Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Girl – by Josh

My parents told me last Sunday (6/8) that they finally had to put Maile, our black Labrador, to sleep.She left this world at the ripe old age of 13 which is a good lifetime for any dog, especially a Lab. My family had Maile longer than any animal we have owned (all of our other pets have either been killed or we’ve had to move), and we’ve never had a more affectionate dog than her. She could never get too much attention, you could pet her until her fur fell out and you would still not be done petting her.
For being a Labrador, Maile was … um … unique, in that she did not like water and she was not very good at hunting or retrieving. When she would sit by the back door and see a small critter in the yard she would bound off barking after it. The critter would then make a dash for the left and Maile would dash for the right. God bless her, she was not a very bright dog, but we loved her and she loved us even more.When I was still living with my parents Maile was kinda my dog. We got her as a small pup on my 16th birthday, but she sure didn’t stay small for long. First her head grew and then her legs shot out overnight. She walked around like a newborn faun, with her legs wobbling and shaking.Anything could cause her to fall over which our miniature dachshund (Kukui) loved, because she would get Maile to chase her and then make sharp turns causing Maili to crash and tumble. One of my favorite memories of that period was a day when I got home from school and came to the back yard calling her name; she was on the opposite side of the lawn and ran towards me. About half way her right leg stepped in front of the left causing her to tumble forward head first. This happened so quickly though that she made a complete roll landing back on her paws and continued on running. I don’t think she even noticed.As Maili got older (and larger) she became more and more affectionate and was always there to cheer me up on even bad days. After my sister and I left for college Maile became my parent’s dog and substitute child. Our good next-door neighbors (also empty-nesters) equally loved Maile and they, along with my parents, would hand her off between them throughout the weeks. In short Maile was never short on attention, and she got a little spoiled. So even though I live out of state, it’s a good comfort to me that Maile died knowing she was loved.Maile

Kenfield Trivia: Maile was named after a leaf from Hawaii that is worn as a lei for special events like weddings. Our dachshund Kukui, was named after a nut which is also worn as a lei in Hawaii. We also had a cat that was born in Hawaii and moved with us to Dallas, we very “creatively” named him Kitty.


Linds said...

So sad! I'm sorry to hear about Maile's departure - but I totally understand it. I broke down when my Mindy died. What is it about animals? Some echo of Eden, perhaps?

John said...

Nice memoir, Josh. I guess you'll have to teach Sofie to chase squirrels. ;-)