Let Me Introduce You To Keshia

Through Facebook and my blog, many of you had the opportunity to get to know and care for Miss ABBA.  It’s been ten months since she left us and I said I would continue to blog about her for therapy and to share more about her life until the one year anniversary of her death.  Today, however, I want to introduce you to her predecessor.

Growing up in Kentucky, we had two house dogs, Cricket (my favorite) and Mitsy (an evil, old dog that only loved my father), and two other outdoor hunting dogs, Rolo (I named him) and another one that I can’t remember his name.   Okay, it’s been 30+ years!  (Tammy called me and said his name was “Jack”.)

Those were the family pets.  Personally, I’ve only had two dogs that were mine.  And, on this date, in 1986, Keshia was born.

Keshia 001

Keshia was a chow chow.  When I saw her in a pet store at the Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah, Kentucky, before work one Friday night, I knew I had to have her.  Since I was living with my grandmother, I lied and said that a friend was going to have to get rid of her because they couldn’t keep her.

While she wasn’t happy, she went along with the story until the pet store called to say that my credit application went through and I could pick up Keshia Monday!  My grandmother was furious.  But, she knew that I was moving to Murray, Kentucky, where I went to college, that summer and didn’t say much more.

As we were leaving the pet store, one of the employees said, “oh, the little monster is going home!”  How dare they say that about the precious little Keshia!  It wouldn’t take long to realize what they were talking about! 🙂

Keshia 003

I’m just kidding.  Other than being a typical chow chow (very loyal to just one person — me), she was a good dog.

When she was a puppy, she would run and jump against the door when she wanted to go out.  But, it wasn’t as funny watching an 80-pound dog do that, so I had to break her from that habit.

Over the years, we traveled the country together from Kentucky (she was born in southeastern Missouri) to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, back to Kentucky, to Chicago, to Rhinelander, Wisconsin, to Lubbock, Texas, and, finally, to Youngstown, Ohio.

Keshia 004

Keshia 007

She was a beautiful dog and she didn’t mind getting brushed.  When she was groomed, she looked like a lion.  And, as you can tell from those last two pictures and the next one, Miss ABBA wasn’t the only dog that was tortured by playing “dress-up”.

Keshia 002

Keshia 006

She loved the snow.   That is one thing she and Miss ABBA had in common.  However, she hated getting wet.  Miss ABBA didn’t care if it was raining or snowing as long as she was walking or outside!

This picture was taken at Christmas 1993, the last one that I spent in Kentucky.  The following summer, Keshia and I would move to Chicago for me to begin the next phase of my life and put my 20s and Kentucky behind me.

Keshia 008

The picture below is from Christmas 1995.  The following summer, Keshia and I would leave Chicago for the “northwoods” of Wisconsin for me to begin my television career.

You can already see the gray on her muzzle.

Keshia 005

She became ill Thanksgiving 1997 as we were getting ready to move from Lubbock, Texas, to Youngstown, Ohio.  We spent a lot of money and a lot of time at the vet’s office during December 1997 in Ohio for treatment for a failing liver.

During all of those treatments, Keshia and I made a new friend.  Linda Fox McBride worked at the vet’s office where Keshia was being treated.  One day, I went to pick her up from an IV treatment and she and Linda come walking around the corner without her leash like she had no worries in the world.  Keshia didn’t take to many new people, but she did to Linda!

In January 1998, it was time for Keshia to go to “puppy heaven”.  While the doctor was administering the “shots”, someone opened the front door at the vet’s office and the bells on the door rang (since it was just after Christmas), and true to “It’s A Wonderful Life”, an angel got its wings.

Keshia had just turned 11 years old when she left us.

Keshia 001

KESHIA — DECEMBER 7, 1986 – JANUARY 13, 1998

I vowed through the tears and heartbreak that I’d never get another dog.

But, two-and-a-half years later, on July 11, 2000, that changed as I drove a couple of hours to a farm in Strasburg, Ohio, and encountered three llamas staring at me from behind a fence.  That day, I would be taking one of Dolly and Flectcher’s puppies home with me.

On the drive, I said whichever female puppy walks up to me first would be mine.  When all of the little critters were let out of the house to run free, all, but one, ran after their mother, Dolly, to nurse.

And, the little runt, the one that was oblivious to her brothers and sisters didn’t know that by walking up to me and biting me on the finger that she was getting ready to leave her mom, dad, brothers, and sisters behind on that Tuscarawas County farm and begin a lifetime of travel across the United States and Canada.

That puppy, on that day, became Miss ABBA.

ABBA July 2000

Anthony

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18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mary on December 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

    loved ur story, how awsome. thoughts r with u always, and of course miss ABBA.<3 🙂

    Reply

    • Mary,

      Thank you very much for checking it out. Yes, I will always miss my ABBA and Keshia. But, I have wonderful memories of them!

      Take care,
      AP

      Reply

      • Posted by Pat rebman on December 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

        We never forget our pets and the joy and nice memories they brought into out lives. They will always be missed

  2. Posted by Linda on December 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I still think of you whenever I see a chow! Keshia was a beautiful girl, and I am grateful I got to meet her, and in turn… You!

    Reply

  3. great story you can never replace a great pet but you will find one to soften your hear having lost two of our beloved dogs this spring we now have a new love in our lives her name is ava she is a very loving schitzu we rescued her and she is very grateful and we have and 8 year old bassett named bailey , ahome isn’t a home with out a do or two love your blog wanda deahl .

    Reply

  4. Posted by Wanda on December 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Awww just loved it<3 I have said the same thing each time mine goes to dog heaven. Guess U & me are meant to have a dog, it's true when they say a man's best friend is his dog. You will know when it's time to get another one and when U do it will be sp Proud and Happy that U are his Dad. Thanks for sharing your stories<3

    Reply

  5. Posted by joann conner on December 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    We have Duffy and Ginger waiting for Little Girl when it,s her time for puppy heaven on the mantel of the fireplace. When and if one of go,s they will go with us we cal that family just like your ABBA and KEisHA. HUGS JO!!!!!!!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Heather Alen on December 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Anthony,
    There’s just something about a Chow Chow. We had a chow mix named Bailey that we loved so much. She became ill and passed. Our house had an emptiness but my mom said we’d never have another dog. A few months later my teacher’s aide came in waving a newspaper at me and demanded to know if I’d read it. Nope…he whipped it open to show me an add for Chow puppies. That’s how Morgan came into our lives. When we wnt to “just look,” Morgan went right to my mom. At the time, they had been calling her Red. Needless to say, we went back to get that red fluff ball the next day. Like Keisha, Morgan tends to slam the back door but it’s when she’s ready to come in. Morgan also loves the snow and is at my mom’s side all the time. Thanks for sharing Keisha’s story with us 🙂
    Heather

    Reply

  7. Posted by Deinda on December 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Those completely special members of our family never stop living in our hearts, do they! I am now 50, and can still remember my dog from an infant untill I was 9. My cat Charlie from my age of 11 till 18. My dog Bagoo, and my cat Moe. I still talk about them when something reminds me. Miss ABBA and Keshia were lucky to have such a great care-taker

    Reply

  8. Posted by Kim on December 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Awwww 🙂 beautiful Keshia !! My husband and I laughed because she could be our Samson’s identical twin sister!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Kathy Hyson on December 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Loved the blog Anthony! I just can’t imagine life without a pet…they add so much to your life…especially their unconditional love and loyalty! 🙂

    Reply

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