POIPU — Amia will be remembered as an adventurous sort. She loved to wander and explore on the South Shore. And she loved to eat. She inspired people.
The chocolate Labrador, who reached celebrity status of sorts around Kukuiula Harbor with her partner in crime, Casi, died last Friday at the age of 15.
“But really, it’s not that sad,” said Greg Shredder, her owner. “The life she lived, and all the people she touched, I’ll never forget. She’ll never be gone.”
In their heyday, Amia and Casi were frequent visitors to the harbor, where they would wander from their home up the street. People petted them, posed for pictures with them and fed them. The dogs sat with fishermen, played with children, checked out the post office, ventured into neighbors’ homes, found their way into stores and even bank vaults.
Their fame grew and reached the Mainland. People sometimes arrived at Kukuiula Harbor hoping to catch sight of these two lovable labs.
“Those were my buds,” Shredder said. “They meant a lot to me. They always will.”
After Casi died three years ago, Amia continued meandering to the harbor. But she was sadder, too.
“She kind of went into remission after Casi passed,” Shredder said.
She grew a little fatter, to the point Shredder put on a “Do not feed me” sign on her. Toward the end, he finally locked the gate to keep her home.
“She was just everybody’s friend,” he said.
Shredder had the dogs since they were puppies. Despite having to pay fines, appear in court and be on the receiving end of some complaints from neighbors in the early years who didn’t appreciate two dogs having a green light to walk around freely, Shredder couldn’t bring himself to keep them tied up or in a fenced yard.
He wanted them to be free to spread their good natured ways. People — most people — liked them, he said, so they were often on walkabouts.
“It didn’t bother anybody until it started getting civilized around here,” said Shredder, who has lived in the same home for 36 years.
“There was a time five or six years ago, a few people were making a lot of noise,” he said.
Complaints about Amia were few in the past few years. If a report came in, it was from someone concerned about a slow-moving, heavy-set dog that seemed to be lost. But she wasn’t lost. Just making her rounds.
“If she felt like cruising, she would,” Shredder said. “She would come and go bark at the turtles or the sharks along the break at the harbor.”
Shredder has owned six dogs in the last 45 years, all labs. He doesn’t plan on adopting more. He is moving after all these years in Poipu and recently sold his home in the area.
It might be a coincidence that Amia fell ill, he said, when he sold the house she had lived in all her life.
“I don’t know how good Heaven is,” he said. “If it improves on this, that’s the place to be.”