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Chloe, Eden in Love's resident dog, can be found at the store often.

Jun 22, 2015

Ward Village: A Pet Friendly Place

At any given moment in the Ward Village community, you'll find people enjoying conversations over coffee, sharing light lunches in shaded areas, or shopping at a boutique with friends, family, and their pets!

Whether you have a big breed dog such as a Pitbull or Great Dane, or a tiny breed like a Pomeranian or Chihuahua, or perhaps even a bird or rabbit, pets are always welcome in Ward Village. In fact, the Ward Village Shops is proud to be one of the only pet-friendly retail shopping centers in Hawai'i. Even if it's just for a stroll around the neighborhood, Ward is the perfect place to spend time with your furry (or feathered) friends.

On a sunny afternoon at Ward Warehouse, Chloe steps out from behind the counter to the front doors of Eden in Love and greets shoppers passing by. She's small and exuberant, and gets along with everyone from small children to grandparents. Although she's no good at folding clothes or operating the cash register, tons of regular visitors come by the shop and for some, their favorite part is seeing Chloe. Her favorite part? When customers pet her on the head or feed her little treats.

"We always wanted to have a dog and we love being at Ward Warehouse because they're so pet friendly." Dang says. "Of course Chloe's going to come to work with us everyday, she's a part of the team!"

A Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, Chloe is the adopted 'baby' of Tanna and Bryson Dang, owners of Eden in Love, and very doting parents. The Dangs have even set up a small nook with comfortable bedding behind the register, a spot where she can have her own privacy, but "can still hear people's voices, she likes that," says Dang.


Owners Lauren and Luke Williams of The Wedding Café feel the same way about Primo, their 3 ½ year old yellow lab. As a quiet, relaxed spot for couples making wedding plans and meeting with vendors, the cafe is perfect for Primo, who snuggles into a big comfy dog bed behind the counter.



Luke Williams admits Primo's the unofficial star of the café though, attracting people from off the sidewalk, and even other shop owners, to come by and give him a rub or scratch his head. "It's like mid-day therapy for some visitors," Williams laughs. "And it's a great opportunity for folks to come inside and say hello."


The only one who's a little hesitant about meeting Primo is 4-year old Gum Gum, a Shih Tzu / Lhasa Apso mix from Jewelry Plus Hawai'i next door. Quiet and docile, Gum Gum's the perfect fit for owner Ada Foo and the elegant store, which specializes in delicate fine jewelry and more. He's friendly but small and not sure what to make of the big guy next door.

"He's a little shy around The Wedding Café's dog though," says Foo. "I think it's because Primo is such a big dog and Gum Gum is so tiny!"


After her three Pekinese dogs passed away years ago, a regular customer suggested Foo visit the Hawaiian Humane Society for a new friend; there she discovered Gum Gum. Ever since she first brought him to their shop, he's quickly become a customer favorite.

Foo knows Gum Gum is a conversation starter; people will step in off the sidewalk to say hello and to greet him, or will chat with the staff about him. In a way, he's an icebreaker for people who have never been to the shop before and might be curious about what the store offers and their furry friend inside.


Miemiko Atelier owner Cari Nakanishi may not own a dog, but her small shop in Ward Centre has become an informal meeting space for them. "Some days, we have up to seven dogs in this space," laughs Nakanishi. "We have a lot of dog visitors on a regular basis and many of the dogs are friends. Sometimes they'll just walk into the shop on their own, like a customer."

Specializing in handmade letterpress stationery, the cozy shop offers an assortment of beautifully-crafted paper products. Exquisite but delicate, one would imagine that dogs might be shooed out of a store such as Miemiko Atelier, but not so. All customers, human or otherwise, are welcome.


"Once, we had a mother and son come into the store. The mother was shopping for stationery and the son was holding a baby rabbit in his hands, potty training it," recalls Nakanishi. "It was very cute, and I think welcoming pets adds another element to the shopping experience."

Nakanishi herself owns a bird, although she likens it to owning a small, albeit colorful, dog: "She's very affectionate, and communicates when she's hungry or when she's thirsty. Even about what she wants to eat!"

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Ward Village loves pets, and with so many outdoor areas, benches, and green spaces, it's the perfect place for going out on a morning run or a stroll in the afternoon with your dog. Animals are more than just cuddly pals or adorable creatures to dress up, they're part of the family. Ward Village strives to provide an atmosphere where people can spend time with their two (and four) legged loved ones! Whether it's outdoors or in shops like Eden in Love, The Wedding Café, Jewelry Plus Hawaii, and Miemiko Atelier, we've got the perfect spot for you and your pet.

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