Photos from the first few days in Kauai made it apparent – I don’t know what to do in photos without my adventure pup beside me. Really that’s just true in general; I missed my furry best friend.
I needed a dog fix and Kauai’s Humane Society had the answer – shelter dogs on field trips! The process was simple. We checked their website for the day’s field trip hours and then went to visit the adoptable dogs. Excited barks bounced off the walls like an escaped jar of bouncy balls. Halfway through the row of kennels, we spotted a gentle soul that could use an adventure for the day. We asked a shelter worker if we could meet Naomi one-on-one and he brought her out to a fenced area so we could spend a few moments together before committing to the field trip. Naomi wanted to smell each individual blade of grass, but didn’t mind some ear scratches – we decided she’d be a great trail pup!
We took care of the paperwork and deposit while Naomi got dressed for the outing in her leash and adopt me vest. Then we went over a few rules and got her backpack complete with treats. We weren’t the only ones to benefit from the outing, Naomi was able to practice her social skills, exercise, and get some fresh air.
Their website lists a few dog-friendly destinations all over the island. We wanted to maximize our adventure time so we chose the Nounou Kuamoo Trail on the Sleeping Giant, since it was a quick drive from the shelter.
The trail was easy going at first, then we met a family rinsing off in the creek. The dad mentioned a pile of hiking sticks on the far side of the bridge, we didn’t think much of them until we saw his daughters with mud past their ankles. Hoot and I looked at each other and grabbed hiking sticks then squished our way up to a vista point for lunch. Naomi didn’t have much interest in her treats, but gladly accepted our lunch meat offerings. We continued up the trail to a stand of Cook pines and another vista for a quick photo shoot and then slopped back down to get Naomi back to the shelter on time. But not without a quick dip in the river to clean off, as we joked about a cleaning fee for returning her too muddy.
Hoot summed up our time with Naomi nicely in our field trip report, “She may look like a delicate lady but she was cruising around the super muddy hiking trails at Nounou Kuamoo. Not a single bark and the absolute best on her leash. 14/10, would day trip with again.”
I cannot recommend this enough to dog-lovers visiting the Garden Isle. Who knows, you may fall in love and have to make flight arrangements for the newest member of your family.
Don’t worry, if you aren’t visiting Kauai, other locations offer similar programs! The details and requirements vary, but all have great opportunities for both humans and shelter dogs: