I brought her and what became her little brother Artie home from a shelter in El Segundo back in the summer of 2004 when I was living in La Jolla. They shared a kennel together for a month before I brought them home. They were best of friends, or more like, she was the big sister and Artie was the Peter Pan of a younger brother who chose to never grow up. Laney always took care of him, pinning him down and cleaning his ears on a daily basis while he feigned putting up resistance, groaning and making funny sounds as if it was bothering him. Deep down I think he really liked it.
We were lucky to live in a great apartment building in La Jolla, where we met so many great friends who also had dogs. From Max, Bailey, Newman, Cooper, Napa, and Louis, we were never at a loss for dog friends. The funny thing about Laney, though, is that she was indifferent to other dogs as friends besides her brother Artie. She preferred humans to dogs. My neighbor from Japan would always light up whenever she saw me walking the dogs, saying, "Hi Ottie. Hi Raney!" And the nickname "Raney" stuck for years to come.
For four years, our mornings consisted of an hour at either La Jolla Shores, Blacks Beach, or Del Mar's Dog Beach, with treats to follow, of course! At La Jolla Shores, Laney would hug the sea wall from the parking lot all the way down past the Scripps Pier, rooting out any leftover food sunbathers had left the day before. Blacks Beach was always fun, as she and Artie would dig holes into the hillside between the access road and the mushroom house. On Christmas Day 2006, Artie and Laney along with Bailey, their beagle friend, and Max the black lab mix, dug their hearts out for nearly two hours that morning. Well, Max ran around while the three beagles dug holes. Artie was so tired I had to carry him up the steep access road back to the car parked in La Jolla Farms. Laney, being the true alpha female filled with energy and determination, pulled me up the hill as I carried her little brother to the top! Artie, always the baby.
Speaking of her alpha tendencies. One sunny San Diego evening, Artie, Laney, and I went for a long walk around the UCSD campus housing with my friend Shannon and Max, her black lab mix. We were side-by-side, with Max and Laney each vying for the pacesetter spot in the front of the pack. If Max got ahead, Laney pulled harder to get in front of him. When Laney was in front, Max pulled Shannon to get in front of Laney. This went on for about a minute and before we knew it, we were in a sprint with both Laney and Max trying to take the lead position in the pack. Shannon and I busted up laughing at the little competition going on between the two dogs.
I feel really lucky that her little soul picked me to be her dad for this lifetime. What a joy it's been to learn unconditional love from such a great little girl who was so filled with determination and shared her passion for food with her little brother.
You're going to be missed little girl but I know I'll see you again soon. I can't wait for that day to come.
August 2007 - Cardiff by the Sea, CA
September 2013 - Portland, OR
August 2004 - La Jolla, CA
Christmas 2006 - Wind N Sea Beach, La Jolla, CA
October 2013 - Angels Rest, Corbett, OR (Laney's last hike, always in the lead!)