Welcome to Kizzy's Canine Corner!

Who am I?

I’m a canine enthusiast, mom to nine beautiful pups, and former foster parent to over a hundred amazing dogs. Companion animals are my friends, hobbies, and passion. I work full-time as a member of my local humane society’s behavior department. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my partner and our four-legged companions, practicing for nosework, and spending time outdoors. 

What’s the story?

In 2016, I adopted my first puppy – a 12 week old herding mutt named Kizmo. Despite my pre-puppy research, I had no idea the adventure I had just signed myself up for. I scavenged the internet for pet owner resources to help guide us through the struggles. Together, Kizmo and I worked through many quirks and behaviors.

The next four years, I gathered as much experience interacting with dogs as I could. I gained employment at various doggy daycare facilities and a vet clinic. I also became involved with a local rescue group, fostering over a hundred dogs and adopting a few more.

To no one’s surprise, I found my passion for working with my dogs and helping other families to find solutions that work for them. And thus, the idea for Kizzy’s Canine Corner was born.

So… what does this have to do with you?

Your household is one-of-a-kind, with unique concerns and strengths. My goal is to help provide you with the information and resources to empower you to make the right choices for your family. Kizzy’s Canine Corner is here to help your family and dogs to better understand each other, to live an enriched life, and to reach your full potential.

Meet the Pups!

Kizmo James

Kizmo (aka Kizzy) is the pup behind the blog! He was born on May 11th, 2016 and found his forever home with me a couple months later. He was adopted from Lucky Mutts Rescue! He regularly participates in nosework and obedience with the occasional agility or barn hunt excursion. Kizmo recently acquired his NW1 title and had fun every step of the way. He is his momma's heart!

Kizzy's favorite things include all snacks and toys, soccer, guinea pigs, and working with his momma. He is mostly Australian Cattle Dog with some Border Collie & Corgi mixed in - yes, he has a lot of drive, herding instinct, short legs, and a thick coat!

Braxton Milliard

Braxton (aka Brax) is the smallest and toughest of the group. He was born July 1st, 2012 and was used as a puppy mill stud until rescued in 2018. His rescue story is an amazing testament to the power of team work between rescues and individual dog-lovers! He is his momma's shadow and eager sidekick, always up for a car ride or adventure.

Brax's favorite things include scavenging for tasty treats, cuddling with his parents, and seeing his groomer. He was registered as a Toy Aussie in his previous life, known as "CKC River's Rooster". I call him my special mini aussie mix.

Tucker Jay

Tucker was born in 2013 and hit the jackpot when Ryan saw the Craigslist ad for an adorable and naughty 6 month old puppy. He loves to be involved in all family adventures and makes the best co-pilot in the car. He is his momma's second shadow and can always point out her location if you ask!

Tucker's favorite things include anything his mom is doing, scavenging for ALL the food, chewing on nylabones, and going for walks. He is the most social Australian Cattle Dog with all the drive & perseverance - and none of the endurance.

Shep Master

Shep was born in 2016 and entered our lives at the end of 2017. He was a transfer from a local rescue and has undergone a complete 180 in his socialness, a testament to his dad's dedication and passion for this sweet boy. (And thanks to our favorite R+ YouTube Trainer!)

Shep's favorite things include long walks, hanging out in his dad's garden, leaping through open spaces, and laying on all the pillows. He a mixed breed - including husky, German Shepherd, ABPT, and several other breeds. While he isn't very fluffy, he is a vocal boy and loves to encourage the pack to howl alongside sirens!

Doof Finnegan

Doof entered our home right at the start of 2020. In fact, the day we picked him up was the first day Chicago was on lockdown, so the road to the shelter was completely empty! He was also a transfer from a local rescue and is a work in progress (like all of us!)

Doof's favorite things include frozen kongs, bully sticks, jumping over agility equipment, and his dad. He's also known to steal cucumbers from the garden! He is a little pitty mix with a giant smile and heart! Fun fact: he's the only dog in the house that never tears up stuffed animals!

Jesse Luna Moon

Jesse is a speedy, crazy little lady. We 'foster failed' on her in January of 2021. She regularly practices agility & nosework, with the occasional canicross and barn hunt. She is originally from Decatur, Texas!

Jesse's favorite things are playing any sort of game, hiking, jumping in the air, and working. If there's an opportunity to climb or jump on a platform - count her in. She is an Australian Cattle Dog and also has the herding drive and energy to match!

Franklin Bones

Frank is the littlest member of the pack! A chunky, fearful chihuahua who did not want to be touched entered our home in the spring of 2021. Through his training and rehab, we realized he was the missing piece of our family and the chihuahua we had been waiting for.

Today, Franklin is a lean and active boy who follows his dad everywhere and is always up for an adventure - whether it's a trip to Starbucks or a 10 mile hike. He also enjoys curling up under fuzzy blankets and finding the coziest places to nap. He is the perfect sidekick and found us at a time where we needed healing. I mean... come on who can say no to that little face?

Buddy A.L.

Buddy is technically the newest "official" KR Dog, however, he's been a part of our family since we took him in as a foster the fall of 2020! After 2+ years, we decided to officially adopt and complete our growing family. I think he knew all along, however.

Buddy is a homebody, enjoying hanging out in the garden, snuggling on the couch, and chewing all the chews. He does enjoy hikes in his favorite woods and is OBSESSED with anything resembling tennis balls or rodents. He's also a mutt - APBT, lab, cattle dog, and supermutt! You can follow along his journey on his Facebook page.

Charli Sunshine

Charli is our newest edition - another tiny, speedy, hyper little lady! I saw her while volunteering at my local humane society, and instantly fell in love when she nearly took my finger off eagerly snatching treats through the kennel. In December 2022, we took her home to foster-to-adopt!

Charli's favorite things to do include pestering her brothers, snuggling under cozy blankets, and being involved in whatever activity. We hope to compete in nosework (and maybe agility) in the future. She is a chihuahua mix with all the spunk!

In Loving Memory

Our dogs are our closest friends and beloved family members. Below you will find tribute to our loyal pups who have passed before us.

May they all rest in peace.

Bailey Johnson

9/2011 - 9/24/2022

In the fall of 2011, Ryan’s life changed forever as he brought home the love of his life - an adorable chocolate puppy with the most expressive eyes. The next couple years, Bailey gave him quite the run for his money - chewing up two couches, a coffee table, and two mattresses due to separation anxiety. The two formed an irreplaceable bond, welcomed Tucker into the family, and adapted to life as a family.

Bailey was the friendliest girl, loving everyone she met. She was known for pressing against people in greeting, weaving between their legs and smiling at the attention. She was the first pup of the pack, moving in with her dad at 8 weeks of age and welcoming me into the family a few years later.

Bailey was a tomato lover, hide and seeker, champion snuggler, and the absolute best fetcher. She was always down for an adventure, eager to lead the pack on any hike and always finding a body of water to jump into. She was extremely athletic - with both speed and drive. And wow, was she smart! She picked up new tricks in no time and never forgot them.

Bailey was so in tune to the emotions of people around her. If you needed space, she would curl up a few feet away. If you were sad or tired, she’d gently lay her head down on your lap. If you’re happy or excited, she eagerly joined in! Bailey had the best laugh. She never let you forget meal time. She could whisper, give a good guard dog bark, or speak normally.

I’m so thankful we were able to spoil her with her favorite foods, field trips, and extra attention these last few months. Thank you for all your love, laughs, and memories, Bailey. We love you so incredibly much and hope you’re having fun up there!

Brock 'Broccoli'

12/2015 - 9/09/2021

September of 2017, I walked into the old Woof Gang facility to pick up a 2-year-old German Shepherd mix from Kentucky. I had agreed to foster him thinking he would make a great family pup for some friends of mine. Once my eyes met his, however, I knew his name would be "Brock" and he would be mine forever. Needless to say, Kizmo took to Brock right away. On 9/21/2017 we made our little family official.

In our first couple months together, Brock proved himself to be quite the escape artist. He could open all my doors, break through windows, and climb the wooden fence. He loved to roam, peeing on trees, before waiting patiently at the front door for his panicking mom to find him. He learned about the best things in life - like long hikes at Pets, stuffed kongs, training classes, morning snuggles, and playtime.

A few months later, our family doubled in size as I met Brock's dad, Ryan, who became Brock's favorite person. My low-energy boy showed a puppy-like, playful personality around his dad. My escape artist stopped breaking out of the house, as if he knew he finally had a dad too now. He bonded immediately with his new fur siblings - Bailey, Tucker, and Shep. Those four became known as the "four pack" for their strong bond and ability to act as one unit. Our family continued to grow with the addition of Braxton, Doof, Jesse, and Franklin through the years.

Brock easily made hundreds of friends. He knew how to read other dogs - giving space to the ones who needed it, gently pushing those who could use the encouragement, and tumbling with the ones ready to play. He was my dog-tester, the first to be introduced to all new dogs in the house. He adored his grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins. He absolutely loved going to any outdoor event - hikes, dog parks, beer gardens, birthday parties, and the lighthouse. He was so social and friendly, but with a slight aloofness that prevented him from being over-the-top. He's met most of my extended family members as well as many friends and co-workers, including all my bosses. He's easily the most social of his momma's side of the family.

Brock was such a chill, low-key boy who enjoyed life to the fullest. Brock happily lived in the moment, despite his ectropion eyes giving a somber appearance. He loved laying in the grass, smiling in the sun or napping in the shade. He enjoyed laying down in kiddie pools, even though he found baths distasteful. He could swallow an entire slice of pizza faster than you could say "Brock, no!". He was the best snuggler, a living weighted (and heated) blanket, enticing me to sleep in much longer than I should most mornings. His tail was always full of expression, gently waving in the breeze or slightly thumping on the furniture.

Brock was the best boy, and he was so dearly loved. We will forever be thankful for the almost 4 years we had with him

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Katie Large

Katie Large

I'm a canine enthusiast, mom to seven beautiful pups, and foster parent to over a hundred other amazing dogs.

I enjoy helping dogs and their families learn to understand each other, live a safe and enriched life, and reach their full potential.