Back at the motel, Nolemana and I had a bite to eat… and we talked about Cuddles, but really, our minds were already made up. We didn’t need to make another trip out to Gramma’s to see if we wanted to bring the doggie home with us. We knew we’d only be going back to get her and bring her home with us.
Which is exactly what we did. We got up the next morning and packed up all our stuffs, and headed back out to Hayden. When we got there, Gramma let Cuddles out again, and again, the sweet girl came right out to us. We told Gramma that we wanted the doggie to have her forever home with us, and it was then that she told us that Kukui’s former owners had given her up because they’d moved to an apartment that wouldn’t accept large dogs. But she also told us that she’d found out that one time the husband and wife were having a terrible fight (not just yelling), and Cuddles had lain down over their little boy to protect him. That just did it. We knew she was the right doggie for us.
We wrote out the check (which covered spaying, shots, and all adoption fees), and Gramma told us that Cuddles could choose a toy to take with her, and by process of elimination, I chose one out of the huge box of doggie toys. Cuddles approved. Then we all went outside where Gramma let all the doggies play together; and that way we could also see how good Cuddles was with other dogs.
It had been raining and the yard was muddy, so as we waved “aloha ʻoe” to Gramma, we knew we needed to find a do it yourself doggie wash in town. So we found a phone booth and found one in the yellow pages. Remember dem days??
Cuddles was so calm, and the doggie wash place was right on our way out of town. We bathed our new doggie and got all the mud off, and then dried her with the blower.
We loved the paintings on the washing/drying area, and Cuddles just sat there, behaving perfectly, during the whole process.
Her chest was so white, and she was so clean and not hauna anymore; the last thing we wanted was a stinky dog during eight hours of travel! Here she was, our beautiful girl.
We weren’t sure how she’d travel home, with new people, a new car, going who knows where, but amazingly Cuddles settled down as if she knew that no matter where she was going, she belonged to us now, and she was safe.
This is how she rode almost all the way home, except for the times we stopped to let her go shi shi and give her some water and treats.
This time, we drove straight home by freeway; it was a long drive and we wanted to get home as quickly as possible. When we got home, we introduced our new doggie to the kitties, and thought the kitties weren’t at all sure who their new sister was, there was a minimum of hissing on their parts, and Cuddles just stood quietly and let them get used to her.
The next morning I had to go to work, and guess where Cuddles wanted to be! Right under my desk, right by my feets. I loved it!
We’d known we wouldn’t keep Cuddles as her name; even though she was six years old, I felt quite certain she’d adapt to her new one, which I knew would be Kukui, a symbol of light and life to the Hawaiians. It was just right. So Kukui it was, and within a very short time, she learned her new name. So akamai da doggie!
Once a month or so we’d take Kukui down to Pup Scrub, our local do it yourself dog wash, and bathe her. I’d also clip her nails and give her a trim, and she always looked so gorgeous afterwards. This photo was in 2004.
We loved taking her to the beach, and she loved going. This was in 2005; we’d driven to Gearhart, where we can drive our car right out onto the beach. Kukui absolutely loved running by the water. I love this photo of her.
Running in the water, 2005.
Kukui became my Velcro doggie, just like Holly Berry had been. She followed me everywhere, and I loved it. At night I’d head into the bedroom to get ready to take a shower; she followed me to the door of the bathroom, and then, when I got into the shower, she’d lie right outside the shower door. Being in the doorway wasn’t close enough for her, and I loved that about her.
I loved taking her for rides on cool days; when I got out of the car to run into the post office or the grocery store, she would wait till I was out of sight, then move into the driver’s seat, so that when I came back, she was right there waiting for me.
We took her to the coast with us everytime we’d go, and she was so happy to get out of the car and feel that ocean wind in her face. This was 2006.
Kukui also loved the snow. Here she is at Government Camp on Mount Hood, enjoying every moment.
In 2008, we got a lot of snow on our driveway. Kukui took to it like a duck to water, running and playing in it. She’d stick her nose into a snowdrift, and toss the snow up in the air, then lick her nose. So kewt!
With her heavy fur coat, the cold didn’t bother her a bit!
Then she’d head down the driveway, to see what she could find that might interest her. It didn’t bother her at all that the snow came all the way up to her tummy.
All of our kitties loved her. Here is Makanani, rolling around, hoping to get Kukui’s attention.
Then she’d cuddle up close; she knew Kukui was safe to be around.
Kukui’s best doggie friend was Zipper, who belonged to good friends of mine. They go to Mexico once or twice a year, and Zipper would stay three weeks with us. It was really wonderful to see the two of them together.
We took a trip up the Columbia River Gorge, and they both walked together along the trail.
They had such a good time playing together. Here they playfully fight over the toy that Kukui chose up at Gramma’s. This was in 2008.
Ha! I win!!
Sadly, Zipper died last year. I loved that little doggie. He stayed with us a lot, and I really miss his presence around here.
To be continued….