Lingle honors isle winners
of ‘I Love My Pet’ contest

Gov. Linda Lingle presented commendations Friday to three national winners from Hawaii in the "I Love My Pet" essay contest, including one of the country's two grand-prize winners.

Second-grader Malia Brooks of Honolulu stood attentively by Lingle's side as the governor read Brooks' poem, "Golden."

The grand-prize essay is an ode to Brooks' two golden retrievers, one of which, Reno, was held on a leash that quickly tangled as the old dog eagerly attempted to greet onlookers.

Lingle read:

"Thanks, Reno, the kind golden retriever. Not because you kiss me all the time when I come home, or because you walk with me to the heiau (temple) by our house, or because you're cuddly as we watch TV together on the sunroom rug. Thanks, because you are my friend, 'cause I don't have brothers or sisters and you keep me company especially when it's raining and cold outside."

Brooks was one of two national grand-prize winners this year.

Also at the ceremonies were two national honorable-mention winners of the contest sponsored by Reading Is Fundamental, a national children's literacy organization.

Melanie Wong of Honolulu wrote her poem about her rabbit, entitled "I Love Roxy."

Leland Kahooilihala, also of Honolulu, wrote "Incredible Lea," exploring the enviable attributes of his dog Lea.

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