In October 2002 I was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, for my first tour of duty in the Navy. That’s where I met Hina, the lab/chow puppy who was rescued by my friends C & J. C & J also had another dog named Ilio, as well, and I was Hina and Ilio's dog sitter when C & J were on the mainland. Hina's name comes from the Hawaiian Goddess for the moon and Ilio is the Hawaiian word for dog.
Ilio passed away in 2004, so that’s where he leaves our story. Off and on during my time in Hawaii I got to know Hina and by the time I left in January 2006, Hina and I had a bond. In fact, I watched her my last week or two on the island, and on my last day there J told me Hina missed me after I left.
Later in 2006, C got picked up for a commission and during his transition, Hina went to stay with his parents in Massachusetts. From what I’ve been told, Hina had a wonderful time there, as C’s parents live on some land and Hina was free to roam about as she pleased. I think Hina liked it so much there because C’s Mom & Dad spoiled the pooch, as one look from her could convince Henry VIII to give up his turkey leg.
In 2007 C & J were stationed in California. That September they were blessed with a little bundle of joy, but as many military dads do, C had to deploy shortly after she was born. Around that time I happened to be telling J how much I missed Hina, and how I would love to get a pooch like her. By then I was stationed in Washington D.C., and living in Alexandria. It was then that J asked me if I would like to adopt Hina, as she felt Hina wasn’t getting the attention she deserved while C was deployed and J was taking care of a newborn baby. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
That’s how in January 2008, Hina came to be my dog, though she’s not really my dog. Like Dennis Lane did in his life, Hina has made an impact on each and every life she has touched. J is known as Hina's other Mom to all who know us, and C's parents still write to me asking about Hina. Hina gets her own special invitations to family events, and she and my Hubby’s mom have a special bond that I think is deeper than the bond she has with Hubby and me. It could also be because she feeds her more than we do.
For me personally, Hina has been a lifesaver. In late 2007 I went through a major depression. Her coming into my life when she did made a huge difference, so much so that I nicknamed her thera-pup. It’s amazing what dogs, and animals in general, can do for a person’s mood and well being, and Hina is so tuned in to my moods that she knows just when to come comfort me if I’m feeling blue.
That’s why I decided to share her story with HoCo today. For the past few days, HoCo has been in mourning for the loss of Dennis Lane. I thought that by sharing her story it would help in the healing process.
I also know, from the numerous blogs that have been sharing tributes about Dennis, that he was a dog lover, and I think he would have appreciated the sentiment.
And in case you’re not smiling yet, just try not to smile while watching the video at the top of this post.
Smartphone Photography: Winter Weeping Willow at Wilde Lake
THIS video inspired today’s post. Since re-launching my blog, I have taken all the photos with my Nokia Lumia 920. This is for a number of reasons: because I am lazy, because my smartphone is always with me, and because I like uploading blog photos from my mobile device.
I think that a good photographer can take a good photo no matter what tool he or she has in his/her hands. I tested this theory once, before smartphones were even a glimmer in Apple’s eye (well, maybe there was a glimmer). I spent an afternoon walking around Old Town Alexandria with a disposable camera taking photos. (This is a great ice breaker for a first date, feel free to steal it.) Disposable cameras don’t usually come with scene settings, white balance, ISO or lens filters, therefore it is up to the photographer to creatively capture a scene.
The trick I learned for taking interesting photos with a disposable camera (or any camera for that matter) is to zoom with your feet. Get close to your subject, if you can. There are a lot of elements that go into a good photo, but for the aspiring novice I say try this technique next time you find yourself trying to take artsy photos with your smartphone.