the website for a local dog rescue. It had to be fate, because I was searching for patterns for dog dresses. I opened their website, and the first dog I saw looked exactly like Kya. She was a Husky and Shepherd mix with quite a bit of Yellow Lab added in. The rescue named her Shelby; I had dreamed of having a daughter named Shelby since I was 15. In my dreams, she was a human daughter, but fate has a funny way of giving us what we need without us knowing it.
As with Kya, convincing my husband that we needed another dog was nearly impossible, but somehow I pulled it off. The next obstacle was the meeting between Kya and Shelby. I was so afraid they would not be a good fit personality-wise. My worries were for naught; the girls fell in love at first sight. It was meant to be.
Shelby has some special needs. While Kya is outgoing and has never met a stranger, Shelby is terrified of new people. The rescue that pulled her from Wichita Animal Control believes that she was abused and then dumped. Much of her fear has dissipated simply because we shower her with love, but we don’t coddle her. The military has taught me to confront scary situations with confidence; I have tried to pass this lesson on to Shelby. She has gotten so much better, and Kya helps her conquer her fears.
I wasn’t looking for a dog when I adopted my girls, but like I said, I believe fate has a way of getting us what we need when we need it. The right dog will find us when the time is right. I can’t imagine how desolate my life would be without my girls, and I am so glad they found me.