I adopted Mahina, a Great Pyrenees, eight years ago when she was five. Her former family was moving from 2-acres in Maui to a tiny apartment in Malaysia — no place for a large dog bred for guarding flocks of sheep in the mountains.
She came home with me, and the first thing she did was jump into my landlord’s lap pool. He was not pleased, and we soon moved into a house of our own. But she lay around like a fluffy white carpet, and that worried me; health problems would likely ensue if she didn’t get more exercise. So we got her a pal, Poky, and then another, Mishu. That’s when the fun really started. When it came to playing chase and wrestling in the grass, there was no stopping them.
We then moved to a large piece of land (~90 acres) on the Big Island with streams, waterfalls and forests. Mahina and her two canine pals romped day and night. They became expert swimmers and, eventually, crack wild pig hunters. Oh, the adventures we had! There are too many to list here, but suffice it to say that Mahina and I bonded while exploring every hill and gulch on that land. She was nearly always at my side.
We’ve since moved back to Maui and gone through many changes, mostly good, like bringing Adam in as co-pack leader. But we faced some challenges, too. It was hard to adjust to living inside a fenced yard, for both of us. Still, we’ve continued to walk every day and swim in natural pools as much as we can. Poky and Mishu try to wrestle with Mahina, even though she can’t anymore. Those two dogs have helped to keep us all from taking ourselves too seriously.
But all those happy years of roaming, exploring and playing have finally taken their toll on Mahina. She has spinal arthritis that has been gradually worsening over the past nine months. Her time on this earth is almost up. Last April we realized that the medicine we’ve been giving her was only buying us a little more time with her. Come Monday, that time will run out.
So to honor the amazing life we’ve had because of and with Mahina, this weekend is dedicated to her; no blogging, no twittering, no working — just time with our beloved dog. We’ll take her on a final swim in a natural pool and spoil her like crazy with treats and rubs at her going away party. In the quiet moments, I’ll steal glances of her laying in the grass out in the yard. Just knowing she’s still nearby is a quiet joy that I want to savor as long as I can.