Dog of the Sea

Being woken up at 7 a.m. on January 1 is not always the greatest way to start the year, especially if it is after a night of revelry. But in Larry Dell’s case, as his thoughts went from confusion to panic to relief, it was a welcomed early morning phone call.

The call was to inform Dell that his small black-and-white, 10-year-old dog, which he calls “Come-Heres,” was safe and sound on Maui. Dell was surprised and relieved to hear the dog had made her way onto the Molokai Princess ferry and celebrated New Year’s Eve with a free cruise on the Pailolo Channel. 

New Year’s is not generally Come-Heres favorite holiday. The small dog with a big fear of fireworks started her journey because she was spooked by the traditional celebratory explosions. Everyone involved figured she went to where was comfortable – the Kaunakakai Wharf, which she often frequents – and happened to make it onto the ferry as it was leaving for its daily 4 p.m. trip.

Dell lives on Manako Lane in Kaunakakai, just a short distance from the wharf. He always knew his dog liked the wharf. A few years ago he got another call, this one from Kaunakakai Wharf. Dell was on Maui and Come-Heres was not-so-patiently waiting at the wharf for Dell’s return.

Dell said he had no idea that his dog was even missing until his rude awakening the following morning. 

“Around midnight I noticed she was gone, but I thought she was hiding under the house,” Dell explained. He knew she was scared of fireworks. “I should have had her tied up I guess.”
But Come-Heres is a wandering dog, who likes to explore and has made friends with people who, like her, spend time at the wharf.

Dell got a call from the captain of the ferry that day, who found Dell’s number on the dog’s collar. He said they found his dog on the boat and they’d be returning him to the correct island at 9 a.m. Dell was there waiting for her.

“I brushed her down real good. Gave her a lot of love and food,” he said.

David Jung, manager of the ferry, said he doesn’t like to use the word ‘stowaway.’

“It all boils down to a little white dog; even if there had been a gate, dogs are famous for wiggling between fences,” Jung said.

For all her experience, Come-Heres was a very lucky dog that day. She wasn’t hurt at the wharf or found in the ocean, and was taken care of during her night in Maui.

“I’m real thankful for the crew members and captain of that boat for taking care of her for me,” Dell said.


For Come-Heres hypothetical point of view, read this version of the story:


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