Hawai’i Police Department
North Kohala District
Captain Richard Miyamoto
September 11, 2009
An 82-year-old Kapaau woman is calling a North Kohala police officer an "angel" for rescuing her 14-year-old dog after it fell down a ravine.
On September 1, Edna Kaleo Mendonca was driving on Kohala Mountain Road when she pulled over to let her dog, Sparky, out for a bathroom break at a scenic lookout.
Sparky, who has been Mendonca’s companion since he was a puppy, is blind. While out of the car, he slipped about halfway down a 30-foot gulch.
Mendonca tried to rescue the dog but fell to the ground and was so shaken by the experience that she had to crawl back to her car and use it as a brace to help her stand up.
The woman looked in vain for someone to help her and then began to pray for help. "I was crying my heart out because I thought I’d lost Sparky," she said.
A few minutes later Officer John Kahalioumi drove up. Mendonca flagged him down and asked for his help.
Without hesitation, the officer climbed down the side of the cliff and returned with the dog. "He was my lifesaver and Sparky’s, too," Mendonca said. "I said, ‘Thank you and God bless you.’"
After they parted, Mendonca realized she never got the officer’s name. She drove to the North Kohala police station to express her gratitude to the officer’s commander, Captain Richard Miyamoto.
The next day Mendonca and Officer Kahalioumi were formally introduced and had their picture taken with Sparky. "I appreciate what he did," she said. "He’s an angel in policeman’s clothing."