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Pet Pot-purrr-ri: Cool Pet Stuff in Hawaii

Services, Splurges and Curiosities for the modern four-legged friend and other creatures. Plus our consult with a pet telepathist! Plus Plus tips and reflections of a master dog trainer!


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Cat Chaplain


As a nonsectarian minister for people, Jan Schmidt performs weddings and presides at memorial services and funerals. As an animal chaplain, she offers bereavement counseling for cat owners grappling with the question of euthanasia, and she performs gentle ceremonies for cats undergoing it. “I’ll give them a healing touch to calm them,” she says. “I say a prayer as the spirit’s leaving the body, to help them on their journey as they cross over the Rainbow Bridge.” Schmidt, who also runs a homelike cat boarding operation in Kailua called Cozy Cat Lodge, charges nothing for her pet chaplaincy services. Weddings and other services for people, on the other hand, fetch the market rate.

cozycatlodge.com, (808) 261-1101


See more pet photos at Steve Czerniak's website, wagandsnap.com. Pet accessories provided by Cocojor Dog Emporium and Spaw, Calvin & Susie, and Whole Food Market, Kailua.


Possibilities for the Pampered, Departed Pet


Oahu Pet Crematory has a wide variety of pendants that allow a deceased pet’s loved ones to carry a lock of hair or a smidgen of ashes close to their hearts. Get a cat’s ball of yarn, in sterling silver, for $195, or a 14-karat gold dog bone for $840. Cremation not included.

oahupetcrematory.com, (808) 371-7531


At Oahu’s only pet cemetery, set in a section of Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe, about 500 animals lie in eternal slumber beneath granite and bronze markers, which—at first glance—don’t look any different from the markers on the nearby human gravesites. A chihuahua-size plot, with burial vault, casket and a bronze marker, runs $2,390.

valley-of-the-temples.com, (808) 239-8811


For those who just can’t let go, there’s always freeze drying. Unlike taxidermy, which preserves the animal’s hide and discards the rest, freeze drying preserves all the non-organ parts. Freeze-dried Muffy will look pretty much the same as pre-afterlife Muffy, only more still. Frankly, you’re better off letting go. But if that’s not going to happen, Preserved Pets in Moreno Valley, Calif. (nobody in Hawaii does it) charges $250 for a bird or hamster, and $695 for a dog or cat less than five pounds, and on up from there.

preservedpets.com, (888) 298-4434.


Treat ‘em Like a Dog


Longtime Island dog trainer and former American Kennel Club judge Larry Ng, 84, talks about barking, digging and working for 1980s television series Magnum, P.I.


  • Average dogs are easier to train than smart dogs. If you’ve got an average dog, you can teach him to work with you. If you have a smart dog, you always have to stay one step ahead of him. You always have to be coming up with novel things. If you get a dog that’s smarter than you, just get outside help.

  • Veterinarian is a tough job. It’s just like a pediatrician. The baby cannot tell you what’s wrong with it. Neither can the dog.

  • If your dog is barking all the time, you’ve gotta come down hard on him. Don’t manhandle him, but be firm about it. “NO BARKING!” If you’re gonna throw things at him, I would suggest a Coke can. Put some No. 3 gravel in there. Let him know that if he barks, the can comes flying. I wouldn’t bang him with it, but throw it close by. Let him look you in the eye. “NO BARKING!”

  • If your dog is digging holes in the yard, you gotta nip that in the bud. Grab him by the scruff of the neck and say, “NO DIGGING!” You gotta chastise him and let him know that behavior is unacceptable. But if you go over there and talk to him nicely, you’re gonna have a lot of holes in your yard.

  • I think people baby their dogs too much. You should treat ‘em like a dog.

  • I worked at Magnum, P.I. I trained those two dobermans, Zeus and Apollo. Those were my dogs. Their real names were Nohea and Joe. Nohea was the bitch, but she was just as big as the male dog. The director wanted two males, but I said I don’t think that’s going to work. They’ll get ornery and you won’t get anything out of them. He said, “The script says males.”  I said, “When they chasing Tom Selleck across the yard, will you see the testicles and vagina? I don’t think so.” I finally sold him on the idea.

  • After Magnum, I sent Joe to Australia for a breeding program. I said, that’s a good way to end life, enjoying all the females. Ha-ha!

  • There is what we call respect and trust. If you have those two conditions, you’ll get a dog that’s very good. Respect and trust—but never abusive.

  • I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like cats.



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