KAANAPALI - As the only Native Hawaiian in our family, born in Hilo, weaned in Honolulu on Sand Island, arriving on Maui via Hawaiian Air just three months after birth, Kea Aloha loves living in the greatest place on Earth. The white fluffy guy frequently petted by visitors who miss their animals' love is a dog.
The vet has said he has a very strong heart. That's because his co-masters walk him down and then up Keka'a Drive hill every morning to visit the resorts and sit on a soon-to-be-rented beach cabana chair to watch Trilogy snorkel day-trippers depart each morning.
Kea spends more time at the beach than many residents, who mostly seem to go to and fro to the store or other places unconnected to the joys of paradise. Kea takes up his story in his own words.
Kea Aloha volunteered at Lahaina Public Library with painting contractor Tom Scott of Scott Brothers and co-master Sara Foley during the Rotary Club of Lahaina’s modernization project.
"My first stop in the morning is the Kaanapali Beach Hotel valet stand, where I say hello to my friends Patti, Bobbie, Clayton and Ron (who keeps insisting I need training).
"To let other dogs know I have been around, I raise my hind leg on my favorite signs - one saying 'Stop' and another, 'No Parking. Your Car Will Be Towed by Alii Towing.'
"The ocean used to scare me to death - even the sound of it before I could see. Now it merely frightens me.
"Back home, I like to sleep around. Favorite spots are a doggy bed next to an open window, sofa, lounge chair and cold marble in the bathroom.
"I go to a lot of places, particularly liking the Sunday Drive to Ulupalakua Ranch, where I once heard Amy Haniali'i sing at the winery. I had to stand outside the white picket fence, though.
"My co-masters like to order elk burgers at the ranch store. I have been to Whale Day in Kihei and heard Neil Abercrombie and Alan Arakawa speak at the Maui Tropical Plantation before they won election.
"I don't like politics, though - tired of my masters watching 'Morning Joe' on Tivo and the 'Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' on MSNBC. My friend Tommy thinks I am a conservative, but as usual. 100 percent of the time he is wrong. I don't like Fox either. since I do not like animal channels that put out false 'information.'
"My favorite hangout place is Paia Fish Market, where I sit under a picnic table and watch the masters eat ono fish sandwiches that they claim are the best on the island.
"Must they always eat three times a day? When little, I once took a dump on the threshold of the Paia bikini store, where my of my co-masters likes to sit watching women try on bikinis.
"I have been on vacation to Chicago, but the last trip was harrowing. American Airlines was fine without a reservation. But on a second trip on United flying out of Honolulu, a clerk asked for my reservation, and I had none. We missed our flight, and the co-master had to take me in a cab outside the airport to a freight building and wait six hours for another flight.
"In the evening, I sometimes go for a run with my friend, Parker, a tiny dog who recently broke his leg jumping off a sofa and had to have a metal plate put in. No more incessant ball chasing for him.
"I also sometimes blitz at home around the kitchen counter, the dining table and sofa when the co-master decides to chase me. I could be a great NFL halfback because of my quick moves, since the co-master never catches me. A football is too big for me to carry, however.
"I have become famous, though. I am pictured on the Lahaina Library Facelift Timeline blog, because I served as a volunteer for the Rotary Club of Lahaina modernization project. And I have been praised in a book for not eating the author's manuscript for breakfast.
"Bedtime is around 10. Sometimes the co-master falls asleep on the sofa watching 'House,' and I have to bark to get her to join me in bed with my stuffed pig, the love of my life, who squeaks when I put her in my mouth.
"'So that's all, folks,' as a famous woodpecker used to say. A hui hou and be kind to anyone with four legs. See you at the beach, but not close to the water."