Hana Needs a Home for the Holidays

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Hana Needs a Home for the Holidays

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai
Nov 30, 2012

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?


Jackie Smith | Dec 01, 2012 08:59 AM

What a fabulous idea and what a wonderful post. . . I am reposting it on my FB page and that of travelnwrite's.

Kim | Dec 04, 2012 09:40 PM

Hi Jackie, thank you so much for your help. When Hana gets adopted, I'll let you know. Happy holidays.

pam Woolway | Dec 05, 2012 06:21 AM

Thanks Kimmy. You nailed it. Hana is perfect. She is still there... Warm aloha friend. See you soon. :)

Morgan Ryan-Angel | Dec 05, 2012 07:03 AM

Doggie field trips is a wonderful program, I am surprised more shelters haven't adopted this yet. We are one of those visitors that took a pup out for the day and then flew home with her to NYC. The more exposure these pups get outside of the shelter, the better their chances of finding their new family.

Brandy | Dec 07, 2012 06:59 AM

I am over the moon to announce that Hana has been adopted & will be leaving the island for Ohio to go home for the holidays. Her new family visited Kauai last March, brought in a stray dog who was never claimed & adopted her. So Hana will be joining another Kauai dog living in Ohio! :)) We are so very happy that Hana will finally get the loving home she deserves!

Kim | Dec 07, 2012 08:59 AM

Brandy, I am crying and laughing and smiling and over the moon with you. I am so happy for Hana. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind since enjoying our afternoon together. She is such a sweetheart, and you and KHS are so wonderful to keep dogs for as long as you do. It's amazing, really. And, now, I'm off to hug my two adoptees from KHS, the best dogs in the world!

Mary | Dec 07, 2012 06:31 PM

I love a happy ending! I had no idea of the program. What a great idea. And how great to see so many comments on this particular blog.

Laura | Dec 08, 2012 12:49 PM

Hi Kim and Brandy, I just want to thank you both for the incredible role you played in helping bring Hana into our lives. I am anxiously counting the days until she lands here in Ohio to start her new life with us! If it wasn't for the incredible blogging, pictures and videos of Hana we never would have known about her. Thank you for working so hard to bring people together with these dogs! Your words have had a powerful impact, even if it is many thousands of miles away!! Peace and hugs to you both.

Kim | Dec 10, 2012 01:16 PM

Hi Laura, thank you for opening your heart and life to Hana. I will be at the airport tomorrow to see her off, and I am sure I will be crying with gratitude and joy once again when I do. What a great holiday season. Mahalo nui loa.

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