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Kona the Beautiful in her golden years

One of the things I am grateful for in my life is our dog Kona. She is an 11 year old German Shepard. When I married the hubster, I married into a family that included a stepson, two cats and Kona.
She helps me get my Mondays off to a good start by insisting that I take her for a walk to the impromptu “dog party” held at a nearby park. There is no official dog park in the area, so we make do with about five to seven neighborhood dogs. If she didn’t insist that I get my lazy ass out of bed at 6:30 every morning, I would not be nearly as productive as I am.
The story of how Hubster and David, my step-son chose Kona is very sweet. Hubster’s first wife, and David’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when David was only 6 years old. During the next five years as she struggled with the disease, David kept asking “when can we get a dog.” You can imagine with everything else he already had to deal with  — a demanding job, a sick wife, a house, etc. — It was not the right time to get a dog.
After David’s mother died, Hubster told David that now, we can get a dog, and he turned it into their special project. They researched what kind of dog to get, talked to a friend who had German Shepards and decided to look at breeders on the Big Island of Hawaii. The two big towns on the Big Island are named “Hilo” and “Kona.” Apparently David decided that they would name the dog “Kona” no matter which town the dog came from.
They went to one breeder, and there was a litter of puppies, Hubster and David hung back, and decided to let the puppy pick them. And sure enough, little Kona was the friendliest of all the pups and walked over and claimed her family. Now David had someone to love, someone to care for and cuddle with as he dealt with the loss of his mother.
When I came on the scene, and moved into the house, and met miss Kona, I found out that between Hubster’s work and David’s school schedule, no one really had the time to walk Kona on a regular basis. I decided that we both needed the exercise, and I took it upon myself to being what turned out to be a bit of a struggle, as Kona, in her excitement would inevitably take me for a “pull.”

What’s not to love about that face?

After many experiments with collars, leashes, gentle leaders, etc. Kona finally agreed to let me be in charge for a little while, until we got to the beach, and then she’d be allowed to roam off leash and enjoy the sun and the sand.
As I mentioned she’s almost 11, and with a bad hip and knee surgery, she’s not up for the beach the way she used to be. But she’s still full of enthusiasm and walks with me in the morning. At home, she is by my side in the office as I’m typing this. I have never had a finer friend.
I mention that she is the “wolf I run with” is a reference to what I consider a classic book, Clarissa Pinkola Estes seminal work, “Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.” First published in 1992, it was a massive hit, and spent two years on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list. At the time the Washington Post described it as “a deeply spiritual book…she honors what is tough, smart and untamed in women. I turn to this book time and again for inspiration and wanted to tell many of my younger female friends about it.

My old, faded and streaky paperback copy

So, who is the wolf you run with? I’m sure many of you know what it is like to have a furry friend, or family member, what is it that you love about them? How do they make your life deeper, richer, and purposeful? I love to hear from you, I hope Kona’s story inspires you to go and give your furry friend a big hug, and have a wonderful day.

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