You Can’t Just Run Out and Replace a Good Friend.


Aikane  [eye-KAH-nay] noun: friend


When we brought the dog home from the Maui Humane Society’s shelter five years ago, we named him Aikane. Within days it had been shortened to just Kane, but that means “boy” or “man” in Hawaiian, so it still worked.
From that first day, Kane was partial to my wife. He’d tag along after her when she went out to the barn to look after the two horses. And he would lie next to her chair when we had breakfast on our deck. There was a bond between the two of them that never really developed with me.

Around the middle of this past summer, it was clear that Kane was sick. The vet put him on medication for pain and for quite a while that seemed to help. But he told us it was just a matter of time.

Time ran out for Kane a month ago. He had stopped eating and it was clear the pills were no longer helping. Unfortunately, I was traveling in Europe and that meant my wife was the one who had to do the right thing, the merciful thing, the hard thing. And all by herself.

Since then, she hasn’t talked much about it, except to say she felt a little vulnerable alone here until I got home. And with reason: Kane would have ferociously attacked anyone or anything he thought might be threating her. And he was gone.

My wife has said several times that it’s too soon to think about another dog. But a couple of days ago, after running some errands in town, she casually remarked that she had stopped by the Humane Society and had just happened to notice a three-year-old female dog. Brown and black and brindle, with a part-hound look about her. Kind of reminded her of Kane, my wife said. 

The dog’s name is Cookie, and later today we’re both going back to the shelter for another look at her. It’s still “too soon”, but on the way we’re going to stop off at the pet store to get some dog food and a nice collar. Just in case.

And a carrying container. And we’re taking the truck.

Just in case.