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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 20, 2002

Former castaway enjoying life as top dog on Kaua'i

Associated Press

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — The dog rescued from an abandoned fuel tanker after spending 24 days alone at sea is getting a lot of attention at her Kaua'i quarantine quarters and is reported to be "doing great."

Hokget, the dog rescued in April after being abandoned at sea for nearly a month, is reported to be healthy and happy at the Kaua'i Humane Society.

Kaua'i Humane Society

Hokget welcomes her caretakers with a lick of the hand and a wagging tail every day, said Dr. Becky Rhoades, a veterinarian and the director of the Kaua'i Humane Society, the satellite quarantine facility where Hokget arrived May 6.

"She loves to have her belly rubbed and immediately lies on her back for a rub," Rhoades said.

The dog, also known as Forgea, runs laps in the exercise yard, she said.

"She is house-trained and walks nicely on a leash, but we are still trying to teach her to chase a ball," she said. "No luck yet."

The rescued dog can't play directly with other dogs because she is still in quarantine, but she enjoys seeing dogs on the other side of a large fence.

She is a favorite of schoolchildren and other visitors to the Kaua'i Humane Society, Rhoades said.

Hokget has a good appetite and "cleans up" breakfast and dinner every day and has gained 2 pounds, she said.

"She's right now at ideal weight; we don't want her to gain any more," Rhoades said.

Michael and Helen Kuo, the Honolulu couple who will adopt Hokget at the end of her 120-day quarantine on Aug. 30, have visited twice, Rhoades said.

Kuo is a friend of Hokget's original owner, Capt. Chung Chin-po of Taiwan.

The 2-year-old terrier mix arrived in Honolulu on May 2. She was rescued April 26 from the disabled tanker Insiko 1907, where she was left behind when the tanker's crew was rescued April 2 by the passing cruise ship Norwegian Star.

A fire in the Indonesian tanker's engine room on March 13 killed one crew member and knocked out power and communications aboard the ship, which serviced fishing boats with fuel and supplies.

The Hawaiian Humane Society launched a $48,000 rescue effort April 5 that was called off two days later when it was thought the tanker had sunk.

The disabled tanker later was spotted by a fishing boat and then found by the Coast Guard.

The dog had lived on the tanker with the crew since she was a puppy.