Big dogs! Little dogs! Fluffy pups! Puppy pups! Dogs of all shapes and sizes gathered at Bark in the Park in Our Kaka‘ako this past Saturday, January 22! Our first event of the year brought dogs and dog lovers together safely to enjoy the sun and fresh air and learn about pet wellness and safety.
Our friends at Orangetheory® Fitness organized a fun, heart-pumping pet workout, gathering plenty of participants and onlookers. The crowd cheered as each owner and dog completed the obstacle course. While holding their dogs as free weights, folks did squats, back raises, chest presses, and sit-ups. Some of these dogs were big armfuls of fur, so it was a real sweat sesh. The class also included jump squats and planks while booping the snoot of the furry workout partner, then a cool down with stretches.
Aloha Crisps, Doggie’s Donut Bakery, HakuAi Designs, and PORTS + PAWS joined us for the afternoon, offering pet treats, gabber gear, and dog accessories. We also had 1938 Indochine, Pitch Sports Bar, and Starbucks at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako running Yappy Hour specials for the pet-loving crowd.
Throughout the day, our friend Phil Reller, president of the Community Kōkua Foundation For Fire Safety And Recovery, held informational talks as well as a longer talk story session about the Eddy Project For Pet Fire Safety that we live streamed. He shared the personal history behind the foundation—it was started in response to a condo fire in 2017, in which his brother, mother, and their family dog Eddy were victims. Driven to ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again, Phil and three others founded the Community Kōkua Foundation and the Eddy Project—because it takes a community to heal and make change.
The Eddy Project distributes free pet fire safety information cards along with stickers you can put on windows and doors to let firefighters know there are pets in your home. Phil handed these resources out at the Community Kōkua Foundation tent, but you can also grab them at participating pet stores, hospitals, and groomers.
During the talk story, Phil invited a fellow member of the Board of Directors, Aleksandra Tošović-Yamashiroya, PsyD, to speak on the impact of losing a pet. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, she is familiar with helping people through their grief, which is just as devastating when you lose a furry family member. Knowing the kind of hole losing a pet can leave in our lives, she and Phil counseled that we need to invest in emergency preparedness to avoid preventable tragedies.
We love our pets as part of the ‘ohana, and it’s up to us to keep them safe and healthy with exercise, nutritious food, well-fitted gear, and plenty of cuddles. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Community Kōkua Foundation, visit their website and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mahalo nui to our partners who helped us pull this event off successfully and the Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association for their sponsorship! We plan to hold Bark in the Park again, so if you’re interested in participating as a vendor, please email us at email@example.com. And a big mahalo to everyone who came by, including all our new four-legged friends. We hope you had as much fun as we did!