Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hawaii Kai Dog Walk a Great Success

To celebrate the 1st anniversary of Hawaii Kai's Dog Park, this year's Dog Walk, held June 7, was themed "Off Leash and Loving It" and attracted about 350 dogs and people. The walk was a great success and everything went really smoothly this year - we are getting much better at setting up - my volunteers in registration were great and all I had to do was put out small fires.

The dog walk, which is just over two-miles-long, begins at the makai end of the Hawaii Kai Park and Ride parking lot, then travels mauka on Keahole Street. It turns left onto Hawaii Kai Drive, heads down Hawaii Kai Drive to Kalanianaole Highway and then makes another left onto Keahole Street and returns to the Park and Ride.

A mini route, which is under a mile long for small or older dogs, starts at the makai end of the Park and Ride. It then travels down Keahole Street, turns right onto Kalanianaole Highway, with a slight turn at Hawaii Kai Drive, and returns to the Park and Ride.

Elaine Dobashi, president of non-profit Hui Ilio Hawaii, said, "The purpose of the walk is to provide an opportunity for people and their dogs to exercise and socialize with other people and dogs,” Dobashi stated. “It’s also to raise awareness of the need for dog parks, not only in our community but in all communities.”

Sponsors included Menehune Water, Island Dog, Hawaii Pet Magazine, Bark Avenue, Pet's Discount, Petland Kahala, Hawaii Kai Vet Clinic, Kale's Natural Foods, Pacific Paws Doggie Resort, and Aina Haina Pet Hospital. Proceeds from the walk were donated to support the Hawaii Kai Dog Park, and to Hui Ilio Hawaii.

According to the East Oahu Sun, "Hui Ilio Hawaii, also known as the Hawaii Dog Group, was founded to promote safe, friendly places for dogs and their owners to play, and also to promote responsible dog ownership. Its initial reason for organizing was to establish the Hawaii Kai Dog Park, which the group did through a public-private partnership with the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

"Now that the park is a reality, members continue to support the park as adoptive “park partners,” by recruiting and training volunteer park rangers, as well as sponsoring clean-up days and additional park improvements. Its ongoing goals are to help other dog groups get approval for parks in their respective districts, enhance the opportunities for dogs to receive proper exercise and socialization, and to promote the licensing, vaccination and good-behavior training of dogs."

Hope to see you and your dog at the park this year!

Barbara Abe, Realtor

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