*From Facebook, Dec 12, 2017
I never grew up with a dog. I never even thought about getting one when I got older, got married, and had kids. My wife did, my kids did, but me? I was firm against it. Then a couple of years ago, I had a change of heart. My kids were now older and since my wife always wanted one, I thought, why not see what being a dog owner was all about. It should make my wife happy and the kids need to learn some responsibility, so I gave in and my wife went out searching for a dog.
We found a litter on craigslist. Owners said a Italian mastiff jumped the fence and mated with their Lab. The wife and kids went without me to take a look. One jumped into my sons arms, but it was kolohe and a male and my wife wanted another female around. There was only one left and she was the runt, but they all fell in love with her on first sight. My son held her box on the way home and he was instantly her protector. They brought her home, set her up and named her Lily. I wanted to call her paleale, but we settled on Lily Ipa.
Almost 3 years later and she broke out of the house for the third time and this time she wasnt so lucky. She crossed a highway and got hit by a car and died today. The shock and grief that is overwhelming me right now as I wait for the damn bus so I can get home to my family so we can process it together is a lot heavier than I could ever imagine. How did it happen? How do we tell the kids? What do we do now?
She came into our life as my wife’s dog. She did everything she was supposed to do for our family. But she did something I never expected to happen, she became MY dog, MY Lily.
She was my emergency alarm clock and co-pilot every morning after dropping the kids off. It was just us as I left for work everyday. When I got home, no matter how shitty a day its been, she was there to greet me, tail wagging full blast. She followed me everywhere and at night would accompany me outside to throw out the trash and do her business. She would also sleep next to me when my wife worked nights but ever mindful of sounds at night, never failing to be my security system. This past Sunday as the Eagles were having a tough time of it and my stress was rising, she came up to me and brought that stress level right down.
Not to say she didnt have her moments. She escaped twice, destroyed every box in the house, and I will have to replace parts of a door she mangled, but the unconditional affection she had for the whole family negates anything bad she could have done.
I never knew why people were so emotional over animals and never understood what the words “man’s best friend” meant until we got Lily. And in fact its only been in the past year that I truly embraced it. She truly was more than a pet, more than a member of our family, she was my constant tail and companion, my best furry friend. Now I know and it makes it even harder.
Lily Ipa, im sorry we never got to take all those walks we were supposed to, or play outside as much. Im sorry I never got to make that doggie beer for you or take you to a brewery with me like I planned to do when you were older. Im sorry you wont get a chance to see your boys grow into the men you helped mold. And im sorry for any pain you had to endure as you got out to go holoholo one last time.
Ive never thought about the afterlife, but now I truly hope I get to see you at the rainbow bridge when all is said and done. You were a good girl, a good dog, and a good friend. Im going to miss you more than I will admit. Rest in love Lily Ipa, my dog, my family, my friend.