Planning Parties For Pooches

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 16, 2008
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Taryn Matsuda with best friends Daisy and Sosu
Taryn Matsuda with best friends Daisy and Sosu

Pet Power Hawaii owner Taryn Matsuda plans parties for pooches. She has doggiethemed invitations, hats, plates, cups, napkins, treats, muffins, cakes and more.

“I have games for the pets and for the humans, too,” says Matsuda. “There are party planners for people, so why not a party planner for dogs? Lots of people throw parties for their dogs. If you want to have a party for your dog, you don’t always have to invite other dogs. You can have friends and family over.”

One party game is called “Doggie Says” - a canine version of “Simon Says.” Dogs sit next to each other with their owners and someone says, “Doggie says, shake your hand.” Then the owner tells the dog to shake their paw. If your dog doesn’t do it, then you’re out. The dog that listens and does the trick based on “Doggie Says” wins!

Even if you want to coordinate your own doggie party, you’re not barking up the wrong tree here - you can purchase the party supplies from Matsuda.

The party-planning idea started as an expansion of the line of doggie treats she bakes using natural ingredients. She uses rice and rye flours to make the treats in sweet potato, peanut butter, taro, yogurt and coconut carob flavors. The treats are available at The Dog Shop at 28 Oneawa St. in Kailua, Beauty Salon for Doggies at 1370 Kapiolani Blvd., and at Sweet Nothings at 1218 Waimanu St.

One of the challenges of running her business, she says, is to get the word out.

“It’s mostly by word of mouth,” notes Matsuda, who was once a cheerleader for the University of Hawaii and a member of a Cherry Blossom court. “I go to the craft fairs for exposure and talk to people. I’m also visiting offices for lunch and I give them samples of the treats and cakes for their dogs along with my business card.”

Matsuda’s first pet was a brown poi dog named Maxi that her family got when she was 6 years old. The Kailua High School graduate started out studying animal science at the University of Hawaii, hoping to become a veterinarian, but decided to major in marketing instead. She worked for seven years as a financial planner and, in May 2007, returned her focus to her love of animals with her own business, Pet Power Hawaii. Her team includes the quality-control and taste-testing skills of her 3-year-old dog, Daisy (Weimaraner/shepherd mix) and 1-year-old Sosu (an Australian silky terrier named by Matsuda’s parents for Korean TV drama actress Sosuhno). Matsuda can be found walking her best friends in Enchanted Lake near her family’s home.

While making the craft fair circuit with the doggie treats, she was asked by customers if she could create cakes, so she did. The cakes come in the shape of a bone or a fire hydrant. Cakes need to be special-ordered one week in advance.

“The most enjoyable and rewarding aspect about planning pet parties is that deep down in my heart, I believe the owner and their pet will be happy to share this fun experience with each other, which will make their human-pet bond stronger,” says Matsuda. “Some pet owners treat their dogs like their own family, so throwing a birthday party is an absolute must.”

For more information, call 589-9971 or log onto


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