“Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ― George Eliot
Here we honor the beloved animal friends that have blessed our lives. If you would like to submit a tribute, you can do so here or download a submission form and mail it to: Arms of Aloha, Attn: Editor, 970 N. Kalaheo Ave, Suite A308, Kailua, HI 96734.
Amber was adopted into her family two weeks after her parents, Jen and Tom, were married. For her dad, it was love at first sight. In the car ride home, she was named Amber after the color of her beautiful chocolate fur and it wasn’t long until she had completely captured the hearts of her parents and was settled in with her new family.
Her parents were hunting dogs and she was a hunter. Although she was never taken hunting she enjoyed making sure that everything in her backyard knew who was boss. She chased after and caught many squirrels, birds, possums and even a skunk. If you landed in her yard, you didn’t stand a chance against her speed. She would howl at every fire truck that went by. She loved to be in your space, didn’t like to be left out and was always sure she knew where her parents were.
Amber was a talented and quick learner. She could, sit, stay, lay, howl and roll over and she had an affinity for peanut butter and hot dogs. Her specialty was in the game find. If her parents put a hot dog in her yard, she would hunt it down and find it everytime. She loved car rides, playing with other dogs and just being near anyone. If she was near people having a conversation, she would look back and forth like she was listening, almost as if she could understand English. In 13 years, she only met 1 person she didn’t like and she considered it her duty to convey her love to everyone she came across with unending licks.
Amber spread her love (and licks) with no hesitation and her devoted and caring spirit will be greatly missed by everyone who was touched by her love.
Jen and Tom Crown, 01/05/20
14 years and roughly 5600 miles ago a tiny silver kitten was rescued from his home beneath a dunkin doughnuts. No living creature should have to survive on dunkin doughnuts jersey garbage water so Brandon and Levi knew then he was meant to come home with them, if only so they could introduce him to some proper coffee.
Thus Mercury came to the growing family. He and his sister Zeus succeeded in capturing the hearts of Brandon and Levi most completely. Mercury was absolutely true to his name in so many ways. Mercury in Roman mythology was the Herald of the gods and a trickster and when he showed up it generally meant something was about to go down.
The day that Mercury passed Brandon decided to look up the position of Mercury in the sky in the south pacific over Hawaii. Mercury was set to rise at 5:46 am, almost the exact time Mercury had woken them up for 14 years every morning to let them know that breakfast time was in an hour and 15 minutes. Brandon looked up into the sky at 5:46 am and found that the celestial bodies where mercury is were a little dimmer than normal… or wait were they brighter now? Perhaps Mercury is still up there playing tricks.
And so the little tyger who burned so bright is wandering through the forests of the night.
Mercury can now be found chasing shooting stars across the night sky just like he chased lizards across his lanai on earth. He will forever be remembered by those who love him and Brandon knows they will one day be reunited to play fetch with his mouse.
Brandon Burns, 12/7/19
Zeus Xanadu Collins-Burns
(Queen of thunder and lightning, Duchess of shade, Princess of Jersey and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of No- Shenanigans)
Zeus was a strange cat that came to Brandon and Levi under stranger circumstance. She was scrawny and black with a massive head that was matched only by her diva sensibilities.While her name started as a joke due to her white beard and mustache blending into a lightning bolt on her belly, it was also eerily appropriate. She quickly made it known that her owners were actually her loyal subjects.
This was not a cat that would hunt; for you obviously would hunt for her if needs be. This was not a cat who would jump higher than a couch or bed; as you would obviously provide stairs or a ladder if you really wanted her to go somewhere. This was not a cat who liked milk or meat or fish; for she liked only 2 premium snacks – nacho cheese doritos or salted peanuts. This was not a cat who would ride in some pedestrian box while in the car, as she was being driven and would need to ride in the passenger seat, irregardless of human passengers. This was not a cat who would come and sit on your lap out of want for attention; for she was on your lap because you were in her spot. This was not a cat that was overly affectionate; she knew your heart belonged to her. She was just waiting until you realized..
She was many, many things, the least of which a cat. Her last year was fittingly just as unconventional, difficult and interesting as her first. The unexpected loss of her brother Mercury earlier this year was tragic for the whole family and Zeus in particular. Her mild senility would become full on dementia with blindness and hearing loss. While it was frustrating and incredibly sad to experience, there were undoubtedly some profound revelations, meditations, and lessons earned. Near the end she spent a good amount of time rediscovering things as if she were a kitten again, an unexpectedly poignant and beautiful meditation on the circle of life.
Zeus can now be found above, waiting on Neptune for the planned rendezvous with her brother and beloved servants, Brandon and Levi. Only 6 lbs of matter is physically not here, but the density and gravity of her absence is akin to a neutron star (think just shy of a black hole) in her family. She of course still has her on eye on the happenings below and will always keep her family honest and in line
-Brandon Burns, 12/7/19
When Lana was a puppy she pulled out her family’s hedgeliner in one day. A real feat in tenacity since it took them about five days to put it in. Lana chewed all the tops of the hoses off, chewed up all the rubber slippers and salivated and danced on her two front paws in anticipation of a tasty snack.
In spite of her puppy antics, Lana truly gave meaning to the phrase “Dog is Man’s best friend”, or in this case, woman’s. Her forever friend, Teri, recalls an incident that occurred after she had had rotator cuff surgery and had an arm in a sling. Lana was with her and off leash in the park because no one was around when Teri noticed a man a man appear out of nowhere. It was the first time Teri had ever seen Lana circle a man. She crouched low and growled, haunches up, ready to attack. Teri remembers being surprised because Lana was usually very mild mannered and was fine off leash at Kailua beach and at dog parks. Lana knew that Teri was injured and couldn’t protect herself and she assumed duty as Teri’s most valiant protector.
After that incident, Teri always felt peaceful going hiking and fishing before dawn or at night on desolate beaches because she knew Lana would be there to protect her. Teri always knew that Lana had her back and Lana could always count on Teri whenever she was frightened.
Lana’s family will forever thank her for her love and devotion.
-Teri Nishii, 12/2/2019
Mya (Bear) Curtis
July 2009 – June 2019
Mya loved her family very much. She was adopted from a small rescue in Tennessee when Anna was in college and wanted a pitbull. It was love at first sight – and Anna decided she deserved a more beautiful name than the one the rescue gave her, so she named her Mya. Five years later they met DeMont and he joined their little family.
Mya hated walking on metal and would even jump over manholes on her walks. She loved sticking her head out of the window of her car, which would make her sneeze, and going to the beach to chase sticks and play in the water. Popcorn and peanut butter (she had her own jar in the fridge) were her favorite treats. She was an incredibly sweet dog, and Anna and DeMont had to train her to bark and growl when they said “What was that” so that she would scare off bad guys!
Bear was always there to provide her family with unconditional love, teaching them patience, compassion, and loyalty. She will never be forgotten and will be dearly missed.
Anna and DeMont Curtis, 6/14/2019.
April 17, 2007 – May 25, 2019
Juneau joined his family when they were stationed in Washington state. He was named after the Alaskan city which seemed like a good fit because as a white German Shepherd, his looks reminded his family of white snowy landscapes. At first, he wasn’t allowed on the furniture. However, when he was about two years old, he was caught on the bed in the guest room and looked so sweet they pretty much caved after that. From then on, he was allowed to be on the bed to cuddle — as much as you can with a dog weighing 90 lbs!
When Juneau was young, he could run like a cheetah, easily covering a mile in just two or three minutes if you let him. Once, while on a walk, he managed somehow to get away and take off, chasing a bird across a park the size of a football field as it flew away from him. Another time, while Christine was rollerblading with him, he chased a squirrel across a lawn and pulled Christine smack into a tree.
He loved balls and squeaky toys, but he didn’t like to share at all, stealing the other dogs’ toys, putting them on his bed, and growling if they complained. Hot dogs, roasted chicken, and dingoes were his favorite foods. He loved to go on walks and hikes, most recently on the Tripler Ridge trail, where he loved to sniff at everything along the way.
He was the best guard dog, watching the street in front of the house from the second story window where he had the best view. He would bark and scratch at the window whenever he saw people or animals outside. One time the window was open and he managed to push out the window screen, getting onto the roof and running back and forth along the roof barking at people until he was pulled back inside. Although some of the neighbors’ houses had been broken into, not once was Juneau’s house targeted.
He is survived by his caregivers Christine & Mark; Ed & Sue (friends who took care of Juneau in North Carolina for 9 months during a deployment) and dogs Jasmine and Makai. He is preceded in death by dogs Sitka and Sasha.
Juneau was a good boy. Although he had his challenges (he was extremely protective and not well socialized), he was one of the best dogs his family ever had. They love and miss him!
Christine Lang, 5/29/19.
June 23, 2008 – May 13, 2019
Tama was a Husky/Malamute mix given his name after the American Indian word for thunder – it also happens to be the name of a drum maker so his mommy Ashley, who plays drums, thought that it was perfect. He loved his grandma and grandpa and would howl for Grams almost on command. He also loved snuggling with Ashley on cold mornings, playing with tennis balls, playing fetch, and playing hide and seek. Every Christmas he would manage to knock over the tree by accident!
Tama was loved by many – he leaves behind a large family of not just people, but many four-legged brothers and sisters. He will be very much missed.
Ashley Apao, 5/24/2019.
January 22, 2002 – April 23, 2019
Frasier was 8 weeks old when he entered Tanya’s life in her 2nd year of college. He spent 3 years with her until she graduated, then later joined her when she moved permanently to Hawaii. The Hawaiian sun definitely treated him well for the rest of his life. Frasier loved chasing geckos, going on hikes, laying in the sun, and having his belly rubbed. He would chase Paka, a roommate’s cat and the two of them would cuddle and lounge on the futon or lay in the sun next to each other.
Frasier could flip a treat up off his nose and catch it in the air. He would do a funny tap dance with his front paws when he saw his leash was taken off the hook or if the word “walk” or “run” was mentioned. His ears would perk up and he would come jumping to you. On walks or runs, he would literally pee and lift leg on every corner even if nothing came out. He still loved to go on walks in the wagon when his back legs didn’t work too well.
Frasier had the sweetest temperament with his human siblings, Noah and Sadie. He would snuggle with them all the time and when Tanya would change diapers, he would lay on his back with legs in the air.
Frasier leaves behind his Mommy and Daddy (Tanya and Jerrod), brother and sister (Noah & Sadie), Nana & Poppy; many former roommates and friends that would doggy-sit at the house when the family traveled to Pennsylvania during Christmas; fur-friends Cooper, Quincy, Norma Jean, Marley, and Paka; and his Godmother Amy who found him when he was dog-knapped for two days. He joins a few other furry friends at the Rainbow Bridge: Quincy, Cooper, Norma Jean, and Marley.
Tanya Weida, 5/17/2019.
January 19, 2003 – February 26, 2019
Flash came to join Liz and Kiku’s family through sheer determination. He came to their house and started calling at the window to be let in, sticking it out through 40 days of wind and rain! Eventually he prevailed and became an “indoor cat.” They decided to name him “Flash” because he moved so quickly, running off to play and then popping back up suddenly to get cuddles. He loved to give kisses and snuggle, eating salmon, playing with his toys Mousey and Stringy, and playing chase and hide-n-seek. He was very much loved and is deeply missed.
Liz Kam, 3/19.
Fredrick Douglas Anspach
a.k.a. “Freddie Pie, FDA” August 2001 to October 24, 2018
Fred’s owner, Jill, got him when he was just a few weeks old. Jill was 20 years old and in college, and it was her first time living alone. She decided to get a furry companion to help ease her anxiety about being alone at night. She responded to an ad for free kittens and never found the correct address – however, when a neighbor came out to offer help, it turned out they had free kittens, too. And so it was meant to be.
Jill knew she wanted to name him a one syllable “human” name. When she came up with Fred, her brother said she should add “Douglas” on the end, after the slavery abolitionist and author. Fred was always by her side as she graduated and started her career that allowed her to travel to multiple states. It was in Hawaii, about 5 years ago, that Jill and Fred met Tai. After Tai and Jill got engaged, someone asked Jill when did she know Tai was “the one”. Jill responded with, “When I saw how loving and caring Tai was for Fred, especially as in the beginning Fred was very protective and would often bite Tai’s feet. But soon Tai and Fred became best buddies. I think that is when I realized Tai was ‘the one’.”
Fred was lucky to have so many loving people in his life, but especially Jill, Tai, Takako, and Takako’s cat Hana.
Tai was… allergic to cats but loved Fred. Fred’s favorite place to take a nap, no matter what they did to try to prevent it, was right on Tai’s pillow often making sure that he was planted there whenever Tai might want to jump into bed. Fred is also slightly famous as Tai owns a printing company and pictures of Fred standing on a rainbow and wearing a unicorn horn have been printed on everything from pillows to sticker to t-shirts that have literally been worn around the world (by Tai and Jill’s friends).
Fred would always come to Jill whenever she called his name and seemed to know exactly how she was feeling, comforting her when she was sad and always being there for her when she needed him. Sometimes, during dinner when Tai and Jill were eating their meal at the table, Fred liked to jump up on Jill’s lap and then perch himself up on her shoulder so he could look out of the big window to the neighborhood below. In the mornings Fred would often be Tai’s alarm clock by sitting on the bed looking down at Tai and making noises like a pigeon until Tai would wake up.
It’s been a very difficult adjustment saying goodbye to Freddy. He’s been Jill’s best friend for 17 years, always by her side, partners in crime. “Home” was wherever Fred was at. She and Tai will never forget him and will love him always.
Jill and Tai, 10/29/18
a.k.a “Chocolate Thunder, Little Girl, My Little Nugget” April 30, 2015 to September 4, 2018
Sadie was a sweet Shorty Bull survived by Roberta, Scott, Sue, Taz, Mojo, Kaji, Django, and Cha-Cha. She was so pretty, smiled a lot, and wiggled her whole body (throwing back her head to do a short “woooo”) when she greeted her family that they wanted to give her a cute “little girl story book” name, and so they chose Sadie.
She would try to copy the other dogs by sitting up on her haunches, but because she was a bit on the chubby side, she would sometimes fall over. Sadie loved all kinds of food and even linked chewing on the chunky end of a head of Romaine lettuce. She also loved small, soft toys; chasing the laser light; going after birds, and having her belly rubbed and head scratched.
Sadie’s sweet spirit and big smile truly brought out the best in everyone. She is missed so much.
Abrams “Abe” Spangler
Abe brought everyone he met joy and happiness. A true gentle giant in so many ways, Abe had the most loving character you could ever imagine. He will always be remembered for sneaking naps on the couch and sandwiches off the counter. Whenever we would return home, we would hear a loud thud as he jumped off a bed. He’d give us a look to say “I wasn’t on your bed”, but the evidence of blankets in heaps and slobbery pillows would suggest otherwise.
Abe was born in Washington state and had the chance to live there along with Alaska and Hawaii. He was happy anywhere he went as long as we were all together. Abe will be missed by his family and so many that grew to love him. We say farewell till we meet again buddy.
Jefery Spangler, 10/8/18
2003 to 2018
Saying goodbye to Munchkin was one of the most difficult things that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. She was my best friend. This Scottish Fold beauty, who behaved more like a dog than a cat, came into our lives and it was love at first sight.
My son was in second grade at the time and really wanted a pet cat. We looked for kittens for quite some time and then Munchkin turned up at a co-workers house and was brought to the Humane Society and held for a week. Nobody claimed her so we went and signed the adoption papers without seeing her first. She definitely found us.
Munchkin brought so much joy into our lives. No matter what we were doing, she was involved. If my son was doing homework, she would sit on his papers and she would always join in when we were playing a good game of checkers or chess. She loved being around us as much as we enjoyed her company.
Munchkin even decided to jump into my relaxing lavender bath, which didn’t last long once she dove into the water. This happened not once, but twice! She didn’t like to feel left out.
If we were not feeling well, she would always come to snuggle and provide comfort. This was true even in my last hours with her. She was still providing that unconditional love.
Munchkin loved taking a drive in the car. She would sit on the car seat and relax or put her paws on the window and take in her surroundings. And although she was a house kitty, she had to have her daily dose of sunshine where she would lounge on the porch or a grassy area in our yard.
She was a vocal kitty and always “talking” to us. She’d greet me at the door when I got home and expected some treats and snuggles.
I miss Munchkin’s exuberant, fun and silly personality. I miss her constant need to be involved and of course, her warm and comforting snuggles.
In Memory of Pikake
March 14, 2005 – May 8, 2018
Pikake joined her family when Sherisee and her grandma saw a sign advertising puppies for sale at the mall. She took to Sherisse instantly and showered her with kisses – which is how she would always greet her when she came home. Sherisee knew right at that moment that they should be together.
Named Pikake after their favorite flower, she had many outdoor adventures with her family, including surfing, hiking, going to the beach, camping, and traveling. She went to the grocery store all the time and loved playing with her tennis ball – she would even play “fetch” with herself by hitting the ball with her nose! Her favorite food was white chicken. She would heel without a leash and could play dead and roll over, and over, and over. She was the boss of the other two dogs in her family, and always slept by Sherisse’s head on her pillow. She snored like a human and would sometimes lay on her back with all four legs sticking up.
Pikake is survived by her caregivers Sherisse and Kimberly Meyerowitz and their three children Isaac, Joshua, and Angel. She was truly special to her family, and they are comforted by knowing they will be reunited with her someday.
Sherisse Meyerowitz, 5/21/18.
In Memory of Bella
November 1, 2002 – October 9, 2017
Bella rode in the car everywhere with me and was very popular at the Burger King drive-thru and with the plant department staff at Home Depot – Kapolei. (She was a little snooty, however, with the dogs she visited at Petco when we did a treat run.) She sat on my feet while I did paperwork, slept under our bed, and went with me to the beach every morning for coffee and breakfast. On special days, I took her to a beach where she liked to chew rocks and roll in the wet sand. She stood guard for cats in the morning and evening when I watered plants.
Bella was loved by her whole family. She is dearly missed and remembered fondly.
Connie and Mark D., 10/18/17
In Memory of Our Sweet Boy – Milikima
On July 15, 2016 we lost the love of our life and family member, our beautiful Birman cat. Age (16+ years) and failing health took him much too early for us.
Miki adopted us in October 1999, after we lost another beautiful family member Kiliki. It was not an easy transition for Sharon, since Kiliki had been predominantly her cat. But it didn’t take long before Miki began to wind his way into both our hearts and wasn’t about to let go. And, it wasn’t just us that he captured. He never met anyone that he wouldn’t rub up to and purr loudly. A little chin rub or a stroke on his white, fluffy tummy, and you were his BFF forever. When we came home Miki always met us at the door with his “where have you been” meow.
It is one of the most difficult decisions in life to recognize it is time to let go of a pet-family member, even when their quality of life is so noticeably absent and they have told you so. Trying to make the decision on your own can bring about so many emotions that can confuse and bring about uncertainty, even when you know it is the right thing to do.
We’ve shared our story with several other humans owned by pets, and it never fails to bring tears.
Sharon and John H., 9/6/16
In Memory of Vinnie
Vinnie was so fabulous looking plus had a huge personality and of course he knew it! Thus he was clearly full of himself!! He could saunter into a room of one or two guests, or people working on the house, or several people here as company or dinner guests.
He would either:
a). Give someone the stink eye ….with his mind ticking “who the hell are you and don’t even think of taking any of my rooms….they are all mine!”. Or
b). He would allow you to get closer and then he would wrap his big fluffy tail around your leg and let you know you we ok to give him love and perhaps pick him up or he lay on your lap a bit.
With me there was no end to how much love he could share and this such a gift! He would even “pet” me back with tapping his tail on my arm or wrapping it around my arm. He gave me even more these past few weeks sleeping with me all night long on top of me or next to me in whichever position I moved in the bed. He was trying to show me back how much he loved me back and wanting me be ok with letting him go. We went through this process together and he let me know the right time.
Here’s a classic Vinnie story: Whenever I came home (this with two houses) and before I got up the stairs Vinnie would be scratching and banging on the pantry door where his food was. He was so demanding……I wonder where he got this from …haha!!
Here’s another story: When I took Dante in Vinnie was seriously irate, puffed himself up like a lion, then continued to let him know who was boss for 7 years. He even stole Dante’s bed every night, yet he could have my bed at night and any others during the day. Dante was only allowed his dog bed. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this I would scold Vinnie off Dante’s bed. Then Dante would immediately get off the rug and reclaim his bed. One morning I woke up and saw Dante curled in a ball on the little cat bed (like he gave up on getting his own bed back) and took the picture here.
After Dante died suddenly a few years ago I couldn’t remove his bed so quickly but did at some point. For several days Vinnie slept on his own cat bed (which he never used before) and he stared at Dante’s bed as if trying to convey ..”if you come back I will be a better cat to you”. I think Vinnie “secretly’ loved Dante …he could just never “admit it” until too late.
Vinnie came home with me at three months old. He hid from Jezebel and Delilah who didn’t welcome him at first. That changed after a few months and Vinnie ruled from there and they loving him.
I have to say with all of the amazing pets I have loved and lost, Vinnie was the most difficult to let go of and my heart still hurting so much!
Vincenzio the Conqueror November 18, 1996 – July 19, 2016
That was his official name on his pedigree papers. From then on it was Vinnie. Other endearing name was Vinka.
May God bless his precious soul!
Juliana (Mama), 7/24/16
My Trinity Girl
About 11 years ago, we were so ever lucky to have inherited this 3yr old female German Shepherd. She was dropped off at the Humane Society and the papers said the owners could no longer take care of her. She was a perfect dog who became the perfect alpha to 4 other dogs, ranging from a Sheltie, 2 Chihuahuas and a Pit Bull/Sharpei mix. My friends could not believe how the dogs got along in one home, having free range in a fenced yard for sun and exercise. Trinity was diagnosed with cancer about 3yrs ago and survived the odds. She was also diagnosed with signs of arthritis in her spine and showing signs of some type of neurological condition which gradually affected her hind legs and the ability to walk normal. Trinity had acupuncture, swimming therapy, and laser from some very loving techs and vet. She was fed special home cooked meals, even chicken feet for collagen. Trinity continually kept trying to walk despite it becoming more difficult as time went on. She was your typical working dog, always wanting to please her master and always keeping a close eye on her master, me. I would have to leave my bathroom door partially open while I’m bathing so she could peek an eye and knew I was okay. She hadn’t been able to get her hind legs to walk for the past 2 weeks and had experience a severe seizure yesterday morning. I could no longer be selfish and think that someday she’ll be able to walk. I had to save her dignity as a German Shepherd. I decided weeks ago that Trinity would want to be at home when it was her time. We allowed Trinity to eat whatever she wanted to as it was now quality of life and pain management recommendations by Dr. Naun. Yesterday, after the severe seizure, we were faced with saying goodbye. I miss Trinity terribly but I’m okay knowing that she is no longer in pain. Thank you Trinity for bringing much happiness to our family and for keeping the other doggies obedient.
Love you Trinity Girl!
Carol Wong, 11/3/2015
In Memory of Trinity
We just sent our Trinity girl to heaven yesterday. Trinity was a 14 year old German Shepherd who survived Hemangiosarcoma 3 years prior and lost her ability to walk 3 weeks ago. Trinity was a fighter, but her immobility was neurologic and Trinity was no longer able to be her “working dog” self. The decision was very hard because Trinity’s disposition was still good and she seemed very alert. We have had to make this decision to let our beloved fur friends go two times prior and it never gets easy. The feelings are still the same but time truly heals. The pain eventually subsides and good memories of your loved one consume your thoughts. We still remember what a vet tech told us years ago when we had to say goodbye to Mocha and it stuck with us until today. She said, “Letting them go is the most unselfish thing you can do”. It’s hard, but it’s true. To anyone going through this, have faith in your decision.
-Jamie Kurosawa, 11/3/15