We had wanted a dog for a long time, and our housing situation finally became one that allowed us to achieve our dream last year! Walking up and down the kennels at the Maui Humane Society, all of the dogs leapt at the gates, barking and whimpering and vying for our attention. They were all such beautiful, sweet dogs, and we couldn’t help but fall in love with all of them. But one sweet face caught our attention just a little bit more. Brown and black on one side, and white with spots on the other. It wasn’t just his striking looks that stopped us in our tracks in front of his kennel. His calm demeanor and focused eyes drew us in immediately. He was the only dog not barking or crying wildly in the whole shelter. We knew immediately that we had to meet him. We brought him to the meet and greet area and further fell in love. He was playful, cuddly, and fearless. Loud sounds echoed throughout the shelter, but this skinny little street pup never cowered or showed any signs of fear or timidity. He was curious about the world around him, nose to the ground, sniffing and exploring all that he could. We knew right away, this was the dog for us.
That night, my husband and I laid in bed discussing names for him. We liked a lot of the options we narrowed down to, but nothing seemed to fit perfectly. We talked about all the adventures we wanted to have with him: hiking, exploring, swimming, getting out into nature. My husband used to be an Urban Park Ranger in New York City, and it was a job that he loved very much and misses every day. His passion has always been the outdoors, protecting and enjoying our natural world. I also have a huge passion for the outdoors, and I thought back to the programs that my husband used to lead and how much that time in his life meant to him. I remembered how special it was to join on his programs and watch him lead the public through the woods and discover something about the natural world around them. So when I said, “Well, what about Ranger?” I felt the hair on my arms stand up. My husband felt the same, and it was settled. His name would be Ranger.
Ranger is such a special dog that came into our lives at just the right time. He reminds us to get out there and enjoy life to the fullest every single day. He reminds us that the best things in life are free, and sometimes they are tiny joys that can be found everywhere in our natural world, and we must do everything in our power to protect and conserve them so that the next generation of Ranger’s can enjoy them as much as we do.