Monica Shigenaga used to dress up her american staffordshire terriers, Coco and Jordan, because it seemed to make all three of them laugh. Soon she realized that well-designed apparel could solve canine problems as well. She created cooling vests to keep her show dogs from panting wildly during training sessions, and before long, she was also making dog-size muumuus, surf shorts, and aloha shirts. Since then, her canine fashions have appeared on runways in Japan and on the Today show in the United States. They can also be found in a boutique at Cocojor Emporium & Spaw, Monica’s upscale dog spa and boarding facility, which is named for her two beloved pups.
At the spa, dogs can visit groomers for stylish haircuts and baths featuring all-natural shampoos and conditioners. Here, dogs can try Monica’s other signature product: Micro Bubbles, a bath add-on that fizzes away dirt, dead skin, and odor-causing bacteria while massaging the pup’s skin. Nearby, pups can grab treats at the Barkery, where bakers handcraft organic biscuits and dog-friendly birthday cakes. Overnight guests and doggy-daycare clients can enjoy these snacks between naps, walks, games, and cuddles from the facility’s caring staff. To make stays at the spa as relaxing as possible, a chauffeur can pick up VIP visitors or sing them lullabies in their native howls and growls.
Animal-lovers at Calvin & Susie cater to four-legged customers, stocking premium chow, toys constructed from safe materials, and an array of wag-worthy gear. U.S.-made and durable toys such as floating throws, chews, and stuffed animals entertain dogs, and kittens can paw a Fling-ama-string cat toy ($30) or muse over back issues of The New Yorker. Calvin & Susie’s homemade treats ($7) incorporate crisp, human-grade ingredients and come in pooch-pleasing flavors such as peanut hearts and bacon bones and strips. Happy hounds dip muzzles into premium dog food, such as Great Life dry buffalo kibble baked without filler and animal byproducts ($47/17 lbs.). Bubble Shack dog wash ($12/16 oz.) and Nordic Naturals pet supplements ($15) maintain coats healthier than Olympians' track jackets, and shelves of gear for birds, fish, and bunnies keep smaller pets well-stocked with tasty nibbles.
The Gunstock Ranch has been a part of Greg Smith's family since 1973. Born and raised in Kailua, Greg grew up helping his father on the ranch, and today, he helps his five children with rodeo practice and 4-H studies. The local rancher leads a staff of experienced wranglers who share intimate knowledge of the land on a variety of scenic trail rides through the 650-acre property. Visitors explore winding paths through the Koolau Mountain Range like traditional paniolos, Hawaiian cowboys, and catch stunning views of Oahu and the ocean in the bright light of day or the warm glow of the setting sun.
Expanding beyond equine excursions and care, Greg's wife, Kyndra, brought swimming lessons and aquatics to the ranch as a way to help children in the community and disprove the myth that you can bring a horse to water, but can't make it swim the breaststroke. The ranch's gentle horses and aboveground pool also make the Gunstock Ranch an all-encompassing destination for children's parties and special events.
Because dogs often think they're people, Pets in the City treats them as such with doggie daycare that resembles a boarding school, complete with lessons. Pet parents drop off their charges for a day of fun and learning that starts with homeroom. After homeroom, dogs typically break off for breakfast, either eating what their owners sent from home or the cafeteria's tasty organic kibble. Throughout the day, they bound through a schedule that interweaves two to four walks and socializing with class sessions in agility, basic training, and advanced calculus. At nap and nighttime, they bunk in private spaces.
Puppy parents can also schedule spa treatments, all performed with gentle Pacifica products. The experienced groomers on staff safely trim nails and dislodge dirt from fur with soothing baths. Add-ons such as conditioning treatments, blueberry facials, and flea dips ready pooches for a showdown with the dog that lives in the mirror.
The eponymous Connie Gayle performs every treatment at Connie Gayle Beauty Center, leaning on her 25 years of industry experience to customize each facial, nail, waxing, and hair treatment to the needs of her clientele. A registered nurse and cosmetologist, Connie’s studies in Europe and the United States went into engineering a proprietary line of skincare products, many of which contain natural botanicals sourced from island ingredients. Blends of papaya, seaweed, and cucumber extracts team up with modern resources, such as elastin and pineapples harvested by robots, to buoy skin color, texture, and tone.