But it was love at first sight and we couldn't leave her. Against all conventional wisdom we brought her home ... and we were right.
She proved to be an extremely faithful and gentle dog. And while she ran away from strangers, I always had a sneaking suspicion that she would defend any one of us if we were threatened.
She was ever so gentle with children, showing interest in them right to the last. When our first grandchild was born and would cry, Kielsie would become extremely agitated until we calmed the baby. I always felt that she was unhappy with how we were caring for this new life. (Subsequent babies she never minded when they cried - I think by then she had learnt to trust us to look after our human babies.)
She had her own little quirks. For a start, it was almost impossible to hose the garden when she was around. She would chase the water and unless you joined in the game, you would end up being the one watered!
She would stand at the French doors and when she saw us leave the kitchen, she would run around to the back door, expecting food.
She ate anything. Especially plums and walnuts off our trees. But leftovers were a favourite, too, which The Most Adorable Granddaughters willingly supplied.
Just knowing she was around would make me feel less lonely those times when I was the only one at home.
Strong and patient to the last, we are going to miss you Kielsie Che (22/09/2003 - 9/11/2014).