Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Tribute to our Favorite School Dog: Maya

In Memory of Maya Angelou Monhegan Obama Campbell

AKA: BONGOS, Littles, Wiggles-Worth, Naughty-Pants, Missey, Pooh Bear, Mai - Tai, and Butter-Bandit

2011 has gotten off to a rough start for the Mohegan School. A couple days before Christmas my beloved best friend and companion, and our fabulous school dog, Maya, passed away. It was extremely unexpected and sudden. She did not suffer and was actually playing and running and loving life up until the moment she died. We think she was just too happy and loved life so much that her little heart couldn't keep up with all the love and joy she had. The reality of missing Maya is heart-wrenching. She was such a tangible energy at our school. The loss is great and difficult, but we find comfort in reflecting on the oh-so-fabulous life she led. Even in the sadness and grief we find ourselves laughing and smiling as we tell stories of her at school rolling around on the bean bags or dragging her little bottom outside on the school yard. She loved school and she loved us and she just loved life. We love and miss her very much.

Today we had spent some time today to write and reflect. The boys wrote poems and I wrote miss Maya a letter.


Maya thought she was a lap dog

and she liked reading books with me

but the one thing she liked better then all....

was a tennis ball

she was a really healthy dog

but I guess her spirit was faster then her and rushed right out

faster then the wind

she was not always that bright

but she was wonderful dog

and she will always be in our hearts.

By Q.A.B

The Retriever

By Dalton

Happiness radiates from the golden fur

Which the sun lights with rays of color

Focus faces the green orb of importance

As it leaps into the sky of everlasting blue

Never tired until the day is done

For everyone is a friend that loves to play

No one understands the want to talk

And the want to protect

Everyone understands the want for a treat

And the want for a friendly face

Kisses and comfort must be given

To assure that everyone is alright

Down the gray street onto the brown path

Is the way everyone wants to go

Friends and Family

Play and Ball

Treat and Walk

Wetness and Dryness

all equal

Everlasting Happiness

Dedicated to the memory of:

Maya Angelou Monhegan Obama Campbell

AKA “Bongos”

Dear Maya,

I miss you. I miss how you slept on the back on the couch like a cat and would sit with your little head on the window sill yearning to go out a play with anyone and everyone who passed by. I miss how you would jump down and wiggle over to me as soon as you would hear me grab your collar from the hook because you knew it was time for “work” and soon you would get to see your “kids”.

I miss our walks to and from school where you would strategically leave tennis balls every hundred yards so you could pick up and drop them off as we walked down the road together. Even on rainy days or grumpy days or cold days... you made me happy to get up and walk to work.

I miss how you would sleep at my feet while I worked in the morning and then would start pacing the school at 7:30 because you know the kids would be coming soon and how you would bark, and whine, and wiggle as soon as you saw them coming up the path. I loved how much you loved them. They loved you too and still do, so much.

I miss hearing your little feet trit-trot all over the school and hearing the boys call your name when they were sad or frustrated or bored. I miss how you could always make us laugh as you would sleep up side down or attack the bean bag chair or randomly begin ripping up items you found in the recycling bin. I miss your smile and the black spot on your tongue. I miss your wispy tail and the way your ears would get all crimpy when they got wet. I miss all the joy and energy and love you brought to our school. It is still here though as we talk about you and remember you and love you.

I miss how you would sit in front of the school house in a proud and protective state, knowing that it was your duty to guard us from evil-doers and unknowing tourists. I miss watching you make everyone you saw smile and laugh, hearing people call you “Bongos,” and watching you run and play. I miss loving you although that has not stopped, it feels different now that you are gone.

You had the best life a dog I could ever have hoped for. Part of that is because of where we lived, and part of that is because of the people who loved you, but another part of that is just who you were as an animal, a spirit, a being. You taught me to play hard, sleep hard, and love hard. To do everything with all of your being. To make the most of every, single moment... to love people (unless they yap just a little too much) and to never being anything but yourself.

I miss you so much, my little naughty-pants. You brought so much happiness into my life. You were the best dog I could ever have imagined. Thank you for being mine and letting me and so many others love you.

Love you forever and always and then some,


Thank you Maya... for being you.

We love you and carry you in our hearts.


  1. I am so sorry! This must be so hard for the students. You are all in my thoughts today. Maya would not want you all to be sad... so it's good for you all to remember the many ways she made you smile and laugh. Peace.

  2. Oh this is sooo sad for all. Iunderstand. Many of us do as we have loved...LOVEd our dog and lost them too. But, her love will watch over all of you, and her spirit of joy will live on in you too. There are so many rescue dogs out there and so someday, one of them may be waiting for you, never to replace Maya, but only to give back the love to you all.
    I love reading your blog and you lift my heart up with all the wonderful things you all accomplish. Your friend ,
    Sabrina from Portland ( I was with you and Randy the juggler last April!)

  3. i will miss seeing the girls,maya and mandy,playing, walking down the road, hanging at the black duck or just laying around waiting for someone to play with them.....or in general just looking for attention. i will miss seeing maya and her precious teddy- i saw teddy only a few times, but who doesn't love a sstuffed animal (me included). i will really miss the idea of seeing her there, anywhere, everywhere in all of her golden beauty, as only goldens can. i'm so sorry for your loss as my sister's goldens, max and taffy, have been the bestest and most loving dogs i've ever let into my heart. your tribute is just beautiful and full of life - and in her pictures, as in life, she had a smile. how perfect. with memories from a monhegan visitor

  4. The boys and I are so sad to hear about Maya. Every day they both say how they wish this did not happen and wish they could have seen her again. We did not know her for long, but my boys fell in love with her as she seemed to have such a special love for children. I believe her spirit will be with the school and the Black Duck forever. Dylan and Wyatt

  5. even though I only visited Monhegan two times, I remember how much fun Maya loved to have chasing those tennis balls! Now she is at the Rainbow Bridge chasing balls and playing with all the other dogs and cats.

  6. Beautiful poems and letters! I'm so sorry that you guys are all going through this, but I'm glad you have each other to keep one another company when things get tough.