Rosie Chalmers and her dog Hula, who brought smiles to many. (Contributed)

Hula, Rosie Chalmer’s dog, a breed of dogs known as Louisiana’s Hunting dogs, Catahoula, came into my life six months after I lost my beloved hubby Norm. But wait…this is NOT about my life, this is about Hula herself, and about Hula and her relationship with Rosie, Hula’s Mom.

Rosie Chalmers, in her past, has had many dogs; there was one special dog that Rosie and her hubby J.B. had rescued from abusive owners that she named Ralphie. Today, there is a bench in Ralphie’s honor on the grounds of Highlands Park, a park where Ralphie and Rosie walked daily for many of Ralphie’s years.

Looking for another dog to fill the empty void in Rosie’s heart, she learned of two Catahoula puppies off Swanton Road near Davenport, needing to be rehomed. Immediately, Rosie headed to Swanton Road where she found the two puppies who were allowed to roam the fields at will.

In the back of the car, with Rosie holding her new puppy, it was obvious, the new puppy was named HULA.

Rosie has hosted Good Morning Monterey Bay on KSCO Radio every year for the last 32, and is now on the website of Santa Cruz Voice. Hula has been at every show, often voicing her opinions with many hearty “barks.”

Listeners from Santa Cruz County to the East Coast and further, have smiled and laughed at the barking of Hula. Hula brought credibility to the broadcasts, making them real and bringing smiles into their homes.

Oftentimes, Rosie, Hula and I would pile into Rosie’s car, drive off to a local restaurant for lunch, and while stopping at a signal, people—seeing the station’s logo on the car door—would pull alongside and yell, “Is that Hula?…we love you Rosie.”

I have watched Rosie caring for Hula as Hula has aged. Hula aged as do we all…we walk slower, stumble at times, eyesight has diminished, hearing fading. But do we love them less? Absolutely not, we love them more.

Rosie has remembered their times from puppyhood to adulthood. The love and trust that grew between them over the years has been beautiful to watch. I have been so fortunate to have been part of that love between Rosie and Hula.

Rosie lost her beloved Hula, on the morning of Jan. 10, just three short days after Hula’s 16th birthday.

I have learned so much about the love between Rosie and Rosie’s Hula. It is about the human heart; it is about the trust, protection and love we commit to that animal. It is about the love, commitment and protection that Hula gave to her mom, Rosie.

Sweet Hula, Rosie’s beloved best companion and friend.

“All that we love deeply, becomes a part of us.” —Helen Keller

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Colly Gruczelak, a Ben Lomond resident, loves people and loves to cook. Contact her at [email protected].


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