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.
In 1897, the first Hawaiian Humane Society officers ventured out on horseback, investigating claims of animal cruelty across Oahu with a newfound legal authority. Apart from acting as physical advocates, they raised public awareness about the proper care of work animals and demonstrated how to conduct humane treatment and feeding.
Today, the Hawaiian Humane Society’s overarching principle remains much the same: to promote the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals. The organization’s staff and volunteers care for cats, dogs, and all animals that have been abandoned or neglected, advocating for animal welfare in the law and among the public. The organization's 30 programs and services include sterilization treatments and educational services, and its animal-cruelty officers have been deputized by the Honolulu Police Department to investigate cases of cruelty and neglect. Though they do not have the power to arrest people, they can mandate veterinarian services and issue citations and court summonses for complaints against pet owners.
After working with dogs for a decade, Donna Heu founded Poi Dogs Day Care & Boarding. She and her knowledgable staffers mingle with pups throughout a 10,000-square-foot facility that gives dogs plenty of leg room. The team watches over pooches day and night, and grooms them with bath and nail trims. To ensure pets play well together, the center is broken up into separate areas so that tail waggers of similar sizes and energy levels can happily congregate. There's also an outdoor area where dogs can revel in the open space.
To owner Jessica Simmons, Precious Paws is more than just a pet project. She studied shelter management at a farmed-animal sanctuary, where she provided health care and companionship to more than 100 rescued animals––dogs, sheep, and bulls to name a few. This, along with being a lifelong animal lover, gives her special expertise in caring for any creature, whether it be a dog, cat, horse, rabbit, or wide-eyed politician. Jessica can provide quick dog walks or more elaborate field trips or home stays.
Oft spotted bearing a contagious grin, Ert staffs his restaurant with like-minded folks who prepare hearty, diner-style dishes “cooked and served with love.” Chefs build breakfast plates atop a sturdy foundation of rice and eggs, incorporating the customer's pick of savory, often unexpected meats, such as hotdogs or Spam. The house specialty, a house-made hamburger-steak plate, causes customers to line up at the window of Ert’s mobile food truck and mail lovelorn letters to the restaurant's unassuming storefront.
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.