1. Tell us the story behind how you found Kiri and Rana?
In 1993 I was living with my husband in Los Angeles, during a time when there was a rash of car jackings. He didn’t want me driving around in my convertible alone… he said he wanted a big, mean-looking dog to give would-be car jackers pause. A friend introduced me to the breed and said they were being used by many police departments as drug sniffers. My first Malinois came from a breeder in Arizona who bred dogs for conformation (show lines). This breed is a particularly bad one to get as a “starter” pet dog. They take a LOT of work to socialize and they need a job or they will cause trouble.
2. What breed is your dog and how did you pick your dog(s) name(s)?
Belgian Malinois – Kiri is the oldest (10.5 years) and Rana (as in “Piranha”) is 3.5 years. Rana is the 5th Malinois to join our family. My prior Mals were named Tux, Jura and Nico. All my dogs were named according to a few rules I have:
- The ending of the name can’t match any other dog’s name in the house. (So that when I yell for them to come back after they’ve jumped the fence pursuing a fox, rabbit, dear, moose or bear, they won’t mistake whom I’m calling.)
- The name has to be 2 syllables (see point number one – easier to scream out 2 syllables than 1 or 3)
- The name can’t mean anything obnoxious in another language.
- The dog has to “live” the name – i.e. the name has to fit the dog’s personality.
Kiri means “rainbow” or “skin” in Maori; “mountain” in Cambodian and “left” in Malay.
Rana means “Beautiful, eye catching” in Arabic, “Queen or royalty” in Sanskrit, and “frog” in Italian and Spanish.
3. Why did you choose a Raw Diet for your dog and what problems did RAW WILD solve for your dog(s) health?
At age 9, my first dog, Tux, developed “Wobbler disease” (instability of the cervical spine) and he started dragging his front feet. We had the 2 vertebrae in his neck fused, which arrested the progression of the disease, but he continued to have weakness in his hind end. I started making his food at home (at first with cooked meats) since I suspected the store-bought, grain- and filler-laden food was not helping him. I was right! He snapped up and had a ton more energy. As I read more about diets in dogs, I switched to preparing raw foods. It changed Tux’s personality and he lived 3 more years post-surgery. From then on, all my dogs have eaten raw diets.
4. Tell us a funny story about your dog. Something they did, still do, or something that makes you love them so much?
Rana likes to bite the water coming out of sprinklers (see video). Kiri and Rana like to compete A LOT with each other. Sometimes it gets a bit out of hand, but one will always bait the other. One will have a ball or stick in her mouth, tease the other and then a game of chase ensues. (see the other video)
5. What advice would you give other dog owners about switching to a Raw diet with RAW WILD?
If you can afford it, do it! Even supplementing a little raw will make them so much healthier. My dogs’ teeth are incredibly white, and I think it’s from the raw diet. Rana, in fact, shouldn’t even be alive. In January 2016, she was diagnosed with GME (granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis), which is an inflammation of the spinal cord fluid. Dogs with that diagnosis usually only last weeks to months. I have to believe that the raw diet has probably helped her survive. Just look at her shiny coat!
6. What makes your dog a special character or what special characteristics does your dog have?
Kiri is afraid of bugs that fly and will run into her crate at the first sign of them. Rana likes to play with a deer that comes to visit. The two of them play a game of chase along the fence line.
7. How has your dog changed your life or what impact has your dog made in your life or your family’s life?
My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and died less than 6 months later. It was an incredibly difficult time and I could not have made it through without my dogs. About that same time, I joined a Mondioring club in Denver and have practiced that sport with Rana, my youngest dog. I’d competed in various dog sports in the past, but the Mondioring group of people are so down to earth. They are incredibly supportive and a genuine pleasure to be with. Mondioring helped me and my dogs get through a really tough phase in my life.