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  January 2013 Volume 13 Issue 1  


Hi, my name is Alohi, and Im 9 months old. I live with my puppy raisers, who are a very active family of five. They say Im a very curious and easy going puppy. (Once I didnt even notice that I had a cactus needle in my nose.) Some of my favorite things are:

  • Picking up items (I'm told this will come in handy as a Service Dog)
  • Curling up under small chairs (The smaller the better for napping)
  • Dr. appointments and blood draws with my best boy (I help him feel better)
  • Physical Therapy appointments with my girls (there are cool toys in that office)
  • The beach (Dig, dig, dig....need I say more?)
  • Gymnastics class (I can walk on the beam!)
  • Ice cubes and frozen over water dishes (delicious and refreshing!)

Hardest thing to learn: KISS ONLY WHEN ASKED. (Really.....not everyone loves kisses? Imagine that!)

Aloha Sae! Sae Hokoyama came to HCI as an intern 10 months ago and sadly will be leaving us this month. She is returning to the mainland where she will finish her Master's Degree in Canine Studies before returning to Japan later this year to start her own program. She has been responsible for raising the "A" litter of puppies, expanding the Community Outreach program, leading two Team Training Camps and helping to start the READ program. Sae's big smile, excellent work ethic and great attitude will be missed by all of the staff, clients and volunteers at HCI. We wish her all the best in her future career!


Often after a female dog has raised a litter of puppies, she can make an ideal Service Dog for a child with a disability, since she has developed a maternal and care-taking instinct. This was certainly true for Riley, who was a wonderful mother to the "A" litter and clearly loves all children, both canine and human. Riley has excellent skills and temperament and was recently placed as a Skilled Companion Dog with Jonah, a nine year old boy in Haiku. She is such an amazing dog, says Galit, Jonah's mother. "She not only helps Jonah but has brought so much joy to our entire family."


HCI has begun a R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) Program on Maui with certified R.E.A.D. teams that visit local libraries and help children who may have difficulty reading. The program began this month with four visits to the Makawao library and more visits are planned for the Kihei and Wailuku libraries. C hildren who are self-conscious about reading in front of others relax when reading to a dog because they know they won't be judged. We've had a great response so far, says Tracy Grafmyre, HCI's R.E.A.D. Program coordinator. The children are so enthusiastic about reading to the dogs and always look forward to their next visit.


Some of you know me and some of you I have not met. My name is Hank and I am Casey's retired service dog. I was the first service dog trained by HCI!  I will be 15 years old on January 29. I am blind in one eye and a bit hard of hearing but I still have a very cute girlfriend, Abby. I am enjoying my 'golden years' of retirement with Casey's family. I am having the time of my life after over 12 years of dedicated service to my pal Casey. Gabe you have big paws to fill!" Woof, Woof... Hank

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