This Little Dog Has A Beautiful Soul

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Maui and Linda's Story
After sharing my life with my first Lhasa Apso for almost 18 years, I knew that I would want to get another one someday. I also knew I wanted to search rescues to find my next Lhasa. 

Four years later, I came across an emaciated state-seizure named Savanna. She was 9 months old and had spent her first 8 months in a shed in back of a backyard breeder’s house.  She was an emotional and physical mess, to put it lightly. She didn’t move from the same spot for at least three hours after bringing her into our house. The woman from the rescue had reservations about leaving her because she felt she was terrified. I saw her very differently.

She wasn’t terrified, she just didn’t know anything other than life inside a shed. Everything was new and overwhelming.  I knew it would take a lot of time, patience and understanding to help her leave her insecurities behind. I let her just sit and take it all in as my husband and I did our normal routine.  She needed to see and feel the movements of the house. She slowly approached only me, as men seemed to scare her. We gave her a new name, Maui. Maui is such a beautiful place and this little dog had a beautiful soul, so it fit.

After two weeks I started taking her to work at the animal clinic where I work. The more people and animals she was exposed to, the better she’d be. She had the run of the clinic and was always free to approach visitors, or not, and they were told not to approach her, but to leave that up to her.

Trying to get her used to a leash was a long process. I would use a paper clip and string at first, but she’d vomit.  Now, almost 7 years later, she practically runs the clinic and hikes on a leash like a champ.  She has found her calling in that she escorts most dogs, cats and various other small animals to the scale to be weighed and into the exam rooms.  She usually is in the room to comfort the patients and her specialty is laying with the surgery patients as they wake up. She definitely senses when animals are scared or nervous, and lends her calming presence.  She still isn’t a fan of most men, but has come a long way in that regard too. 

So, I think we are the perfect match. She helps me at work and is my best buddy, and I help teach her to be confident and content.  She’ll be 8 this August and I don’t know where the time has gone, but I wouldn’t trade a minute. 


  • Maui is a great little ambassador for the Animal Wellness Clinic ! She does a super job putting patients at ease, and they seem to love visiting with her…..we love you Maui !!

    Teresa Pfauth
  • Maui is a great little ambassador for the Animal Wellness Clinic ! She does a great job putting patients at ease, and they seem love visiting with her…..we love you Maui !!

    Teresa Pfauth
  • My daughter, with special needs, absolutely, positively ADORES MAUI! Stacey said, “she’s a sweetie pie, I Love Her!”

    Andie Wolfinsohn
  • I have the privlidge of working with Linda at The Animal Wellness Clinic and get to see Maui all the time. The story is excellent and oh so true. We all love Maui. She is such a very special girl and has come a very long way. I’ll never forget the first time she let me pet her….I got so excited. Now she begs to sit on my lap and we even have sleepovers with my two little girls – Chloe and Carlee, two long coat Chihuahuas.

    Gayle McCray

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