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My namesake, Kira

New Year’s Eve, or rather, 10 minutes into the new year, we were invited next door for a New Year’s drink. Introductions were made, and I pronounced my name the way my teachers in school initially did: Keh-ra. (E is pronounced eh in Norwegian, whether there’s one or two.) The introductions included the dogs: A collie who was handling the fireworks outside very badly, and a dwarf poodle who didn’t mind the racket at all and never had.

Eventually, I grasped the name of the poodle: Kira, a variant spelling of Keera (or the other way round, actually). I was already aware that Keera is becoming a popular dog’s name in Norway, so I wasn’t surprised. What was surprising was Kira’s age: 19 – a whopping 133 in human terms, and extremely rare, even for a small breed. Neither human nor animal gets to that high age without showing it, and Kira had thinning fur, missing teeth, failing eyesight and hearing, and a heart condition. Her twisted wrist and accompanying limp, however, was not age, but history.

Her current mistress, a hair dresser, had acquired Kira when the dog was five years old, and was to be euthenized. One day, the new owner rolled up a newspaper to swat flies, and Kira ran for cover. Hmm… Kira also was afraid of people, especially drunk men. Hmm 2… On a regular vet visit, the oddly shaped foot and limp were asked about out of curiosity. The vet revealed it was an old break, and would have been easily treated if the dog had been taken to a vet. One can only imagine what that little dog had to go through in her first five years of life. The next 14, however, were much better.

In her new life, Kira went to work at the salon, initially staying in the back office. Eventually the dog started to feel safe enough to venture out from the office and to greet strangers. In time, she even sat on customers’ laps while they had their hair done.

Our own impression of Kira was that she was definitely a contented canine, and at ease with the comings and goings of unknown folk. I scratched her head at one point, and she appreciated it. This is one dog I am very happy to share a name with.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

4 replies on “My namesake, Kira”

I was told that Kira was skeptical if facing strangers alone (without her people). I don\’t think that matters; animals have a marvelous capacity to appreciate when they have it good. We could learn from them.

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