Welcoming a new family member

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Syler Nero, Lethy Shinno, and Lytron Shinno smile at Hokuala Golf Course in Lihu‘e.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Lytron Shinno meets both Lethy Shinno and her sister Maryposa before adopting Lethy.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Meeting for the first time, Lytron Shinno,11, and Lethy Shinno, 7 months, at the Kauai Humane Society.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Lytron Shinno connects with Lethy Shinno infront of the Kauai Humane Society before heading home together for the first time.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Older brother Syler Nero gets to meet Lethy next as they head to the Marriot to walk around as a family.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Lethy Shinno, a whippet dog enjoys running with his new family members Syler Nero and Lytron Shinno at Hokuala Golf Course in Lihu‘e.

It has been over a decade since I last had a pet and I never thought I’d get a new family member until my son asked for a dog.

I considered adopting after I reviewed KHS’s website because it was very organized with information and resources.

On May 1, my son Lytron Shinno, 11, and I looked at the website again and found a black whippet dog name Janet, 7 months old, in a cage with sad eyes. It looked liked she came from an abusive home. As a survivor of domestic violence, I knew exactly what she needed. She needed a loving home, and we needed her to lift our spirits during this pandemic.

That very same day, I called KHS to make an appointment. We also stopped in to ask questions and to confirm our appointment to meet Janet.

The staff at the front desk were friendly and helpful. They gave us an hour before our appointment and told us what we needed to buy at the store in order to take Janet home.

My son and I quickly headed to Petco and got everything we thought Janet may need. We got a collar, a leash, a harness, bags for her poop, food for a couple of months, a toy, a blanket, a small bed, a water & food bowl, shampoo & conditioner, treats, and dental treats, too.

After an hour, we drove back to KHS, we were like: “this is it.”

Of course, I was nervous, it felt like I was going on a date or something. Or I was giving birth and had to take care of someone new all over again. Lytron was nervous too, and we just wanted to make sure our new pet was going to be comfortable with us too.

When Lytron met Janet, they both instantly connected. We could tell she was scared at first and heard she had a sister, so we asked to meet her. We let Janet say goodbye to her sister Maryposa. The KHS staff member reassured us, that someone wanted to look at Janet’s sister, so we knew we could say goodbye to her in confidence.

After we made the decision to adopt Janet, we filled out the papers while they gave Janet a new county license and gave us the vaccine papers, letting us know what she has done already and what needs to get done next.

Lytron then gave Janet a new name that came from the word “Healthy.” This time in my life I only wanted to have healthy relationships. So since Lytron’s name started with an “L,” we then came up with the name “Lethy.”

Lytron and Lethy. A start to a beautiful relationship and a story just beginning to be written. We couldn’t wait to introduce Lethy to my older kids Aaliyah and Syler Nero, distance learners at Kamehameha Middle and High School.

Before we left the shelter, KHS had given us a free bag of food to start with, and we thought that was kind of them. They told us everything we needed to know about Lethy’s history and medical records, so we felt confident walking out their doors.

At first, Lethy was scared of entering our car and our home. It took her a minute to adjust until she felt safe to walk around. To our amazement she was smart, she didn’t bite anything and she followed Lytron everywhere. She became very attached to Lytron and made sure everyone was safe around her.

Then we started potty training her and taking her out for walks. When I took my boys for a walk at the Marriott Resort in Lihu‘e, I was in the back of all of them, and then suddenly Lethy stopped to wait for me. She is so loyal and caring. A perfect fit for our ohana.

Lethy sleeps with my son on his bed and one night I saw all three of my kids sleeping with her. She is very quiet and attentive, and only barks when Lytron steps outside of our home to throw away her poop.

She loves being around the kids and the kids have been much happier since the day she was adopted. I truly think the process of adoption was easy at KHS and everyone there was helpful and very knowledgeable. I recommend adopting at KHS to anyone with kids because mental health these days is very important to take care of. And self-care isn’t selfish it’s a way to regain your energy and share the best of yourself with your loved ones.

Lethy, was the self-care that my kids and I needed.


Stephanie Shinno, education and business reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.

  1. MICHELLE LaVally May 13, 2021 6:15 am Reply

    Congratulations on adding this beautiful pup to your happy family! I see smiles all around. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope it encourages others to adopt from KHS as well.

  2. LTEreader May 15, 2021 8:12 am Reply

    Nice story with a happy ending! And I agree with Michelle about it hopefully encouraging more to adopt from the shelter. The biggest issue here is landlords. I own my place so have always had a dog or two, but am frequently seeing ads > no dogs allowed, or comments on FB that people have to move and their new landlord won’t allow dogs. Charge a pet deposit, have the tenants agree to periodic inspections, whatever. Many dogs aren’t destructive, and not all tenants are disrespectful about maintaining dogs in a rental.

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