Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Letting Go

Posted by todblog on September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012

The spring of 2011, was Jacob’s last year of playing varsity baseball for Umpqua Valley Christian School. It was tough to watch him win the League Player of the Year Award and hang up his cleats to pursue other interests. Baseball had been a big part of his life and mine too, watching and supporting him since he was a little rug rat. It was a fun journey competing and traveling to far away places to chase the white ball and run the bases. We spent many hours in the backyard batting cage working on his swing. Baseball provided structure in Jacob’s life and kept him out of trouble for a lot of years and provided him focus and a sense of purpose under the direction of a very loving high school coaching staff. Coach (Pastor) Dave York and his staff truly loved their boys and approached the game as you would life with its ups and downs and struggles. Upon receiving Jacob’s senior end-of-season awards, Coach York spoke of Jack (his baseball name) as a hard worker who went the extra distance to improve at his game. He had the sweetest swing on the team and had worked at it over the years (with extra help from the Swing Doctor- Jerry Stone). Coach went on to say, “I think Jack has the stuff to go on to the next level but, he has chosen to go to OSU and be a chemical engineer. I respect that in a person who can walk away from the game because I can’t!”

Most parents just want their kids to have opportunities to have positive experiences and to excel at what they do. Jacob has done very well in his baseball career and now he has decided to move on to do other things. I’m proud of his accomplishments and what the game and his coaches have taught him. Now I am just one of the parents in the stands watching a field of young boys and reminiscing about the days when my son was out there pitching, fielding liners to 3rd base and crushing the ball for extra bases. Looking at a baseball field stirs up a lot of fond memories for me and at times takes me back to a little boy hitting off the Tee at Waimea Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. “Atta Boy- Run Jacob Run!!!” He may be done playing baseball but, my job as an encouraging parent goes on.

See the 2011 UVC Baseball Movie Trailer at

Batter On Deck- timing the pitcher and swinging with purpose

Someone is about to get gunned down at first…

Bringing It!!!

Hitting it on the screws!!!

Jack scoring a run on a great read. I think coaches are happy…

Coach York trying to keep Jack loose

2011 UVC Baseball Coaching Staff (l to r-  Brandon Howren, Dave York, Brian Ferguson, Andrew Renyer, & Joe Gather )  Men who love the Lord, the game, and growing their boys.

My “spot” in the bleachers video taping the games

Last 2011 home game for UVC seniors

Then there was the painful day that all dog owners dread and that is the day you have to say good-bye to your devoted family member who has loved you unconditionally all those years. That was in July of 2011, when Mele ceased to function as her playful self. The lymphoma had spread rapidly in her body and she stopped eating and getting around was too painful. She would lie on her pillow and wag her tail as you looked at her but, there was no getting up. It was difficult to watch and even more difficult to have Jeanine call the veterinarian. We all gave Mele hugs and kisses as we left the house that morning knowing she would not be there when we came home at the end of the day. The veterinarian came to the house, checked her condition and agreed it was time. Jeanine took a walk in the garden and balled her eyes out as the veterinarian and his technician released Mele from her agonizing battle with pain.

She was a great dog, companion, and a friend to all. She was born in Waimea and registered with the American Kennel Club as a German Short-haired Pointer named Puukapu Pandamonium. She loved to bird hunt and was a very sneaky dog. Just when you thought she was nearby she would sneak off to explore the neighborhood. If you caught her sneaking off, often she would look at you, turn around and keep going- maybe faster. Talk about aggravating. She was gonna go and come back later but, on her own time… the little sneak. All that aside, she was a lover girl whose docked tail was always thunking on the ground as she looked up at you wanting your affections.

Her ashes are now on the mantle place awaiting a final trip home to the big island of Hawaii where we’ll scatter them on Mauna Kea where her mother Ipo (AKC- Waimea Wigglewart) rests. They both hunted hard on the slopes of Mauna Kea for chukar, quail, Erckel francolin, and pheasants. It will be a sweet homecoming for her.

It’s been over a year now and I still think of her whenever I’m in the field and see game birds running around or see hunters working their dogs in search of birds. I smile at those thoughts and remember all the birds she found, pointed and retrieved for me. She was at her best when we coursed the fields and woods together in search of the next covey. Watching her lock-up on point and her watching me out of the corner of her eye as I approached was a precious unspoken moment. I also remember the occasional dirty look she would give me when I pulled the trigger of a shotgun, maybe multiple times, and the bird she had worked so hard to find for me would keep on flying.

Somehow I am not ready for another dog just yet. Maybe one day. The only thing wrong with dogs is that they don’t live long enough. Their time on earth with us is just too short. We can all learn from them and how they pour their love out for us with steadfast loyalty. I once saw a cartoon about the different attitude displayed between a dog and your wife that are both locked in the trunk of a car. Upon opening the trunk, one will beat you to a pulp when they get out while the other will lick you and wag its tail.

My heart aches for that sweet loving dog who gave us a lot of joy. We miss you so very much Mele girl.

Mele, Jessy & Ipo in Waimea, HI

Mele giving me the look,…”Birds ahead, don’t miss!” – Kahua Ranch, HI

Mele loved being with us on the boat- Cleveland Rapids, OR

Skater Boy Jacob & Mele playing in the snow

A great day in the field!- Denman Wildlife Area Youth Pheasant Hunt

A boy and his dog going for an afternoon bird hunt, such a special moment.

Jessy saying goodbye to Mele one last time

So, 2011 was a bumpy year and I’ve taken a break from blogging but, I’m trying to rev up my creative juices and get going again. Thanks for being patient.


9 Responses to “Letting Go”

  1. John Whitman said

    Another great story Tod. I have some great memories of Ipo and Mele also , even when they chased our cats through the house,I know you feel guilty about that one but all and all it was pretty funny! I also remember how my mutt would steal Ipo’s perfect points.


  2. Rick said

    Well Done
    ALoha and prayers


  3. Cheryl Kubo said

    Hi Tod! Thanks for sharing these two beautiful stories with us. As a parent of a son who is a college freshman this year (Torin is at the University of Portland studying Civil Engineering.) and a true dog lover as well, you certainly brought tears to my eyes and many bittersweet and precious memories to my mind. Well, now I’m off to give my own dogs some much deserved hugs and kisses.


  4. Pili said

    Only LOVE…….that’s always the answer!


  5. Lemberger said

    Hi Tod, We sure enjoyed your blog…Jacob is grown and Jessica is almost there! Unbelievable! So sorry you lost Mele..brought tears to my eyes. Yes, It is so hard when we lose our pets. Some people don’t think you should get so close to them……….but why have them if you don’t. Right? Still hard to take. Bruce and I wish you and the family the best…(Our oldest grandson, Mike (Julies’ oldest) got married on Saturday)…


  6. David said

    thanks Tod for putting out the effort with computer stuff, fam, and all.
    You are all welcome to visit us and stay . No need bring nothin but yourselves.


  7. sharon said

    It’s good to hear from you. I’m so sorry about Mele–I guess she can go and play w/my uncle’s dogs at the rainbow bridge. Is she part of my uncle’s litter?


  8. Carol said

    Dang, I made it all the way through the touching story without tears. Then I saw the last picture of your daughter saying goodbye. It’s a beautiful story Tod.


  9. Karen said

    Takes lots of courage to put those feelings into words. Thank you for sharing and even for the tears. It’s taken me this long to write back. Blessings and aloha to Jeanine and the kids.


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