Kobi is out of this world

SPACE … the final frontier! The destination for every dog I write about – to explore strange new worlds (aka the centre of the couch on movie night and every square inch of our beds after the movie); to seek out the ultimate spoiled life with human civilization by always stealing the best spot; to boldly go where no dog has gone before (with permission)!

These are the true space invaders – our dogs. Whether rescued or born lucky, you give them a mile, they take your inch. No Vulcan mind meld needed – they just laser beam you with their eyes and it’s time to move over and make room for Rover.

But when Rover is no bigger than a Tribble (Google it if you’re not a Trekkie) and fully prepared to serve as a portable, wireless heating unit throughout the coldest winter in history, we can make room.

That’s what Happy Tails Rescue did for Kobi when he entered their orbit two years ago this April. Communications began with a call from Kobi’s owner.


His then four year-old poodle/bichon mix was sick and wondered whether the rescue group could cover what veterinary costs were needed to make him better. When HTR president Carol gently explained that he would need to surrender his dog to the rescue in order for them to intervene, he refused. It’s never an easy thing to let go of something you love, but as Captain Kirk stated so eloquently, “Love sometimes expresses itself in sacrifice.”

A few worrisome weeks went by before Kobi’s owner came to the realization he did not have the means to properly care for his dog. But when rescue partner Judi arrived at his home to pick up little Kobi, she was almost certain it was too late. Kobi was lying motionless on the floor, barely breathing. By the time Judi got him to the Beaches Animal Hospital, he was in critical condition.

A series of tests revealed evidence of canine hepatitis but a damaged liver wasn’t the only issue. What may have started as a treatable viral infection had quickly spread throughout his system affecting all vital organs. Kobi’s frail little body was shutting down. Things appeared hopeless.

This is around the time Kobi’s nickname was earned. Carol, a diehard Trekkie and eternal optimist, came up with it at first sight of her latest rescue case hooked up to a spaghetti tangle of tubes and wires. “Kobayashi Maru!” she exclaimed.

For all you non-Trekkies out there, Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet training test that no cadet has ever passed (other than Captain Kirk of course). Basically, it’s a no-win scenario. But when Kirk aced the test after several failed attempts, it became a symbol for victory against all odds. Like Kirk, Carol doesn’t like to lose and neither does Kobi, so it seems. It took three suspenseful weeks in hospital, but Kobi eventually emerged the hero of his internal universe. The only side-effects: an arsenal of life-long medications to control chronic high blood pressure and an incurable allergy to veterinarians.

Perhaps you’re wondering why he’s still in the rescue’s orbit and not the center of someone’s universe by now. After all, Kobi is every bit as charming as Captain Kirk. But it’s his $6.22/day drug habit for the high blood pressure that seems to be the deal-breaker. Carol shrugs, “The cost is affordable. It’s like treating a good friend to Starbuck’s every day.”

After cuddling little Kobi in my arms, I can tell you he’s worth a daily mocha double latte! Kobi is programmed to be your personal satellite. Wherever you are, he’s happily orbiting. It’s really only an issue when you’re walking up or down a flight of stairs.

Speaking of which, the bottom of the stairs in his foster home also acts as the lunar landing for his star fleet of toys. Did I mention Kobi is a squeaky plush toy junkie? At night, before invading the bed covers, Commander Kobi assembles the troops so they are all there to greet foster mom first thing in the morning. Such unintentional death traps only make the human servants stronger. Take it from Captain Kirk, “a little suffering is good for the soul.”

I’d like to assure you that Kobi wouldn’t take up much space if you adopted him, but pampered poodles do come with extensive wardrobes. He’s got about a million cute sweaters since his arrival at HTR. For our interview, he picked his favourite “I Love Mom” pullover. He fell fast asleep in that sweater come to think of it, snoring through the last half of our interview.

Do you know how Captain Kirk eventually passed that test? He cheated. After all, a true no-win scenario means there is no correct resolution. It is simply a test of character. Based on this fact, there’s plenty of hope for Kobi. It’s only logical.

In the immortal words of Mr. Spock, “Live long and prosper, my friend.”

Kobi is a 6-year-old poodle/Bichon Frise mix invading the space and the hearts of his caregivers at Happy Tails Rescue. The only space left to conquer is the one right next to you!

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