Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Life according to Kao

My peeps know that I love my pets, often referring to them as my “kids,” or as close to kids as I’m likely to get.

I was at the dog park a few weeks ago with Kao (pronounced Kay-O) when a fellow dog owner and park frequenter made the comment that I’ve heard before: “Oh, is the boxer yours? He’s gorgeous.” And, like time and time before, my heart swelled with pride and I said: “Thank you,” tears almost welling up in my eyes because I think Kao is just the ultimate (unless he’s eating my underwear, then he’s “Asshole.”). I thought about it for a split second and then offered up this qualifier, which caused the guy’s eyes to well up too – with laughter: “Well, I say that like he came from my loins, but can you imagine the damage he’d do to my uterus with those gangly legs!” He got the picture, you get the picture and it’s a picture I don’t want spread around too much. Or, at all. Imagine my surprise when the baby I was expecting for the past nine months not only has eyes and ears, but also paws and a tail. How the hell would I explain that to my partner, let alone the medical community?!?!

Since I gush on and on about my boy, I thought I would explain a little bit of his lineage and show you a picture of his actual dad, Zeek, with whom I fell in love and thereby started my love affair with boxers.

At approximately 68 lbs. and with a disposition of your treasured childhood teddy bear with a mischievous streak, Zeek is the ultimate. He’s loving, loyal and at five, can play with the best of them, including his own offspring. While he was gentle when they were younger, he now serves out “what-for” on a regular basis, whether it be a nip, a hefty paw on the head or a growl. He loves them but doesn’t take crap.

I had taken a four-week art class with my artist friend and Zeek’s owner. I looked forward not to getting my hands into the paints (which was fun, but frustrating because I can’t draw a straight line even with a ruler), but to share an evening or four with Zeek, who would make rounds in visiting each student, often ending up with his head on my knee as I tried to make my trees look more like leaves and less like blobs of paint.

After I picked Kao up last October (man, it’s been almost a year!), I would plan visits for my boy to bond with his dad and his “Papi,” my friend’s version of “Grandfather” without being too old-sounding. Zeek would often try to sit in my lap – a 68-lb. lap dog with a penchant for stealing kisses. Not that I minded, but the French kiss was a little too much. Sorry Zeek. Scribe don’t play that way.

You can see the family resemblance, with the black face and soft eyes. Zeek is a reverse brindle, which means more black stripes than brown, while Kao looks more like a tiger, with his dad’s black and his mom’s tawny coat. A flashy bib and boots and a small line of white on his nose and that’s Kao in a nutshell.

And he is a nut. We can’t dance in our house because he gets concerned. If he thinks we’re upset, he’ll nose our hand, kiss it and lean into your legs, like he’s giving you a prop to stand a little taller. He knows how to spell.

(Okay, I threw that in there to see if you were paying attention)

The other day he wanted to box. We were outside so I acquiesced, knowing he would stop if I said “Enough.” He’d trained more than I had, so when a jab of mine sent him into the corner, he countered with a well-executed left hook that sent my “eyes tired, just woke up” glasses across the backyard. I couldn’t get angry. It was a fair fight and the better boxer won.

I just wished he was wearing the gloves.


  1. My dad has always loved boxers too. He has a dog that is half boxer, half pit bull, and she is the sweetest lovingest (is that a word) dog ever. She has the most beautiful russet coat, but she's getting older and it's fading and getting a lot of white in it now. She's still a doll though. I want to steal her away.

  2. I feel the same way about Zeek - just don't tell my friend or he'll come looking for me! I went to a dog park in Belleville, ON on the weekend and met the sweetest pit bill-chocolate lab mix. I wanted to take her home too!