With 2016 winding down, I ,like many others reflect on what took place in our lives and put things into perspective.  As I was doing my year end house cleaning, I stumbled upon a picture of my beloved dog “Tigger”several years removed from our lives; attached was a note that I had penned soon after his passing.

I read through it and reflected on how important he was to me and my family and wanted to share how I felt at that time with you.

“Today a part of me died,

you left a void within my heart that can never be replaced

You touched my life in ways that you could never imagine

I sit here trying to think of a word to best describe you

But no words can describe what you truly meant to me

You were my best friend for the past 18 years

and you did everything in your heart for me

You made me laugh and smile

and comforted me when I was scared

You protected me when I was asleep

and kept me company when I was alone

In your little funny ways,

you made me see what life was about

I will miss you with all my heart;

your perky ears, your jovial bark, and your gentle lick

It will be hard to face life without you by my side

Your support and love made me feel invincible

Your gift of love

was the best gift I ever received from you

For that I am most grateful

I’m so lucky and honored that you came into my life

For the rest of my life, I am in debt to you

Tigger…you taught me what love really is,

to give it and to receive it

you will never be forgotten

because you have a special place within my heart forever

Whenever I think of love or share it,

you will come to mind

you will live on in the love I give to others

Thank you Tigger,

thank you for choosing me,

thank you for being there for me

and caring with your heart.”

Take two aspirins and “HUG” your pet


We’ve all experienced a day, or days, when things just didn’t go as expected.  You know what I’m talking about…car getting a flat tire, being chewed out at work, vicious fight with our significant other, being sick to our stomach and so on and so forth. 

 It’s like we felt like the world was against us and we were the butt of a million jokes all lined up waiting to slap us in the face one after another.  We just wanted to crawl into a hole and wake up the next day as a new person who was draped with every good luck charm the world had to offer.

 It’s hard to recover from something like this. Yes it takes time and for some of us a good stiff drink. For the fortunate few that owns a pet, getting through something like this helps accelerate the process much, much faster.

 After life has beaten you to a pulp and your spirits are gone, you trudge your weary feet through the door and are greeted by your beloved pet.

 They make a mad dash for you at the speed of light and greet you like there’s no tomorrow.  Having that “warm” reception, after the day you’ve been through, helps to ease the pain and kick start the endorphin in your body into overdrive.

 They remind you that no matter what transpired “out there”, I’ll make you forget all that ever happened.  Our pets, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, hamster, pig, horse, etc., show us unconditionally what love is all about.

Just the sight of their perked up face, wagging tail and herky-jerky body movements is enough to put a smile on anyone.  Dare I say even the most hardened of faces.

 Having that unabashed feeling from this animal is a truly most extraordinary phenomenon to behold.  They make us laugh in our  darkest of days by just being themselves.  Their power to elicit all that’s happy, funny and joyful in us is just simply AMAZING.

 Being able to hold our pets and confide in them REALLY, REALLY makes our life all that more precious.  We forget all that “terrible stuff” and soon take delight in the positive.

 We no longer feel that doom and gloom and are hopeful for an exceptionally grand tomorrow.  We soon think to ourselves that “Life’s not all that bad” and our luck’s about to change for the better.  All this was because of our pet…all their positivity seeped into our core beings.  It became the perfect antidote to our dilemma.

 Our family member, our pet, that looked past all our faults and unexpected misfortunes and gave us inspiration and hope that life is best experienced together.

 So if you have a hell of a day, don’t despair…just take two aspirins and “HUG your pet!

Tribute to an old friend…

Around this time every year I always stop to be thankful for what I have and most grateful for but it’s also a time when I reflect on losing two beloved pets.  What’s so ironic is that I lost them years apart in the same month all due to old age.  It’s something that all pet owners wish won’t happen but will inevitably face.  Today I just want to pay tribute to my beloved dogs Ginger, Remy and Tigger.

“My Friend, today you’ve left a space in my heart…a void that not anyone can make.  To do this one has to unselfishly give of one’s self.  You did just that and more.  You gave yourself freely, shown your love openly and unbiased, gave your ear for someone to bend and comforted a cold and lonely body.  With your warmth and tenderness, your companionship is unmatched and your heart is forever captured.  Right here in my private treasure chest…where your love is kept safe…until it is ready to be freely shared to the one who is worth and unselfish.  The one who will learn as well as accept the gift of unconditional love.  But until that time comes, my heart will not be whole…for the space that was left will be a most tremendous task to fill.  Because the love that I’ve received is but one of a kind…that is unique only to you…My Friend.”


A Beard, A Mustache or A Goatee

Seven year old Sam would sit in front of a mirror all day and stare at his face.

“What should I have, a beard, a mustache, or a goatee?” wondered Sam.

The reason he asked himself that question was because he had three uncles who he thought were interesting.

His first uncle, Uncle James, had a white beard, not as long as Santa’s, but just as noticeable. Uncle James had a tendency to stroke his beard. His second uncle, Uncle Bill, had a nice black mustache that curled at the ends. Uncle Bill had a tendency to twirl his mustache whenever he could. And his third uncle, Uncle Matt, had a brown goatee that hung from his chin and flapped everytime the wind blew. Uncle Matt would rub his goatee with his fingers from top to bottom.

“Maybe I should have a white beard like Uncle James, yeah that’s what I should have” said Sam.

He looked high and low all over his house to make a white beard. Sam found the answer in his refrigerator…a can of whipped cream. Sam squirted out a handful of whipped cream and rubbed it on his face. He shaped it like Uncle James’ beard and went to see himself in the mirror.

“Just like Uncle James” said Sam. With that, he stroked his beard and proudly walked around the house.

“What are you doing? What is that on your face!?” asked his mother.

“I put whipped cream on my face to make a beard like Uncle James” answered Sam.

“You eat whipped cream, not put it on your face. Wash your face” said his mother.

Feeling disappointed, Sam went to wash his face. Sam sat back in front of the mirror and stared at his face again.

“Maybe I should have a black mustache like Uncle Bill” said Sam. And with that he found a black pen and scribbled a dark mustache on his face.

He looked at his mustache, “This is much better than the whipped cream.” Sam pretended to twirl his mustache and proudly walked out of his room. He headed out the door when… “Sam, what did you do to your face?” shouted his mother.

“I used a pen and made myself a mustache like Uncle Bill” replied Sam, “isn’t it neat?”

“Young man, you use a pen to write things with, not draw on your face. You go wash your face right now” shouted his mother.

“But mom, I want a mustache” replied Sam.

“You need to have hair to have a mustache, now go wash your face” exclaimed his mother.

Feeling disappointed again, Sam went to wash his face. Sam sat back in front of the mirror again and stared real hard at his face.

“Maybe I should have a brown goatee like Uncle Matt” said Sam, “but this time I should use some hair.” Sam thought about cutting some of his to make his goatee but it wasn’t brown. He thought real hard and finally thought of an answer…his dog Oscar was brown.

“That’s it!” shouted an eager Sam, “That’s what I’ll use, Oscar’s fur.”

With a scissor in hand, Sam found Oscar. Oscar had a nice and silky brown fur that was soft to the touch. Sam grinned with delight and cut a handful of Oscar’s fur. He placed the brown fur on some sticky tape and fashioned it into a goatee. He then put the sticky tape on his chin and rubbed his goatee from top to bottom.

Sam looked at himself in the mirror and cracked a big smile when all of a sudden… “Sam get over here right now!” screamed his mother.

Sam dashed out of his room and went to his mother. His mother was sitting next to Oscar, who had a big bald spot in the middle of his back. She did not look happy.

“Young man, did you do this to Oscar? And now what is that on your face?” said his mother.

“I used Oscar’s hair to make a goatee like Uncle Matt” said Sam.

“Sam, to have a beard, mustache, or goatee, you need to grow hair” said his mother.

“So when am I going to grow some hair?” asked Sam.

“Not for awhile I’m afraid, but in the meantime I stopped by the costume shoppe and picked up these things for you” said his mother.

She presented Sam with a white clip-on beard, a black press-on mustache, and a brown press-on goatee. “Gee thanks mom!” said a delightful Sam.  And with that, he scooped them up and ran to his room.

Sam laid down the white beard, the black mustache, and the brown goatee.

He looked at the mirror and stared at himself. “What should I have…a beard, a mustache, or a goatee?” wondered Sam.

Mark Kaneshige