Kai came from Wood Green in July 2003 aged about 18 months having been handed in by a family that decided they could not look after him; Kai hated it in kennels and was literally wasting away. The day we went to see him he had interest from another family – luckily we asked about him first and Kai came here.
Where to start with Kai? The word "perfect" tells you everything you need to know. He was extremely laid back and took everything in his stride with an almost phlegmatic attitude. Yet underneath it all was a steely core and he would stand his ground against another dog or human if he had to; both have backed down from a simple growl and look from Kai.
Because of his looks and his demeanour people thought he was old right from the start; he always had a serious face and looked like he was thinking deeply about things or carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He could be reserved – to the point of being aloof – on first meeting, but he was very friendly to everyone and a real people dog and, as events showed, would never have been happy as an only dog; though whether he bargained on quite as many companions is another question.
Shortly after Kai arrived Phelan died. Izzy then Vincent came as companions for him, but after Vincent died after such a short time here the plan was have Kai as an only dog; the plan did not work. Kai became really depressed, lost loads of weight, and would go and mope at the spot Vincent died while out walks; he was clearly missing his mate and the only solution was to get him another one and that turned out to be Monty.
Kai's quiet authority set the tone for The Beastly Beasts. He helped Monty learn that life was OK and when Mack appeared and made a bid for the top slot Kai quietly, but purposefully, put him in his place. When Rosie came here he stood his ground when she played up and I am sure his attitude helped her learn how to behave.
Perhaps it sounds like Kai was a bit boring; far from it. He loved running and chasing games and (his one major fault) going on missions with Monty when out for a walk. If the pair of them chased a rabbit to ground they would circle the area for ages hoping it would reappear and any attempt to move them on would just move them to the other side of the brambles or nettles; many an hour was spent waiting for the pair of them to eventually get bored and come back.
While Kai was not an "in your face" affectionate hound, he was always there snuggled up on the sofa of an evening; he was a fabulous companion.
One morning Kai did not get up and refused to move from his bed. A mad dash to the vet where he was diagnosed with gastric torsion. The operation to sort it went fine, but he suffered a massive haemorrhage while in recovery and couldn't be saved.