Exploring Maui with Kaya
From the first time I brought her out of the kennel for a walk, I knew that she was a special girl. At the shelter she was known as "Kimmie". I had been watching her for a while but wasn't able to get to her because I was busy working with several other dogs. But when I was able to take on another, she picked me. Yes, she picked me by barking at me when I walked by her kennel. Her loud bark stopped me on my tracks and I looked at her and said, "oh, you need a walk, don't you?!" She came to me without hesitation and off we went.
She was so gentle and sweet, and we shared a nice walk around the block by the shelter. I remember exclaiming to another volunteer about just how amazing she was and we absolutely had to find home or rescue for her! Kimmie met a lot of friends at the shelter, both two-legged and four-legged ones. She's also our trusted working dog because she's great with other dogs. And we couldn't love her more.
The clock was ticking and I was getting worried... Because after much effort, we still weren't able to find a home or rescue for her. It just happened that around that time, my cousin Rosa had been thinking about adopting a dog. I thought they would be perfect for each other. So, I persuaded Rosa into fostering Kimmie (Rosa might use a different word than "persuade", but hey this is my side of the story and I'm sticking with it!).
Exactly two years ago today, Rosa brought her home and named her "Kaya", which means, "Home". As much as I'd like to say "they lived happily ever after", that was not the case. There were lots of ups and downs; some rough patches, some smooth rides, then only to hit a bump again... They figured things out as they go, and finally they settled into each other's routines.
Just last month, Rosa and Kaya traveled across the Pacific and made the beautiful island of Maui their home. I had the opportunity to visit them last week and I had the most amazing time exploring the island with Kaya. I loved having her as our travel companion, she was a constant and one of the many highlights of my trip. It brought me so much joy watching her hop onto the backseat of the car every morning with excitement and anticipation. I loved seeing her smile and her ears flopping in the air as she puts her face out the window. She too, enjoyed the scenery, one sniff of the air at a time. I got to be there as she swam in the ocean for the first time, and saw just how proud she was of her accomplishment (so were Rosa and I), and how much confidence she gained.
Animals are amazing in so many ways and the relationships we have with them are two way streets. We were exploring Honomanu Bay when Kaya was let off leash for the first time, she proceed to follow Rosa every step of the way. But then something else happened as we crossed the water and onto the rocks, Kaya stayed close to Rosa, tending to her, never letting Rosa out of her sight. Talk about devotion and loyalty these animals bestow upon us... I was deeply moved. I knew with every bone in my body, Kaya is home.
So there she is, a dog rescued from a city shelter in Chatsworth, California now living on Maui, with her favorite person in the whole wide world, her mom Rosa.
Great blog and moniker (Pawla)! Enjoyed the story and photos since we will miss Kaya on our trip this year... Guess we'll have to visit Maui!
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