Friday, December 5, 2003


Chester, a 17-pound cat featured in the "Pets in Paradise" calendar for the month of December, 2004, is the "king" of Lisa Ito's household. Celebrate your feathered or furry royalty by attending "A Celebration of Pets" on Thursday.

Enjoy 2004 with
‘Pets in Paradise’

Now in its third year, the "Pets in Paradise" calendar is an expression of love for pets by their families, as well as a source of joy for the Hawaiian Humane Society and funds that help care for animals at the shelter.

More than 900 pet photos from Hawaii pet lovers were submitted for the full-color calendar featuring 14 full-page pet-of-the-month images and collages of hundreds of other dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, lizards and more.

"Once again the photos sent to us were just a delight," said the society's president, Pamela Burns. "It's clear to see how thoroughly well loved most pets in Hawaii are; it was very difficult to judge which photos to feature."

Ginger, a 5-year-old retriever mix who just happens to have been adopted from the shelter, is pictured on the calendar's cover. Ginger's owners, Gary and Amelia Yokoyama, of Honolulu, call their dog "a blessing." Their close friend John Nakagawa took the winning photo of Ginger posed regally in swirling surf.

"Though Ginger was a bit shy when we first brought her home in 1999," Amelia said, "she has turned out to be a bundle of joy, always loving and affectionate. She is happiest when she thinks she's pleased us."

Suchi Psarakos has submitted several photos of her cats each year and was thrilled when a photo of Cleo was chosen for the January 2004 page.

"I visited the Humane Society's Cat House several times while looking for a kitten in the spring of 1999," said Psarakos. "One tiny kitten climbed into my lap and immediately started purring. ... She seemed so comfortable. I was told that she began her life as a feral kitten who was socialized by a cat caregiver.

"She went home with me that same day. ... The kitten actually chose me."

These days, Cleo enjoys a wonderful life safely indoors at the Psarakos-Ramm home with another cat named Oscar and the newest addition, baby Eva Ramm.

Stephanie McLaughlin submitted a winning photo of four smiling dogs wearing leis, which illustrates May, the month that begins with Lei Day. McLaughlin's two papillons are best buddies with her next-door neighbor Jennifer Timpe's two Dachshunds. Dog cookies are the favorite treats of these four dainty canines that love to walk together with their humans around the neighborhood before dinner time.

Ronald Schaeffer's black cat B.J. Kitty, poised on an American flag, was chosen for July; Cindy Nakamura's green Eclectus parrot Jerry is the August pet; and Emily Gardner's bichon frise Toby floats in his own pink raft for October, Love-a-Dog Month.

Though the judging was done strictly by looking at the photos, several of the featured pets were adopted from the Hawaiian Humane Society, including Miki, the dog pictured for November 2004.

"When we first brought Miki home from the shelter, he bounced from chair to chair and zoomed around the yard," said Loriann Hong. "So we named him after the Hawaiian word that means 'quick and nimble.' Miki is a friendly, loving people-dog who will never hesitate to hop into your lap when you sit down and nudge your hand to be petted."

The calendar's other featured pets include Tama the Pomeranian, from Dr. Jerald and Betsy Takesono; Gracey the dog, from Tim Rhea; cat Kiki-bell, from Crystal Kim; dog Sheila and cat Choco, from Joanne and Michael Parker; Anna Pavlova the cat, from Bridget Zuver; Leo the cat, from Estrelia Lohmeier; and Chester the Santa cat, from Lisa and Daryl Ito.

The 2004 Pets in Paradise calendar is priced at $10 and available at Hawaii Doggie Bakery at Ward Warehouse, Bark Avenue in Hawaii Kai, Crazy Canine in Aiea, Dino's Doggie Deli in Kailua and Yuppie Puppie in Salt Lake, as well as the humane society's customer service desk. They can also be ordered by phone using a credit card and including $2 for postage. For more information, call 946-2187, ext. 213, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

To help pet lovers further celebrate their companion animals, the humane society will hold a special tree lighting ceremony, called "A Celebration of Pets," 6-7 p.m. Thursday. Bring a 3-inch photo of your pet to make a custom ornament or have one personalized with your pet's name for a $5 donation. Ornaments can honor your current pet or remember a beloved animal. The tree will be lit nightly during the holidays.

"Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. Its offices are at 2700 Waialae Ave. Call 946-2187.

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