Kalae and Mahana were adventurers in the Last Frontier, their beautiful home state of Alaska. Everyday they used their imagination in the wild outdoors to discover old dinosaur bones hidden in their backyard or new dinosaur eggs about ready to hatch! They also enjoy incredible REAL-life adventures. They summited mountains and camped in the wilderness! They chased waterfalls on several different expeditions! And they experienced the majesty of the Matanuska Glaciers!
From young ages their mom and dad taught them to appreciate nature, take care of the earth, and be responsible in the great outdoors. More importantly, mom and dad always taught them the importance of safety and preparedness.
One day Kalae and Mahana told their mom that they really wanted a puppy. Their last family dog moved away when their sister went to college and the girls missed having a furry friend in their home. They promised their mom that they would take good care of their puppy every single day.
“Every day, huh?” Mom was skeptical. “You’re going to get up bright and early every day to take the puppy out?”
“Yes!” They shouted.
“You’re going to feed him and give him water in the morning? And clean up dog poop?”
Mom thought about it for a while. “Dogs are living creatures, just like you and I. You can’t just play with an animal when you want to and then put him in a toy box when you are done with him.”
“We know, mama,” Mahana answered.
“So can we have one?” Kalae asked.
“Let me think about it for a little bit. It’s a big decision.”
The girls were overjoyed that mom’s answer wasn’t “no”.
It was summer break. The kids were staying up late and waking up later in the day. Mom woke up early the next morning and opened up their curtains. “Good morning kiddos! Puppies need to go outside to potty every few hours. If the puppy needs to go first thing in the morning but you are too tired to get up – what might happen?”
Kalae rubbed her eyes, “The puppy might have a potty accident in their kennel.”
“That’s right. Their bladders are smaller and they can’t control them just yet. So if you guys are serious about being a good dog owner, I want you to do more than just tell me that you will be a good dog owner – I want you to show me.”
So that morning the girls got up, got dressed, brushed their teeth and their hair, and got ready for a “practice” walk with an imaginary dog. They looked really rough that first day but they did it!
Mahana said, “Mama, it’s really hard to get up so early in the morning.”
“The puppy has to go first thing,” she told them.
Kalae sighed, “But it’s not even a real puppy.”
“I understand,” mom nodded, “But how can you expect to take care of the big things, if you can’t take care of the little things?”
“Oh, I will,” Mahana stated. “When it is really important, I will!”
What mom told them was something that would stay in their minds for a long time. She said, “Whether big or small, if something is important to you – you will work hard for it.”
That night, without being told, the girls got ready for bed early because they wanted to make sure that they could get up in the morning on time. They were serious about being really good dog owners.
Some days it was a little harder for the girls to get up. After all, it wasn’t a real puppy that they were taking out for a walk. It was an invisible dog who didn’t really have to go to the bathroom, after all.
So mom put a stuffed animal at the end of a pole/leash. It was still pretend, but at least there was a toy puppy to take care of. “Keeping motivation is hard. No one can push you but yourself. But I know you can do it,” she told them. “Reaching your goal is very much like climbing a mountain. There are lots of obstacles in the way. But if you are committed and dedicated – you won’t let anything stop you. You won’t quit when it gets hard.”
She also said, “It’s ok to stop and take a break. To regroup and evaluate. But you get back up and keep going until you reach your goal, you got it? What is your goal, girls?”
“To have a puppy,” Mahana said.
“And to be a good dog owner,” Kalae said.
And so the girls kept it up.
Everyday. Rain or shine. Taking their little toy puppy on a walk. Because that was important to them.
Now, because mom was very pro-learning, she would show them documentaries of how puppies were born, videos on obedience training, and how to increase brain stimulation for puppies. Everyday they made sure to learn something new. And because mom loved history and science they planned to name the new puppy after a famous scientist.
One day, about 60 days later, mom and dad called them into the living room.
Dad told them, “Girls, you guys have shown excellent commitment to your goal. You have worked really hard and we are very proud of you.”
“Thank you, dad!” The girls said, happy with the compliment because they really had worked very hard.
“Hard work deserves reward,” he told them.
The girls became very excited. They both liked rewards very, very much! They wondered what it could be.
“Come on in!” Mom called out.
Her two big sisters came into the room. And one of them was holding a brand new baby puppy!!!
The girls were so happy and filled with love for the little ball of fluff that they froze for a little bit. Both of them felt the tears in their eyes. They hugged each other and their parents, and then… FINALLY, after such a long wait, they hugged the puppy.
“What’s her name?” Mahana asked.
“Her name is Madame Curie, after the physicist and chemist. The first female scientist to win two nobel prizes!”
The family groaned collectively. “Can we call her Curry?” Kalae asked.
Curry barked and licked her face. Mahana smiled, “I think she loves that name!”