by Papa Al
(Tampa, FL, USA)
This is Maya
She was just a 6 week old furball at the millennium, a surprise for me from my two favorite people, though they both would be living with and loving her, same as I would.
Maya had an older brother who was already living with us, and didn't really appreciate the intrusion at first. Puck was never really cruel to her; he just didn't see the need for her at first -- I think :). Eventually, he enjoyed playing the role of mentor (and sometimes tattle tale) while she was growing up. Puck would tell on her when she "had an accident" or chewed my favorite pair of shoes. She was such a gentle dog that he found her a little timid and stand-offish at first. Then she grew on him, as she did us.
When Puck's mom left the country to return to her native Australia, he really took on the "big brother" role. She grew to be much faster than him but he would run for the ball just so she'd win, and give her kisses while laying next to each other.
Because Maya was so timid, she was startled easily by many things. The sound of a plastic bag being readied for the garbage was her pet peeve.
That same gentle nature led her to become very ladylike in many ways. In fact she didn't learn to bark until she was almost three, and even then didn't do it much. Puck took care of that. When he died a couple of years ago she began doing his jobs around the house, and really blossomed in the role of "only child."
Maya didn't mind having two dads, but when women came around she definitely enjoyed their camaradry. She made many friends despite her "hard-to-pet" attitude. But she really loved her dads. She'd gently place her chin on a knee while someone was sitting on the couch and look up with her wonderfully expressive eyes.
She was a special soul, a one percenter! And just having her in my life was a gift I'll always cherish. The stories about her are endless.
In just over ten years she had a lifelong effect on me. And I will always be grateful to her other dad for facilitating joint custody during the last few years of her life.
Mike, I'm so sorry you had to go, and that I couldn't hold you when you needed me. But you had the best dad in the world with you and I know that must've made it all ok.
I LOVE YOU BABY GIRL. Goodbye