Kip and his wife knew they wanted another dog to help ease the blow when their beloved Tess would be gone. It was during one of Tess’ last veterinary appointments that Kip learned about Pets for Patriots. “Tess was not active anymore because she was so old,” says Kip, “we knew Tess was close to the end. Our vet mentioned that if the time came when we were interested in having another dog, that Pets for Patriots would be a great organization to talk to.” Sadly, last October, he and his wife said goodbye to their beloved dog of over 14 years.
MOURNING ONE DOG, SAVING ANOTHER
After Tess passed away, Kip and his wife needed time to heal and were not in a hurry to adopt a new dog. “It took me about six months to get over losing Tess,” he says, “but my wife and I agreed that our house was empty without a dog.”
So, in April 2011, the search for a new dog began: “We knew to stay away from puppy mills. We also knew we wanted to rescue a dog, because they are the animals that need it most.“ The Guardsman and his wife first considered one particular older dog through their local SPCA, but were turned down because they didn’t have the right home environment for her. They knew their search was over, however, once they visited the City of Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control. When Kip and his wife first saw Lyra at the Fort Wayne shelter, she caught their attention instantly.
We knew right then that this was a dog that needed our love and attention.”
On April 20, 2011, Kip and his wife received the call to pick up Lyra from the shelter: “I was away for a reserve weekend and asked my boss if I could take an extra-long lunch.” When they arrived at the shelter, Lyra was very excited. “She came out, her tail was wagging a mile a minute and she was so happy to see us,” Kip says, “with just a collar and a leash we picked her up and she jumped right in our car.” Because Lyra was so happy on the ride home from the shelter, Kip and his wife decided to rename her Céilidh, an Irish Gaelic word for party or celebration (interestingly, this term derived from the Old Irish céle meaning “companion”).
Kip tells the story about their first afternoon home with Céilidh: “She was tethered in the backyard. When my wife opened the door to bring Céilidh inside, she took off. My wife thought ‘Oh my G-d. It’s only been 15 minutes since we got home with her and I’ve already lost her.’ My wife then yelled out ‘Céilidh’ and the dog came running right back. Céilidh is as smart as a whip!”
Today, Céilidh spends a lot of time taking road trips with her owners. “She absolutely loves riding in the car,” Kip says. “We can take her anywhere. We even took her with us on a trip to North Dakota.”
She lights up my life. Whoever had Céilidh before me missed out on a great dog.”