kaua'i humane society
I'm lucky enough that my mom loves to travel and her husband does not, so I often get to be her travel partner. She's been dying to get back to Hawaii so we planned a trip to Kauai in January so we could go whale watching. Of the three islands I've visited so far, Kauai is by far my favorite - the beaches are gorgeous, everything is so lush, and there's chickens everywhere!
Another awesome part of Kauai is the Kauai Humane Society. KHS is "a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering respect, responsibility and compassion for all animals and enriching lives by nurturing healthy relationships between pets and people on the island of Kaua`i and beyond." They've been serving the island since 1952 as the only open-intake animal shelter, they're no-kill, and their annual live release rate is 96%. They're doing absolutely amazing work on the island, and they have some incredible programs to help with their life-saving mission.
One of these programs is the Field Trips for Shelter Dogs. This program allows anyone to check a shelter dog out for the day - not only do you get to spend the day playing with a pup, but the pup gets to get out of the shelter (which can be an incredibly stressful environment for many dogs) for the day, and the shelter staff gets to learn more about the dog and how they behave in more normal settings.
The pup we had the pleasure of checking out for the day was Adrian, a super cute, incredibly sweet pittie mix. We drove out to the trailhead to the Makauwahi cave system, then hiked down to Gillin's Beach. The car ride was a bit of a wild ride - Adrian was thrilled to be experiencing freedom, and he was a ball of excited energy the whole ride. He loves people and wanted nothing more than to sit in my lap or try to jump up and lick my mom's ear. Once we got down to the beach, Adrian had a blast just racing back and forth in the sand.
Gillin's Beach has a shallow, fairly calm area behind a rock break wall that I took Adrian out into to explore. Adrian willingly walked out into the water, but as the waves rolled in, he was a little bit unsure. He definitely doesn't know how to swim, but with some more exposure to water, I think he'd make a great beach companion, or even a hiking buddy!
Adrian definitely needs a home that's willing to forgive his lack of manners (he hasn't learned yet that he's not always welcome in your lap or that jumping isn't always the best way to greet people). The good news? He's super food-motivated and was quick to learn when we worked on sit and down during our field trip.
While out at the beach Adrian got some exposure to other dogs and horses. He was very excitable around other dogs, barking (playfully) until we moved out of sight of them. He wasn't phased by the horses in the least.
Adrian is still young so he has lots of energy, but after a couple hours of playtime he tired out and was ready to take a nap on the ride back to the shelter. We laid part of the back seat down for him, and he zonked out with his head in my lap.
Convinced yet that Adrian might be the pup for you? Make sure you check him out at the Kauai Humane Society! And for those of you not local to Kauai, check out your local rescues and shelters for other incredible pups like Adrian.