Editor’s Note: Puppy Profiles is an occasional look into the lives of the dogs that make the Fort Collins community truly pawesome. Puppy Profiles gives extensive coverage on what dogs like, how they got here and why we do not deserve them.
After his freshmen year, third-year CSU business administration student Timothy Ouzounian began to hunt for his perfect furry companion to accompany him into the next school year. What came out of that search was more than the tiny husky he dreamed of for eight years: he got a Katrina.
Katrina is an Alaskan Klee Kai mixed with a Shiba Inu. She is 20 pounds and just celebrated her second birthday. The puppy enjoys being chased by other dogs and recently took up swimming as a hobby. Sometimes when Katrina sleeps, she produces three double chins.
Ouzounian acquired Katrina from a breeder in Florida when she was 9 months old, and from the very beginning, Katrina came with surprises.
“When the breeder brought her over from Florida, she flew her over and Snoop Dogg was on the plane,” Ouzounian said. “My parents went to pick her up, and when everyone deboarded the plane, Snoop Dogg just came out. Like, he was the first one off.”
Although Ouzounian himself never trained any previous family dogs, he started training Katrina after realizing she was “not well behaved but not not well behaved.” Via obedience work, Katrina proved that she is a smart dog. She can heel, retrieve and do stunt work. Ouzounian said for a time he would hide something in the apartment and and see if Katrina or his roommates could find it first. Katrina always won.
While many CSU students put off becoming apart of the Fort Collins abundant dog community until they have a steady job of their own to sustain their dog children, Ouzounian has a different perspective on the timing for becoming a dog parent. According to him, the sooner the better.“My parents were really pushing me, saying ‘you should get a dog now because once you get into your career and you are working long hours, getting a young dog is going to be hard,’” said Ouzounian. “‘If you get it now, you can really train it so when you start your career it will be more independent.’ So, if I did not get her now, it would be like 10 years before I got a dog.”
Ouzounian says his parents love dogs and Katrina, so much so that his parents have texted him to specifically ask how Katrina is doing and do not ask about about him.
“They even texted me a couple days before my birthday reminding me that Katrina’s birthday is the 29th,” Ouzounian said.
Recognizing their unashamed love for his tiny dog, Ouzounian bought both is parents bumper stickers that say “I love my granddog.”
“Katrina is smart and a great companion,” said Karyn Wong, Ouzounian’s mother. “She is beautiful, and she knows it.”
Ouzounian says that Katrina is generally low maintenance in terms of care. She only eats once a day and can stay home alone now that she is older. She does have another roommate dog to hang out with at home, a Lhasa Apso named Max who goes by the nickname “Big Sexy.”
Ouzounian’s friend Derek Slusser, a third-year CSU political science and journalism student, says hanging out with Katrina and Ouzounian makes him both want a dog and not want a dog in his near future.
“I see how much of a shit she is, and it is a turnoff, but also having that companionship would be great,” Slusser said. “I really want an American bulldog that is huge and likes to cuddle.”
Ouzounian said if you are planning on adopting a dog in college, make sure you know what you are in for because it is a long commitment, and also make sure you are ready to financially sustain a dog for its entire lifespan. He recommends purchasing doggy health insurance.
Ouzounian said getting an older puppy was a good move because she was already potty trained and at an age that made her readily trainable, opposed to a puppy that was only weeks old. He encourages people to adopt mixes, like Katrina.
“Dogs being around just makes people happier,” Ouzounian said. “Having to take care of something and walk them twice a day and feed them and take care of them just adds a level of satisfaction in your life that no many things can.”
Katrina’s Instagram can be found at @katrinatheakk and features her laying in grass, hanging out with other puppies and doing tricks.
Miranda Moses can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mirandasrad.