Hi everyone!  My sister Tasha and I have been the proud new owners of Hawai`i Doggie Bakery for quite a few months now and I just realized that we never really properly introduced ourselves!  Well then…hello!   😀

Owned by a Shiba — Niki & Katsumi Firefox!

My name is Niki, and this photo you see is me with one of my dogs, a Shiba Inu named Katsumi Firefox!  Besides loving and appreciating her for all the unconditional love she gives me as a wonderful companion, I have to say without Katsumi, I would not be the lucky new owner of Hawai`i Doggie Bakery.

Me and our family dogs — a million years ago!

Katsumi is the first dog I ever had of my very own.  I grew up with dogs my whole life but never had one that was just mine.  There’s just something about having a dog that isn’t shared with your parents or siblings.  For me, having a family dog was fantastic but I didn’t make that real connection – I didn’t become a “crazy dog lady” until I had one all to myself!

When Katsumi joined my household, she was a real handful, lemme tell you.  She came from a very fearful background and we had to do a lot of training before she stopped growling and trying to bite us all the time.  But we stuck with it, eventually gained her trust and I fell in love!  I was determined that Katsumi (and later, her sister Kuri as well) would be a “good dog” and enrolled in many, many, many obedience and dog behavioral classes.  I spent hours on the internet researching the best food, dog supplies, grooming tools – I joined forums for Shiba Inus, read books, watched videos – and I started to really appreciate what it meant to have a dog and to care for her properly.  I thought to myself, “this silly little furry thing brings so much joy to my life.  It’s the least I can do to make her life the best life I can make it!”

In the meantime, shortly after we got Katsumi, we began looking for a Shiba Inu Club to join.  We couldn’t find one, so we decided to start one!  It began as just a website with stock images of Shibas, and a few quick blog posts.  Then we went to our very first Pet Expo and stalked—I mean, met a lot of Shiba Inu owners.  We handed out these awful business cards that basically just said “Shiba Inu Hawaii,” but we were so set on creating a successful club that we didn’t care!

Shiba Inu Hawaii July 2012 Playdate

Our first playdate at the Hawaiian Humane Society Dog Park had 7 humans and 5 Shibas.   I remember getting overly excited every time a Shiba came to the gate—but then trying to act normal when meeting them.  Little did we know it was the start to an amazing group of dog owners.  The Shiba Inu Hawaii club was born!  Since that day, Shiba Inu Hawaii has grown to nearly 100 active members, a thriving Facebook Fan page of over 1,000 fans, a website complete with Shiba ‘Ohana directory and beautiful photos, videos, outings that included trips to dog-friendly restaurants, puppy socials, formal dinners, hikes, then merchandise and more!  I remain truly amazed that so many people love and care about their dogs as much as Shiba Inu Hawaii does.

My segment on OC16!

Because of Shiba Inu Hawaii, I had many doors in the dog world open up for me.  I met many dog business owners and got to write a few articles for Hawaii Pet Magazine and Island Dog Magazine.  I had an on going segment on The Pet Hui, an OC16 TV show, called “Get Akamai About Your Pet.” On the show I answered audience-submitted questions about dog health and behavior.  I sat on the planning committee for the very first online Shiba Prom – an international fundraising benefit for various Shiba Inu rescues.  But best of all, I was positioned to be in the right place and the right time to become one of the new owners of Hawai`i Doggie Bakery.

I’ve been having so much fun learning about all the famous HDB recipes (and my dogs have been having fun taste testing!), meeting old and new customers and experimenting with new products. I can’t wait to be able to take what I’ve learned from the Shibas and their owners and bring that amazingexperience to Hawai`i Doggie Bakery’s customers.  Life is all about creating connections.  I’ve connected first with my dogs and through them, I’ve connected with some wonderful dog owners.  Being able to spend time all together, and do things that enrich all of our lives together is beyond priceless to me.

So that’s a little bit about me, and I’ll be blogging more about my thoughts on life, dogs, and of course Hawai`i Doggie Bakery!  Just look for any posts called “Niki’s Notes,” and you’ll find a small insight to this “crazy dog lady!”  Thanks for reading, friends!  Paw-halo!