DOG PEOPLE / Kayla + Loki of A Wilder Kind

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Name/Occupation Kayla, Art Director + Graphic Designer @awilderkind

Dogs name/Age/Breed: Loki is an almost-11-month-old mutt. We think he’s a dachshund, plus maybe a pomeranian and/or chihuahua, plus maybe something else…?

What made you decide to get a dog? My boyfriend and I grew up with dogs, love dogs, and wanted to give a homeless dog a family. Plus I work at home, so I wanted a companion for myself during the day and a hiking buddy for all the dog-friendly trails near our house. lokisfirstdayhome

Tell me about the first time you met your dog. We first saw Loki on Petfinder. We had a few dogs bookmarked but just kept coming back to that foxy-looking puppy…we couldn’t stop thinking about him. But he came from a rescue org. a few hours away from where we live, and we couldn’t make it there until the next week. We actually had to put him on “hold” so they wouldn’t take him to their big adoption event before we got there. So we committed to adopting him before we met him — which is a little crazy! Luckily when we met him in real life, he was so sweet and our instincts were right. lokiatsunset

What’s the last thing your dog did that made you laugh? Loki makes us laugh literally every day. He’s very communicative. Around his dinner time, I’m usually still at my desk. I’ll feel a little paw tap-tap-tap on my knee and then I’ll look down to see his eyes looking up at me. He’s not pushy, it’s like he’s just saying “Pardon me, I’m ready for my dinner.” Then when I ask him if he’s hungry, he does this crazy excited little dance. Same thing when I ask him to go outside with me and feed our bunnies. He really quickly figured out how things work around here and knows our routine.

Does your dog have a nickname? If so, how did they get it? Well it’s a little embarrassing haha but most of the time I call him “BB” or “Lil’ B”. Sometimes I’ll call him “Nugget” or “Nugget BB”. There’s not really a story behind those, they just happened and stuck.

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Are you anything like your dog? Both of us love the outdoors, peanut butter, and sleeping in.

What are your favorite characteristics about your dog? I love that he’s calm and friendly, and pretty much awesome in every social situation. He’ll go with me to the hair salon, shopping downtown, to restaurants…and then of course on hikes and to the dog beach, too. He’s stayed with us at friends’ homes, in Airbnb places… he’s just chill, secure, and independent. But not too independent for cuddling. He’s a big cuddler.

What does being a “dog person” mean to you? To me, being a dog person means that you truly care about dogs’ well-being and your dog is part of your family. Of course Loki misbehaves sometimes, but we’re not about punishing him and scaring him. We’ve always tried to understand why he would do things and build a communication bridge with him. Our goal wasn’t just good behavior, but a good mental state for him — which ended up leading to good behavior. There are some people who think of dogs as accessories, as disposable, or even just as all being the same. A dog person will get to know their dog as an individual, and furthermore realizes that all dogs are individuals with their own needs, who all have worth, and who are never disposable.

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What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone looking to get a dog? I have 2 pieces of advice. The first is: please adopt! Thanks to the magic of internet databases like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet, you can find basically any size, age, color… whatever kind of dog you’re looking for. We got Loki from Stonecliffe Animal Rescue in central California, and they work tirelessly to take dogs from county shelters and place them in fosters and loving forever homes. They are constantly taking in dogs of all ages, all breeds. They’ll put the call out there when a dog is scheduled to be put down at an overcrowded shelter. I guarantee there is a wonderful dog waiting for you at a shelter or rescue org. near where you live, and there are just too many dogs dying needlessly because of this insane dog overpopulation. The second piece of advice expands on what being a “dog person” means to me: know your dog as an individual. You can read training books (I read + loved Decoding Your Dog) but in the end you need to work with the dog you have, with their unique personality and needs. You need patience and understanding, because there will be times when even the best dog misbehaves. But if you have the means, the time, and the will, getting a dog can be one of the best decisions you ever make. It’s just unconditional love. It’s the best.
Thanks Kayla. For more, you can find her and Loki on Instagram at @apupnamedloki. And to see what Dog People is all about, take a peek at our first post here.
  • http://stuckinnorthidaho.com/ Andrea Nagel

    Love this! Wish I would’ve thought of this series. Looking forward to more :)