(Please feel free to click on the thumbnail photos at the bottom of the page to see a nice photo gallery of Maya's life)


(Also known affectionately as "Mai-Mai" or "Puppy")

Maya was the only dog that I have ever had from puppy until death.  Bethany and I picked her out of a litter in Pine Hills (just outside of Julian, CA) when she was only 6 weeks old.  She was some kind of a black lab mix, a "mutt" if you will.   She was the runt of the litter, and was always trying harder to be able to get fed and get attention from her mother.  I believe that contributed to her becoming an "Alpha" dog.  She was definitely "The Leader Of The Pack" when she was with other dogs, even though she was a bit smaller than most of the other dogs that she would run around with.  Most of the time this was a good thing, but every once in a while it would cause her to get in fights with other dogs.  But mostly it meant that she would happily lead us down the trail, and we could always rely on her to find the way back if we found ourselves lost or confused while hiking in the wilderness.  And when it came time for dinner, she always got to be fed first, and her favorite routine was to "lick the spoon" that I used to feed her and Sandy (my other dog) with.  When we first got her, we had two other dogs, Sugar (a golden lab) and Daisy (an old black lab).   Daisy was a crabby old dog that did not like Maya's high energy, and so one day Daisy bit Maya on the lip, which caused Maya to have a sagging lip for the rest of her life.  Daisy and Sugar both passed away years ago, and we acquired Sandy (a golden retriever) whom I have now, and who was Maya's buddy for the last 6 years.  Sandy misses Maya now, and seems a bit lonely.  I am going to find a puppy here real soon to become Sandy's new buddy.

Maya was a trooper.  She was without a doubt the most agile dog that I have ever had.  Being small in stature worked to her benefit.  It allowed her to run just a little faster and jump just a little higher than most other dogs similar to her breed.  She was the only dog around that could chase the deer around our Julian property and actually keep up with them.  She would even "spring" and "bound" just like the deer when she was chasing them.   And her absolute favorite game was chasing the tennis ball.  In her youth, she would always beat out all of the other dogs and retrieve the tennis ball every time.  As she got older, she still gave the other dogs some good competition, but didn't always come back with the ball.  But she would always hang around any people that were nearby and bring them the ball, drop it at their feet and then bark until someone would throw the ball again.

Maya loved to hike and be outdoors with us.   She went places with us that most dogs have never been.  She climbed to the top of many mountains, and did hikes with us in the back country around San Diego County (Julian, the Cuyamacas, the Lagunas, Mt. Palomar), as well as the Borrego desert, and the beach.  She swam in many lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and just about every creek and river in San Diego County.  She also hiked with us in Sedona Arizona, and of course the Rocky Mountains here in Colorado, where she climbed to the top of Lily Mountain (9,000 ft), Prospect Mountain (8,500 ft), and Pole Hill (9,500 ft) with Sandy and I.  In fact, she climbed Prospect Mountain with Carrie, Sierra and I one last time less than 6 months before she died!

As Maya got older, she became grey around her eyes and nose, for a very distinct look.   She was diagnosed earlier in her life with heartworm, which really slows dogs down later in life.  We didn't really notice it affecting her until the final year or so, when she started having trouble breathing and running.  The Vet said that it would kill her at a young age, but Maya the trooper still lived a long and mostly healthy life.  Not only did she have heartworm, but she was bit by rattlesnakes twice, and was actually hit by cars twice also! The 2nd time she was hit by a car, the Vet recommended that I put her down then, but I chose not to, and she recovered nicely to live for about 5 or 6 more years.  Despite all of this, Maya the trooper lived to be just 2 months shy of her 14th birthday.  She would have been 14 on May 9th, 2008.  We had one last good outing with her about two weeks before she died.  Greg, Adeline, Sierra and I were out at Lake Estes with Maya, Sandy, and Greg's dog Sam.  We were throwing the ball for the dogs, and Maya tried many times to chase it with the other dogs, even though she could barely walk.  What a trooper!

Maya will always be in my heart and memories.  I already miss her dearly.  She was my best friend for almost 14 years.  Now she is running around free and happy in the great open expanses of the dog afterlife.

 Goodbye, Mai-Mai, my puppy!






The following photos were taken just after Maya passed.  Farewell, my friend!


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