I purchased Kirby at six weeks of age. In the back of my head I thought I would get another Dorkie when he was around two years old so he would have a playmate. Instead we started fostering for Homeward Bound in November of 2010. Over the years we have fostered 13 dogs. Each one has been a pure joy which brought us great sadness when they left.
The Search Begins
I decided several months ago to start looking for a dog to adopt. I set up email alerts with Petfinder, Adopt A Pet, and Dachshund Rescue. At first I was looking for a Dorkie, then I was looking for a Yorkie or Yorkie Mix. It really didn't matter if it was a male or female but I was pretty certain about the breed characteristics I wanted. The ones that appealed to me as a good fit were either too far away or much more than I could afford. There were also quite a few I saw on Craigslist that, once I corresponded with them, I felt were puppy mill dogs and not dogs needing to be rehomed. It was a daunting experience but I prayed and eagerly opened each email. I really wanted to adopt from a rescue but I admit I began to think purchasing from a Yorkie breeder would be my only option.
The Petfinder Ad
Then one day I opened an email from Petfinder and saw Tessa. My heart be still! She was young, Dorkie, and close enough to visit to see if she would be a match for Kirby. Did I mention her eyes? That same look of curiosity and intelligence Kirby has! The only problem was this rescue specifically adopted to only those living in the Northern Alabama area. Something made me feel there was a possibility so the next day I emailed my plea hoping having my own Dorkie would somehow appeal to them. Lo and behold, I was told to fill out an application. I wasn't certain if they were simply appeasing me to get rid of me but I quickly filled out that application. Several days later, I received a text with their phone number. The Director later told me it was my Homeward Bound reference that made them consider me. Anyway I called, we talked, and I planned a trip for the coming Saturday. Let me just say the days between were excruciatingly long, filled with both excitement and worry. I thought she was adorable but it would ultimately be Kirby's decision.
Our Weekend Visit
Madison Small Paws Rescue is almost four hours away so we planned a weekend visit. When we arrived the first step was a walk with the dogs on leashes. They seemed friendly and interested in each other. Tessa was ours for the weekend so we then went to the hotel and checked in. Once in the room they were unleashed. They played as if they were best buds. They chased, they wrestled, they pounced. I was worried about this little 9 lb girl handling Kirby but she's got sass. Later we went to a few pet stores for a new harness and leash (we had borrowed the rescues harness and leash). For dinner we went downtown to a bar and grill that had a pet friendly patio. We purposely parked several blocks away so we could walk the dogs. Doug walked Kirby while I walked Tessa. They mostly walked together but, if one stopped, that one quickly ran to catch up with the other. We had brought Kirby's stroller so I placed her in it while we ate. She looked around for a while through the mesh netting and then settled down for a nap. Then we walked back to the car, again both dogs happily trotting together. That night Kirby let her sleep next to him which is something I've only seen him allow a few of our fosters. I had been trying to be objective but I knew then that she was ours.
The next morning we hung out at the hotel taking the dogs for several walks. Once we checked out, we headed to finalize the adoption with one quick stop at a nearby Petco for a personalized dog tag with her new name and my phone number. Tessa was now Kenzie, a Martin forever!
This is what I know about her. A lady purchased her so we know she is a Dorkie and we know her birthday is February 16, 2016. Sadly, Tessa was never house trained so she ended up living in the backyard until she was finally given to a local animal shelter. That animal shelter then called Madison Small Paws Rescue who pulled her to foster. I understand she was the first dog they ever advertised on Petfinder.
Tessa Is Fostered
I foster so I know and understand the work involved to teach these dogs how to be a dog again. If Tessa had any fears or aggression her foster mom did a fantastic job! She is a delightfully happy, playful dog. She's also potty pad trained (hallelujah!) and knows her manners. She understands "no" and appears to know "leave it" and "sit". The only complaints could be she likes to hump Kirby and she wants the chew Kirby has along with her own chew. She is very quickly learning not to hump. We'll be slowly working on the other since Kirby lets her have it.
Miss Tessa Mackenzie Martin of Alabama Is Home
Kirby was CKC registered so his fancy name is Sir Kirby Kingston Martin of Mississippi. It's only fair Kenzie should have a fancy name too. I've had the name Kenzie picked out for years but held back from giving it to any of our foster girls. I guess I was saving it just in case.
She is fitting right in as if she has always belonged. She follows Kirby everywhere. She talks like he does, barks like he does, and seems to be copying whatever he does. I have a small dog bed in the living room which , just like Kirby, is mostly ignored for the recliner or couch. There is no dog bed in my bedroom so she quickly learned to walk up the steps to the bed. Alas, like Kirby, she flies off the bed rather than use the steps to get down.
The cats. I have two cats who basically come and go as they please. I feed them and provide shelter. They aren't cuddly, playful cats but I do love them. Kenzie first met Kaitlyn. She's the younger one who is friends with Kirby. Then Kenzie met Chelsea. She's the mean one who doesn't like anyone. She now tolerates Kirby but every foster has learned to stay away from her after one strike of her paw. Not Kenzie! Chelsea swatted, Kenzie yelped but moved closer, Chelsea swatted again, Kenzie yelped again but moved closer, then they touched noses and that was that. Amazing!
I brought Kibble for Kirby on the trip so last night he had his usual home made meal. I was tickled because when Kenzie saw, or smelled, what he had she was having none of her kibble. Weaning her to homemade may go quicker than expected.
Seriously, the icing on the cake will be if she loves to swim as much as Kirby does.
I firmly believe God found Kirby for me and I firmly believe God found Kenzie for us.