Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with just how much we have to learn in this life. Never mind the fact that we learn the basics before we learn how to remember anything at all (I for one do not recall saying my first word, or taking my first step) But we spend our entire lives learning over and over where we came from, where we are going, who we are, and who we want to be. We gain this knowledge in all different ways; we make mistakes to learn our lessons, we succeed so that we know what to repeat, and most importantly we are shown in sometimes very small ways how to be better people. And sometimes, very rarely, these lessons come from someone in your life who walks on all fours.
Nani came to us the summer of 2000. We had never had a family pet (aside from my chameleon who died of anorexia- RIP JOHN!), and had agreed on a vacation in Maui that we wanted Nani to become a Lewis. We decided on her name which means "beautiful guardian" in Hawaiian and picked her up shortly after we returned to Virginia. And as she grew from 6lbs to 90lbs, she became a member of our family. She was with us through out our teenage years, and as chaotic as it can be to have 3 teenagers in one house, Nani was hands down the mellow presence we so desperately needed. She never jumped, rarely barked, didn't chew on anything that didn't belong to her, didn't beg for food that wasn't hers and her greeting was always a polite kiss and sniff. When other dogs would visit and would act crazy long after their owner told them to "STOP!" Nani would just stare at them as if to say "What is WRONG with you?"
She would nudge her bowl outside and dine al fresco because we Lewis' are a classy breed. She would watch TV with her little paws crossed and every so often look behind her to make sure we were all still there. When asked "Who's the prettiest girl in the world?" Nani would shake her butt and wag her tail as if to say "It's me! It's me!" Above everything else Nani was kind. She could easily knock someone over, or bite, or destroy everything in the house , but she didn't. All she wanted in her 10 year life was to give love. And thankfully we were the family to receive it.
I hope Nani is able to know just how much she will be missed. And if there is a doggy heaven, I know that she is looking down, with her little paws crossed, missing us just as much.