As soon as the cake arrived for the birthday girl, the room erupted in smiles, cries of joy and anxious jumping up-and-down.
It wasn’t a child at the center of the attention but a West Highland White Terrier, or Westie, named Anela.
By this time all her friends knew the drill. Wait patiently, wait your turn, and you would eventually receive a mouthful of this cake of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, made for dogs of such high-quality organic ingredients that their human owners could also enjoy a bite if they desired.
Such events go on all the time at Aloha Dog, a doggie daycare center in the heart of Kakaako for dogs weighing 25 pounds or less.
Owner Manami Ato was moved to create the daycare center after visiting others that welcomed dogs big and small. She worried about leaving her small dogs in the company of bigger dogs that might inadvertently harm them.
The long time dog lover now extends the same level of care to about 50 dogs at any given time. Many of them stay at Aloha Dog weekdays while their human parents are working. Others drop off their “kids” only when they travel.
The humans leave portions of their pets’ favorite foods to enjoy throughout their day, otherwise filled with play and socializing.
As for the level of care, meal times are followed by toothbrushing and naps. Pet owners also don’t have to worry about their dogs ever feeling lonely. When dogs do have to stay overnight, they go home with a human caregiver to keep them company.
And, of course there are the occasional festivities, such as a birthday party, or around now a Christmas or new year party.
It’s a wonderful dogs’ life.
Aloha Dog is at 525 Cummins St. Call 808.591.1727.
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By Nadine Kam