I first met Kylie at a greyhound meet and greet in April 2017. “She’s also available,” the group told me, pointing to Kylie, the little red girl in the corner. “No, I want a boy,” I said, waving her off after barely a glance in her direction.
I had had a greyhound growing up. A white boy with a few red spots and a speckled tummy named Money. Money was chosen for us by the greyhound group we adopted from. At the time, we had wanted a girl, but the group had told us boys were less active and because our yard wasn’t fenced, they were only willing to adopt us a boy. And so they dropped Money off and told us it was him or no one.
When I moved out on my own, the tiny apartment I lived in seemed too quiet. I wanted a companion who would get me out of the house, help me make friends, and just give me a little more reason to get out of bed in the morning. I knew from Money that a greyhound would be the perfect dog for my situation (and in general)—they’re clean, quiet, don’t need much space, and are content to nap all day. I also thought, based on what we were told when adopting Money, that a boy would likely be better for my situation—I lived in an apartment and didn’t have a fence. So I went to a meet and greet that day on a mission to find the perfect boy.
There was one boy available, a white boy with red spots, just like my Money, named Tommy Too Tone. I chatted with the group a bit and put in my application for him almost immediately after getting back home. I had some reservations—he was 5 and I worried about not having enough time with him (but the reality is there’s never enough time with them) and…he was missing his tail. A case of happy tail had left him with a little nub for a tail and I remember thinking “man, I wish he was a whole dog.” Ohhh, how karmic that thought would become.
When the time came for the home visit, Tommy’s foster family was out of town, so they brought that little red girl I had snubbed at the meet and greet in his place. Just so I could see a greyhound in my space, they told me. Little Kylie, a red girl with fierce, light brown eyes. She walked into my apartment like a girl on a mission, like she belonged there maybe, and snuggled her head right into my lap. She stayed like that nearly the whole time, playing me like a fiddle. When the home visit came to an end, the adoption coordinator asked me if Tommy was still my guy.
“Actually, I want to go with her.”
“I thought that might be the case,” he said with a grin.
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Kylie’s adoption was official on May 7, 2017. It didn’t take long for me to notice a few of her quirks: she had a love of ice cream (but only on a cone), an obsession with rolling in the mud, and a strange fear of bridges. She liked the tiny toys, not the big ones. And she absolutely refused to be crated (“I’m not an animal, Mom,” I’d imagine her saying).
Throughout our years together, we were rarely apart. Wherever I went, she went (so long as she was allowed). We developed a taste for the finest chicken (from Raising Canes). We ensured she was the most fashionable houndie at every meet and greet (new collar or coat every time–so much so that her friends jokingly expressed concern for her well-being if she wore the same outfit two meet and greets in a row). We painstakingly planned and executed a costume to make sure she would hands down win the costume contest every year because she LIVED for the applause (seriously). We helped foster brothers adjust to retirement, made our way together through the mall once to meet the Easter bunny, went viral on Instagram the first Halloween post-amputation, learned the magic of bravery booties, and so, so much more.
There are truly a million stories I could tell about Kylie's and my adventures together, but I'll tell you just a few favorites right now.
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Kylie was always sassy. Her sassiness got her kicked out of her first foster home and in a bit of trouble at her second. She was always sweet, but she had a very…spirited side to her too. It was usually funny and endearing, but sometimes…well, sometimes it got her put on my list.
Kylie never had an issue with potty training. She had never had an accident. But suddenly in 2019, she decided it was time to switch things up. So she started having “purposes” or, as they came to be known, “revenge poops.”
I always tried to take Kylie with me wherever I could. We spent almost every hour of every weekend together. At the park, at the meet and greets, at Cane’s, at Home Goods. She was a little spoiled, to say the least. I think it got to her head. Actually, I know it got to her head.
She began to think that she should come along with me everywhere and when she didn’t, well, she sought revenge. I’d come home from work to a little pile of poop on the rug by the back door. It wasn’t that she couldn’t hold it–she’d go before I left home and despite how quickly I came back, a little pile of poop was always there waiting for me. Little sassy Kylie, trying to teach me a lesson.
When she realized it wasn’t having the intended effect, she began to get a bit more creative—hopping around a little as she was taking her revenge and placing her pile somewhere other than the washable rug by the door. It reached a new level when one day I came home to this:
Have no fear, Kylie was eventually broken of her revenge pooping ways (thank goodness). And she continued to explore new ways to sass over the next years. She was always one to keep things interesting.
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Last summer, we noticed Kylie’s pool had gotten a few little holes in it. This was a major issue, as Kylie was a total pool girl and spent every moment she could laying in her little baby pool in the yard. In fact, we built her a fence just so we wouldn’t have to stand next to her holding her leash for what seemed like hours on end while she soaked up the rays in the water. So when we discovered her current pool wouldn’t cut it for the season, we did what any pet parents whose houndie had them totally wrapped around her paw would: we immediately ordered her a new one.
In the meantime, Kylie spent her days pouting inside on the couch. On one such pouting session, Kylie’s leg couldn’t stick the landing on the couch and she ended up with a gnarly rugburn. What was initially a little scab turned into a big, bloody booboo as she took it upon herself to lick it whenever we weren’t looking. She sure was cute, but her ideas? Not always the brightest. And so we brought out the footie [Christmas] pajamas in June to keep her from licking.
The next day, we noticed that Kylie’s back leg where her rugburn-turned-actual-ouchy was seemed a little weak—as if the rugburn was really hurting her. We knew she just needed to stop licking for a few days so it had time to scab over and heal up, but we sure felt bad for her. And so she got lovingly got placed on the couch and on the human bed and wherever else she used her little eyes to convince us she needed to go. She got the best snacks, extra treatos, and tons of belly rubs. Only the best for our little pup whose only leg hurt.
But all that changed when the FedEx man rang the doorbell. Suddenly, Kylie with the tender leg was magically healed. As soon as she realized that the package being delivered contained her new pool, she leapt off the couch and to the back door, eager to help set it up. She spent the rest of the day swimming and all her troubles (and her injury) magically disappeared.
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We built Kylie a fence last spring. As any twenty-something dog owner might know, getting your pup a fence is the ultimate goal in life and we were so excited to have accomplished it for Kylie after nearly five years.
Kylie enjoyed standing in her yard, laying in her yard, snoofering her yard. You know, all the lazy houndie things. We enjoyed watching Kylie potty from inside the climate-controlled house, sitting on the couch while she circled the same spot 28 times to get her potty squat positioning just right, not having to pick up her poop–you know, lazy human things.
One night, Kylie’s dad let her out potty before bed. It was raining so he put on her rainjacket and sent her on her way. I was in the Kylie & Me HQ sewing up some orders with my headphones on. When I finished, I heard the shower running and knew everyone had gone to bed. So off to bed I went. Except Kylie wasn’t in bed. And that’s when it hit me.
After 40 minutes outside in the rain, and having given up on crying, Kylie finally made it back inside. I gave her a bone and she took it with her little rain-soaked face (since that was the only part not covered by her rain jacket) to her bed. I apologized and gave her some extra loving and thought that was the end of it.
Kylie took to Instagram to air her grievances and one of her friends suggested that she take us to court. And so @thedogcouncil reached out and decided to take her case.
After weeks of deliberation, the verdict was decided. Apparently, she had not been adequately compensated for her time out in the rain. The bone I had given her was not nearly big enough, the jury declared.
This is NOT adequate compensation for being made such a Soggy Doggy. If they had provided more drying and given a bigger Treatos, this wouldn’t be an issue. but since they were so rude, the Council finds them GUILTY.
The Pawrents are sentenced to give Kylie 6000 hours of cuddles and 2 servings of chickie nuggies at the time of her choosing.
She chose chickie nuggies from Raising Cane’s, of course.
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In all ways, Kylie was as dramatic as they came. Everything she did was done in the most over the top fashion. Her goodbye was no different. Kylie had what was most likely malignant histiocytosis–an incredibly rare and aggressive cancer. Goodbye came just over a week from the initial vet visit.
Kylie packed more into the six years we had together than most houndies could ever dream of. Every single day with her was the most incredible adventure. I hope Kylie felt like the luckiest houndie out there.
There will never be another houndie quite like my Kylie. That breaks my heart a lot to admit. She’s absolutely irreplaceable. But thank goodness for her sneaky shenanigans that landed her a spot on my couch. Because without them, none of this would exist. I’m grateful for her and all she’s pushed me to become and create. And I’m so, so grateful that she’s built herself a legacy–a houndie fashion legacy. Thank you for supporting Kylie & Me. I hope you think of my sweet Kylie every now and then when your pup dons her fashions.
Our truly unforgettable Kylie Penny. She sure did leave her mark on this world.
January 16, 2014 - April 14, 2023
p.s. I couldn't post this blog without including my favorite video of Kylie. She sometimes got in a silly goofy mood. This was one of those times.