Celebrating Kona, Who is Loved a Grande Latte!

Today’s post is written by my father, Reverend Dr. Felix Haynes, Jr., whose birthday is February 13th – the day before Valentine’s Day. As Ken and I celebrate our Dad today, he celebrates his schnoodle, Kona, who nuzzled her way into his life one year ago. And oh, the difference she has made!                                

Kona – February 2022

Kona came into my life one year ago on Valentine’s Day, the best Valentine ever, a love expression from my children. This schnoodle was 9 months old at the time. She was “rescued” from a home where she was loved by her owner, who was in the midst of an unfortunate situation and was unable to keep her. She got to St. Simon’s Island by relay from Tallahassee, Florida to Albany, Georgia (where Kim received her), then to Tifton, Georgia (where Ken took the baton) and on to St. Simon’s Island late Sunday on Valentine’s Day 2021. Ken and Ginger walked into my home toting this canine bundle. I was undogged and not in the market for another because of the responsibility and emotional dynamics of dogdom.

I had warned my children not to do such a thing. Ken said, “Dad, Kim rescued this puppy, and you have 48 hours to make a decision.”

Kim fell in love with her from Albany to Tifton. I quickly fell in love with this cute little bundle of fur also. No pressure! We walked Kona and played a bit.  Less than an hour later, I had a dog – or, perhaps more truthfully, a dog had me! I knew immediately I would not change her name because I love coffee (Kona is the leeward side of Hawaii where they grow coffee). She sits in the chair with me every morning when I have coffee.

Kona and Felix, Father’s Day 2021

The Florida State University former owner from whom Kona comes, who was wearing his Seminoles t-shirt when he stepped from his truck with her, suggests a bit of Miriam (once a FSU student herself) steering Kona to me. I don’t know.  Maybe. Probably. But I am sure I was meant to have this cherished friend, no doubt.  I would rather have Kona than a brand new Mercedes. She is the best gift.

Kona is appealingly persuasive. She can win the heart of anybody she meets. She does not discriminate and brings a bright spot all over St. Simon’s Island and beyond. She gets 3 or 4 walks a day: pre-dawn (usually 5:30 a.m., to the Pier and back) — 11:00 a.m., around the ballpark (getting a treat at the Recreation Office). She pulls like a dog sled to get through that door—then, at 2:30 p.m. to the dog park. She knows how to tell time.  She has dozens of friends there and has brought so many new friends into my life. We have occasional gatherings at restaurants – a great fraternity. And we meet many people and breeds of dogs from all over the country. This is an enriching dimension to my life – and Kona is responsible for it!

Kona visiting Santa at Christmas 2021

Kona transmits love and joy because she has a divine spark. She has distinctive barks: (1) A shrill woof-woof—let’s play!  (2) a yelp- “Let’s go” (3) a SWEET WOOING WHINE- “pick me up.” (4) A louder repetitive bark –she isn’t happy about something.

She can jump amazingly high and impresses everybody who sees this. It is her eager enthusiasm! She could win the high jump in the Canine Olympics. You must see this to believe it. She can walk on her hind legs in such a way that she could be on Dancing With the Stars. Her tails wags like the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings.

Kona on her first birthday in May 2021, at her party in the dog park

She is an amazing dog, and people who see her give her treats beyond the Recreation Office at the ball park. She gets treats at Parker’s convenience store. She gets a puppy cup (of ice-cream) at Frosty’s. We share it.

She is devious and delightful. When she gets in trouble, she has the most appealing scamper and turns her trouble into a game. She is smart. When she sees I am upset with her, she turns on the charm, looks me in the eyes and pleads, “I didn’t mean to.” There should be more people like Kona.

“I didn’t mean to.” – Kona

Kona is total energy with skin pulled over it. She is JOY personified. She is LOVE in the best sense of the word. She is PEACE on my pillow. She warms my bed, brightens my day, challenges my patience. She is an unfailing friend.  I am convinced this sweet little gal is an angel.

One year later, THANKS!

Kona in the dog park
Kona on her first birthday
Kona had a party in the dog park on her first birthday – she had Doggie ice cream treats for all who came and all of her friends brought gifts.
Dad needed new shoes anyway. Kona knew how to handle that situation. The truth is, she really did mean to chew up those others. Ken and I ordered him a shiny new pair.
See what happens when Kona is your cheerleader? Your team wins the national championship. Don’t believe for one second that an FSU alumnus didn’t pull some strings from the other side to make that happen.

2 Replies to “Celebrating Kona, Who is Loved a Grande Latte!”

  1. Read every word and loved every word. We got a Conee in Sep 2020 (named after Lake Oconee – where we spend much of our time). We are convinced God sent her to us to prolong our lives. We walk her several times a day that is good for our health and enjoy the beautiful sights at the lake that is good for our soul. She lets us sleep during the night but gently wakes us up every morning for her morning walk. Since we spend pretty much 24-7 with her, she understands what we are saying. Nothing like a companion like this.


    1. Bruce, thank you for reading and taking the time to respond. I sent your comments to Dad, who says hello. He knows that your Conee and Kona look a lot alike – both girls who know how to work that charm and get away with more than they should and yet so good for us as humans! We do not deserve the love of our dogs, and they are but a small reminder of God’s grace and mercy. You are right – we are blessed with these companions!


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