Kiska is Russian for "Pure." Her life before coming to Chez Herd was quite rough, so we thought it was only proper that she have a fresh start with a fitting name.
Chief of Security, Kiska Sue, Snaggle Tooth (for a misaligned canine tooth), Miss Kiska
Came to us as a rescue from Sleddog Rescue in Tennessee in August 2006 at roughly a year old. She was a skinny stray with an abusive past who had been under their loving care, but still needed a home that could help her recover. We had looked at other, easier dogs, but the director of the rescue said, "Sometimes you don't get the dog you want, but the dog you need."
She took days to start the trusting process, initially refusing to be touched. Hu-Dad sat quietly on the porch reading a book day after day as Kiska would approach, sniff, and retreat. Finally, the moment came when she came so close to sniff that Hu-Dad could feel her behind him, but he remained still. She dared to rest her head on his shoulder and the breakthrough had begun.
As she began to trust the Hu-Dad, he took her on more and more adventures, including sitting on our downtown sidewalk on Sunday mornings when few people were about. Over time, she became less fearful of people, though she remains quite stand-offish.
That root insecurity is what makes her one of the few watchdogs of the house. She bristles at anyone or anything that comes close to the house, letting off her gruff warning barks. This trait is what has earned her the nickname of Chief of Security - as she is quite serious about it.
Inside the house with the Hu-Dad is when her soft side comes out. She will roll over on her back and ask for belly rubs, a treat because of her long thick coat.
Loving with the few people she trusts, standoffish to people she considers non-threats, and gruff to the many people she does not trust. When alone with the Herd and the Humans, she can be very relaxed, but that is rarely true in public.
The leader of the Sibernacle Choir, she loves to sing and leads song time throughout the day. In her security work, she has a range of barks to clarify her boundaries. And, when necessary, she has a quite fierce bark.
Where she sleeps
In her crate, her safe space.
Where she rides in the car
In the back of the Jeep where she can monitor everything that is happening around her.
For years, she followed behind Natasha, serving her beloved Queen. She regularly patrols the fence line to chase threats away and can regularly be found rubbing her body against the fence to leave her scent.