Meet Keiki!

 My “Big Boy” Keiki

I met Keiki, my new Chihuahua puppy at a pet store. He was flown over from Australia and originally sold to my boyfriend and I as a “pure-bred” Chihuahua who had come without papers. At the time we met keiki we did not care that there were no papers. He was as adorable as a baby Chihuahua who fits in your hand can be. He would run in circles and come to our voice and lick our face when held. We wanted him without question and we planned to bring him home in a day after the vet visit. Well a day later the vet told us that our new pup was completely blind. Unfortunately, a $1600 purchase for a blind dog was a deal-breaker. Well, a day later neither myself nor my boyfriend could forget how sweet and loving that little pup was. I did my research and learned a lot of pups born blind get put to sleep if no one purchases them. I did more research and learned that a pup born blind will have a much better quality of life than a pup that loses its site later on. On top of that, I am an occupational therapist….my job is to adapt environments and teach skills to people who are disabled. I knew I had it in me to figure out what the puppy would need. My boyfriend won’t admit it but I think I played a big role in convincing him to return to the pet store. He is a sucker for guilt. Needless to say we returned to the pet store and they were thrilled to see us. They told us that no one else had wanted the blind pup and they would gladly give him to us if we promised to be a good home. Well a good home we have been for our little pup Keiki who is now 3 ½ years old, and a big brother to another Chihuahua of 2 years and a cat of 3 years.

I do not regret a day since our first day together. Keiki is a trooper. I named him Keiki because in Hawaii where we live "Keiki" means child. And, Keiki was my first "child." He is brilliant beyond what people give him credit for. He has mastered his other senses to the point where even I at times forget he is blind. He has no fear and does not give up. He learns quickly and now knows how to sense and avoid new obstacles found in his path (except when he is running at full speed trying to chase a bird or cat....he may bump a few things on those chases). He has learned to get around in the neighborhood by scent and he has never got lost yet. Ok, well he does wander off once and awhile, but his little brother Kekoa is always looking out for his big brother. All I have to say is, “Kekoa where’s Keiki” and he darts every which way from house to house till he leads me to his big brother Keiki, who 10 out of 10 times is busy peeing on another tree or bush to leave his scent, his mark! Keiki gets to do everything his little brother does, minus Fetch! His most recent adventure is learning how to ride the boogie board in the Pacific ocean, with assist. He is one of a kind and I hope he stays with us for a very long time!!!

Story by:
Lisa Heh & Keiki

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