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ISLAND HISTORY: The story of the ‘Ghost Dog of Po‘ipu’

In 1972, Kaua‘i-born historian, author, and University of Hawai‘i professor Rubellite ‘Ruby’ Kawena Kinney Johnson (b. 1933) told “Honolulu Star-Bulletin” newspaper writer Lois Taylor the story of the “Ghost Dog of Po‘ipu” that her father, Ernest Kaipoleimanu Kinney (1906-1987), had told her some years earlier.

Her father, by the way, was born in ‘Ele‘ele, Kaua‘i, and was raised at the McBryde Sugar Co. Mill Camp (Numila).

As a boy, he worked on his father’s dairy in Wahiawa Gulch, and he was later employed at road construction, dairying and ranching on Kaua‘i.

Rubellite said: “In 1929, when my father was courting my mother, Esther Kauikeaolani Kaulili Kinney, he would park his car in her parents’ garage about 50 feet from their house in Po‘ipu.

“One night, returning to his car, a huge dog came from behind the trees and barked and frightened him, although it was said there was no such dog in the neighborhood.

“Not long after, my father was the luna at the Wahiawa Gulch rock quarry making gravel for the new highway.

“My father was going to drive a few of his workmen on to the next job.

“He leaned over to crank up the truck, and when he looked up, there was the same huge dog, with red eyes and bared teeth, staring down at him from the hood of the truck.

“Shaken, my father told the men to drive on alone.

“Later that day, the truck the men were in turned over and rolled down the side of a hill, injuring every man in it. Afterwards, my father became ill while driving home and was temporarily blinded. Again, the dog came from nowhere and ran by the side of the car to lead him home safely.

“The last time he saw the dog, it was pawing the water near the Alexander Dam then under construction mauka of Kalaheo. Shortly thereafter, on March 26, 1930 at 3:45 p.m., a flash flood in Wahiawa Stream collapsed the Alexander Dam, causing a massive mudslide that killed six workers and injured two.”
Source: The Garden Island

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