I wasn’t sure about going to the beach with Hana. Not everyone likes the ocean with its moving water. Some prefer a calmer surface. That’s why I chose Kalapaki on Kauai’s southeast shore.
Kalapaki is a white-sand beach practically smack in the middle of Lihue. It’s a quarter-mile long with an easy, wide beach tucked behind a protective finger of land, which was once owned by Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani. The area is known as an ancient Hawaiian surf spot, and these days an offshore sand bar provides a decent surf break for beginner and intermediate surfers—not that Hana and I would be surfing. The most important characteristic of Kalapaki for our purposes was its popularity with residents and visitors alike.
And, of course, everyone loved Hana. The two little boys from Oklahoma. A man from the Sacramento area. The woman working at Da Life outdoor store. Two bikini-clad women living in Vancouver, British Columbia were particularly taken by Hana’s charms.
Who wouldn’t be? Hana has a friendly face. Her demeanor is gentle, making her very approachable, even for her size.
But, after spending an afternoon with Hana—we also made a spin through Kukui Grove Shopping Center—I realized Hana’s greatest asset is also her downfall. Hana is not a self-promoter. She’s not an extrovert. She doesn’t gush all over people. She’s just plain too easy-going. And that’s why she’s spent the past five months at Kauai Humane Society
You see Hana is the perfect dog.
• She doesn’t jump on people.
• She is leash trained.
• She is good with children.
• She loves other dogs.
• She is well-behaved.
Ironically, though, the perfect dog doesn’t get adopted.
My friend “Pam the Pettler” works at Kauai Humane Society. Recently, the shelter took in a large number of dogs from an owner who could no longer care for them. In an inventive way to get dogs adopted and make room for the new ones, Pam and her caring co-workers devised two new programs—doggie foster care and doggie field trips.
The shelter cares for 90+ dogs and puppies. (There are cats, too. Currently, 70+.) Another 16 dogs are in foster care, and it turns out many foster parents adopt their dogs.
In addition, last week during a three-day period, some 13 dogs went on field trips. That equates to four dogs a day leaving the shelter to get exercise, to socialize, and to possibly find their adoptive parents.
Hana and I didn’t find her forever home when we went to Kalapaki. That doesn’t mean our outing was unsuccessful. We did run into Dennis Fujimoto, the local newspaper’s staff photographer, and he took our picture. Plus, we talked to numerous people about the program and the many great dogs available for adoption at Kauai Humane Society.
What’s more, Pam says that the program is picking up steam. In addition to kama’aina, visitors who left dogs at home are stopping by to get their fix by taking a dog out. Shelter dogs have gone with visitors to beaches, hiking trails and the island’s east side walking path. And one look at the Facebook page of Kauai Humane Society
, and you’ll see some of these same visitors are adopting their field-trip dogs and flying home with them—some souvenir.
Hana is approximately four years old. She’s a beautiful brindle hound mix and weighs approximately 70 pounds.
Hana needs a home for the holidays. And the rest of her life.
Can you help?