Today’s guest blogger is my dad, Reverend Dr. Felix Haynes, Jr., sharing the story of his best Valentine’s Day gift – and his deep love and gratitude for his best girl!
Two key words on Valentine’s Day are BE MINE. Kona has officially been mine now for two loving years!
I celebrate her surprise appearance into my life on that Sunday afternoon of Valentine’s Day 2021 when my children conspired and collaborated on this life-changing rescue. Kim rescued an 8-month old Schnoodle from Tallahassee, Florida and drove her to Tifton, Georgia. There, she met her brother Ken, who drove the last leg of the journey to my home on St. Simon’s Island.
Ken Facetimed his sister as he disclosed the terms of the deal for me.
“Dad, Kim rescued this dog, and you have 48 hours to decide on whether you want to keep her. No pressure. We had you in mind, but Kim fell in love with this sweet puppy, and I did too.”
Within thirty minutes, I knew she was mine! Kona remains the love of my life! She is the best gift ever and the best definition of true Valentine love! I couldn’t let the day go by without celebrating my cherished girl – Kona! My Valentine!
Within a few days, she had already put me on a strict routine. She makes sure I get a walk to the pier and village area every morning at 5 a.m. She licks my face and breaks into the full body wag, her nub of a tail a language of joy all its own.
Time to Go!
I grab our gear and leash. She’s more excited than a kid on Christmas morning as we step out into the fresh morning air – – a beautiful start to every day for both of us. She eagerly greets a couple of other wee hour canines and their walkers as we make our way toward sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.
When we return, she leads me to the kitchen to fix our breakfast, still vigorously wagging her tail. I move to the easy chair with my coffee, and she cozies up beside me, snug and warm, bringing complete peace and love into my heart and home.
She takes me on rides in the car, mid-day walks, and quick trips to the grocery store, where she accompanies me inside on the leash and sets an example for me to behave as well as she does. Cashiers and customers alike know Kona and shower her with attention and praise as we make our way down the aisles shopping for each item on her grocery list.
She brings me home to rest in between our outings. We recharge our batteries and sit a spell as she climbs into her very own chair – – the one covered with the big beach towel. She knows when I feel tired or stressed and cuddles up to say, “It’s Ok.”
My Valentine is the queen of the dog park family. I take her there each afternoon, and every occasion is one big family reunion. We meet people from all over the country who fall more deeply in love with St. Simons Island because of the dog park. Glynn County acknowledges that the Mallery Street Dog Park has been the number one amenity they have provided through the Recreation Department (pickleball courts are a close second, but even pickleball can’t compete with dogs). Kona and her buddy Seamus, a pug, are two of the most present magnets of this fun loving community.
Kona knows when I dress up (by which shoes I put on) that she is not going with me on the occasion. She asks with her inquisitive eyes, “Why can’t dogs go to church?”
Her intuition is astounding. When I see Ken arriving and announce, “Kasa is coming,” Kona runs to the door to welcome her cousin canine! Any time I return home, she hears the distinctive sound of the car door and waits by the door to welcome me back.
I cannot even begin to enumerate the moments of love that Kona provides. She is simply the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. I can surely say how much I love my children( their mother raised them so well), but I love them a thousand times more for the gift of Kona.