Malia first came into our lives in July 2018 as a picture posted on Facebook related to three Brittany dogs that were flying into SFO from Greece. I knew when I saw her that she needed to be our next family member. The look in her eyes just reached out and grabbed my heart.

I went online to the ABR website to figure out how to bring her home.

I had been grieving the inevitable loss of my beloved Cocker Spaniel Kayla for a couple of months. She was almost 15 and was suffering from arthritis and severe dementia. I spent many long nights up with her as her issues manifested themselves mainly at night. I knew that the best thing for me would be to replace the grief of her passing with love and a purpose.

Sometimes prayers are answered, with a little help from special people like the volunteers from ABR. Just a week after Kayla passed over the rainbow bridge we were able to bring Malia home with us. We knew from the moment that she sat in the back seat of our Xterra with that big sharkie grin that she was a great fit for us.

The best way to describe Malia, which means calm and gentle waters in Hawaiian (lol), is big loveable goof ball. She is very wiggly and her tail is always going. She hates it when we leave her even for an hour, but gets over it by sitting in my leather recliner. She goes nuts when we come home.

Malia has surprised us with what she knows of house and social manners. She’s housebroken, walks well on a leash and has learned other commands like sit, stay, leave it and touch with ease. She knows not to steal food from plates, tables and counters and she is not destructive. She follows me at bedtime and goes into her crate. We believe that her family in Greece must have taught her many of these things and find it hard to believe that she was found as a stray. When we go to restaurants, Malia lays quietly at our feet. If I’m walking her and I stop to chat with a friend she lies down and waits until I’m ready to walk again.

We walk Malia three to four times a day at home, and we take her everywhere with us. She loves all people and is surprisingly gentle with young children. We head out to the local dog park a couple of times a week where she can run and play with other dogs. We have a boat on the California Delta and belong to a club that has a private island. She loves the boat and running on the large grassy area of the island. There are often other dogs and they have a great time…even running along the shore and swimming in the river.

In summary, I think it would be fair to say that our lives revolve around this furry goof ball named Malia, and we are so grateful that we were chosen to be her forever family. We love her to the moon and back.

The Uhlins, San Jose