Nakia, Home Protection Plus!
In October of 2005, Anita and Donald decided they wanted a pure bred shepherd. They visited a breeder, and as prospective owners, were given a ribbon to tie onto their chosen puppy. There was a very shy, runt-of-the-litter puppy, who was not running around like the other ones. Instead, this puppy just sat in front of Anita and looked her straight in the eyes. Anita observed, it was as if the puppy had chosen them. Two weeks later, when Nakia was 4-weeks-old, she came to live with them. There were two things Anita and Donald noticed very early on with Nakia. First, she was quite the talker. Instead of barking she would ‘talk’ when something upset or bothered her. Second, she did NOT like to be penned in, not in any fashion. Anita and Donald bought a baby gate to keep Nakia out of the trash. When that did not work, they bought a second gate and stacked it on top of the other gate. Even still, Nakia would climb over the gates. Finally, they tried using three baby gates, stacked one on top of each other. This worked for a while, until, an almost 100 lb., 10-month-old Nakia, soon discovered that by pressing her body weight against the gates, she could force them open. Nakia is very protective of her humans and seems to have a real sense of their health and safety.
Once, when Anita and Nakia were at the bark park, she noticed Nakia was not playing, as she usually does, but instead, kept circling around her (Anita), not letting other dogs near her. One week later, Anita found out she was expecting their first child. Anita’s son, Donovan, was born in 2009, and daughter, Keara, was born in 2010. Nakia sensed right away, that there was something special about Keara, and was very protective of her. When home health nurses were required to care for Keara because of her congestive heart failure and Chromosome 15q deletion syndrome, Nakia “screened” the nurses. After chasing off the first three, Nakia finally allowed one to stay. Nakia has always been, and is, very protective of her small humans. She likes to sleep in a hallway, or somewhere in close proximity, near to where the children are sleeping.
In 2011, when the children were 1 and 2-years old, there was an instance in which a babysitter, who had been watching the children, left them alone. A police officer was called for a report of children who had been possibly abandoned. Upon arrival, Nakia would not let him near the children. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect “her children,” Nakia attacked the officer. This attack, unfortunately, resulted in the family being charged with child endangerment. The children were then placed in foster care temporarily. As a result of this very alarming encounter, Keara is still frightened of any other dogs. Nakia is also very protective of her home and her humans. She does not like other animals to be in the house, and she likes to “argue” when things are not going her way. Particularly when she is left alone for a period of time, she will “yell” at her humans when they return.
Anita and Donald experienced a foreclosure of their home in July of 2015. They were able to obtain a Section 8 rental house that their landlord bought at auction; however, by January of 2016, they discovered the landlord had failed to follow through with the purchase requirements. By April of 2016, they were evicted, having been notified by the Sheriff on a Friday, and the locks changed on Monday.
They stayed at various places, with friends, and in a month-by-month hotel room. When their funding ran out in July, they came to live at the Mission. They are grateful, for having a safe place to be at during this time in their life, while they are working on obtaining housing. Additionally, they are grateful for the care and concern that has been extended to Nakia, their family pet, faithful companion, and protector for these 11+ years.
One of the traditions Anita, Donald, and their children look forward to every year, is the first snowfall of winter. As a family, they all bundle up and go outside to play hide and seek with Nakia. They enjoy trying to find their beloved family dog in the white snow, by looking for her bright eyes, her black nose, and her pink tongue. In November of 2016, they were able to be reunited.