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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, August 30, 2002

Canine castaway moving to new home

By Shayna Coleon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hokget, the dog that had been stranded on a freighter for two weeks and then spent 120 days in quarantine, will finally go to her new home today in 'Ewa Beach.

The nearly 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix is being adopted by Michael Kuo, a friend of Hokget's former owner, said Becky Rhoades, executive director of the Kaua'i Humane Society.

Hokget, who stirred the hearts of animal-lovers around the world and even had a song written about her by singer Henry Kapono, will arrive at the Honolulu International Airport around 10 a.m. today with Rhoades.

When Hokget arrives at her new home, she will have a "big dog house" donated by a Hawaiian Humane Society board member, and a lifetime supply of dog food from Iams, a Mainland-based pet food company, Kuo said.

"We're kinda excited and nervous because she's so famous," Kuo said. "We'll keep good care of her, but I know there are a lot of people out there who support me and call us up to say they'll help us."

Hokget was the pet of the captain of the Taiwanese tanker Insiko, which provided fuel and provisions to Pacific fishing fleets. A shipboard fire killed one crew member and left the tanker powerless and adrift.

The rest of the crew was rescued, but Hokget was left behind and was alone on the ship from April 2 to 26. After Hogket was finally picked up, she was quarantined in a spacious room at the Kaua'i Humane Society shelter at Kipu.

Kuo, 68, said Hokget has visited her new house at least four times already to become acquainted with him, his wife and 24-year-old son.

Kuo said he readily agreed when his friend Capt. Chung Chin-po asked him to take care of Hokget.

"He is my very close friend, so I said 'yes,'" said Kuo, who knew Chin-po since the 1960s in Taiwan. "At first, in the beginning, I didn't really understand the whole story behind the dog, but then I realized that everyone was talking about her."

Kuo said Hokget, which translates into good luck and good fortune in Taiwanese, definitely lives up to her name.

"This dog has lots of good luck," Kuo said. "She's been through a lot, and she finally gets a happy ending."

Reach Shayna Coleon at scoleon@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8004.