For the past eight years, Sandra has bred Labrador retrievers on Hawaii Island, more commonly known as The Big Island of Hawaii. Aloha Labradors is located in Holualoa, a village on the Kona or western side of the island.
We enjoy the world’s best climate on our coffee farm at a 1,600-foot elevation. The sun shines 360 mornings a year, and clouds cover many afternoons. Temperatures vary from 58 degrees on some winter nights, to 85 degrees on some summer days, with the usual temperature being 80 degrees for days and 65 degrees at night, year-round. Rain is seasonal, with dry falls and winters and rainier springs and summers, when the coffee trees are flowering and fruiting.
Eight years ago, there were few good Labs and no Lab stud dogs in Kona. Sandra imported foundation stock from Australia and New Zealand and began breeding sound, good-looking Labrador companions. She feeds the raw-meaty-bones diet to adults and to puppies as soon as they begin solid foods. Aloha Labradors is very successful in placing great puppies with great families that continue the raw diet.
In February 2010, we began wondering about standard Poodles — why are there so few around? One member of our raw pet food co-op brought a black standard with her from Europe, and she’s a lovely girl. She’s the only standard poodle we’ve seen in Kona for years. Surely, there must be a few hidden somewhere.
Many years ago, Sandra had two standard poodles, named The Captain and Tennille, which tells you how long ago it was. They were great family dogs. So, why are there so few standard poodles around Kona? After some research and thinking, we concluded that people don’t know what great family companions standard poodles can be. If standard poodles are presented as the sporting water dogs they were bred to be, they would be more popular.
Elaborate show clips do not appeal to us, especially on standards, which have great dignity and natural beauty with more modest hair-dos. We’re into wash-and-wear and active dogs. Labrador retrievers swim, dry off, and rarely need to be bathed. A poodle can be an active sporting dog that is clipped in a simple, overall fashion,. How hard can that be? We decided to find out.