New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

November 29, 2006

Youth halts dog attack on woman

A Belgrove 16-year-old used his martial arts training to help a woman being savaged by a bulldog.

Jack Westbrook was at his home, about 35km south of Nelson, when the woman, a friend of his older brother, came to visit with an American bulldog last week.

A neighbour saw the woman being mauled by the dog as she was putting it into a kennel on the property. The neighbour cried for help, alerting Jack and his mother Nicole to the attack.
A king hit to the dog's head using a punch learned from a year of Shaolin Kempo training sent the animal staggering back, he said.
"It took a few uncoordinated steps, then just looked at me."
Mrs Westbrook said the victim did not want to comment on the attack or reveal what injuries she suffered but was grateful to Jack for intervening.

Tasman dog control officer John Bergman said animal control experts arrived after the attack was over and they did not know exactly what happened because the victim refused to talk about it.

As far as he was aware, the dog wasn't registered but was owned by the woman's husband. It was shot at the scene. This is the negative impact that our dog laws have created. She didn't want to complain BECAUSE it was a dog she knew. If she complained, the dog's owner (ie her husband) would go to jail.

The dog was shot at the scene, and that is the end of that. When dog 'control' officers and the law come in, that's where problems start.

I hope for the women's sake, this is the end.

Halifax Veterinary Centre veterinarian Hans Andersen said Jack's actions were "courageous".
There had been incidents of American bulldogs killing people in the United States, he said.

Mrs Westbrook said she was incredibly proud of her son.
"He's my hero."

What a great story... great that someone came to the rescue. A lot of people would have shy-ed away.

SPCA horrified as Mangere dog left to die

A young dog is fighting for his life after an appalling act of animal abuse that has left the Auckland SPCA reeling with disbelief.

A Housing New Zealand staff member found the dog locked in a room at one of its Mangere properties vacated by the tenant the week before. The SPCA was immediately called.
Inspector Vicki Border was horrified when she found the dog had been locked in the small room with no water, or food, and poor ventilation.

"Not only was he starving and extremely thirsty, he had the worst case of mange I have ever seen.

Dogs get zapped, but all in a good cause

Man's best friend was being taught to be the kiwi's best friend at the weekend.

The Taranaki Kiwi Trust organised a two-day kiwi aversion dog training course at Lake Mangamahoe. The training was for farmers, hunters, recreational dog owners and those who took their dogs into areas where kiwi lived. I wish I could have attended !

Kiwi scent, a kiwi dummy and an electric shock collar were used to train dogs not to chase the endangered birds. This would have been a great opportunity to see how they use the e-collar... as you know, it should NOT be used by the untrained person.

The programme was run by National Park hunter-contractor and approved assessor Jim Pottinger. About 60 dogs took part in the training, which certified them as safe to be taken into forest parks.

Mr Pottinger said any dog taken into the bush needed to be certified.

"We introduce them to the scent of a kiwi as a negative scent so it doesn't encourage them to hunt the scent," he said. Dogs were given an electric shock if they showed interest in kiwi scent.
The voltage was increased each time. Yicks!.. but necessary as Kiwis are our national heritage and too many dogs have destroyed them.

The training was run for the first time last year and Mr Pottinger said some dogs had come along for a refresher course. "There were only two out of 20 that needed to be reminded."

Mr Pottinger said there were more responsible dog owners than irresponsible ones.

"A lot of guys want to prove that they are responsible. They don't want to be seen as the source of kiwi decline," he said.

Trust technical adviser Kris Grabow said she had received good feedback from the training.
"It helps the hunters. Dogs can then focus on the scent they're intending to hunt, whether it be deer, pigs or goats," Miss Grabow said.

There were more dog owners interested in doing the training and the trust hoped to run up to four programmes next year, she said. I will need to remind them to send a notice to!!

Good keen dog proves a kiwi's best friend

A specially trained sniffer dog has found a large, mature brown kiwiliving in bush about to be cleared on a Far North road constructionsite.

Maggie, a trained kiwi-spotting dog, found the female bird during adaily site search carried out as part of consent conditionrequirements for construction of a new Kerikeri bypass.

Contractors are building a 1.6km road across the Kerikeri River tolink with Waipapa Rd and take traffic away from the historic KerikeriBasin and Stone Store heritage area.

The $14 million project carries a Far North District Council consentrequirement that any kiwi in the area should be found and moved awayas earthworks progress.

District council roading manager Greg Ingham said a kiwi dog searchesbush areas of the bypass route every morning before work starts. MORE>>

November 24, 2006

Dog found emaciated, locked in room

An emaciated dog found locked in a vacated Auckland house has appalled SCPA staff.

A Housing New Zealand employee found the starving animal locked in a room inside a house.

The dog, which had been severely mistreated before it was abandoned, was so disfigured by its ordeal its breed could not be identified, SPCA Inspector Vicki Border said. "We are guessing he may be a Shar Pei cross," she said. MORE>>

November 23, 2006

Animal Poisoning Warning: , Havelock North

Thursday, 23 November 2006, 11:39 am
Press Release: Hawkes Bay District Health Board MEDIA RELEASE

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Lester Calder and Hastings District Council’s Community Safety Manager, Malcom Hart, today issued a warning, advising members of the public to control their dogs and ensure their children do not touch dead or dying birds when in Anderson Park, off Te Aute Road in Havelock North.

This warning is precautionary and follows the recent deaths of a large number of birds, as well as some cats and one dog in the park. Investigations are underway to determine the cause of these deaths.

Staff from the Public Health Unit, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hastings District Council have undertaken an assessment of the park grounds. No toxic substances have yet been found. The Hastings District Council is putting up temporary warning signs.

National Dog Show to be held at Porirua

The NZ Kennel Club today announced that the 2007 PRO PLAN National Dog Show would be held at Porirua from 27 – 30 September next year. “We are delighted that the National Dog Show will again be held in Porirua,” said John Perfect, NZKC President.

“The Nationals were held at Porirua from 1981 to 2003. Then NZKC took the country’s biggest dog event around the country for the benefit of members, to Auckland (2004), to the South Island for the first time (Christchurch 2005), and then to Palmerston North (2006) where it had previously been held 1967 – 69. MORE>>

November 22, 2006

Dog attacks lead to biting warning

Nelson animal control officers are warning dog owners not to tolerate aggressive behaviour, after two people were injured in separate attacks in the past four days.

A bull mastiff-argentinian dogo cross was shot on Monday, at the scene of an attack that hospitalised its Wakefield owner. (...)

He had yet to find out how many people the Wakefield woman's dog had previously bitten.

"If a dog bites, he'll never wind up licking - they get harder and harder," he said. "The public rely on owners doing the right thing when their dogs start biting."

Mr Bergman said that in most circumstances, a dog should be put down the first time it bit a person, unless there were unusual circumstances, such as a dog defending the owner's property from illegal activity.

This kind of blatant claim that if a dog bites, put him down, really really yirks me. How many times have a read and heard from people's stories that kids start abusing the dog by NOT LEAVING alone. Then they blame the dog for bitting. Arghhhh!!!

There are as many reasons a dog bites as there some are circumstances. It's like saying, any person that robs a dairy store should get his hands chopped off! Helllo !!

However, Halifax Veterinary Centre veterinarian Hans Andersen disputed this claim, saying nearly all bad behaviour could be modified, except in cases where the dog was "mentally disturbed".

Owners should look for signs of aggression and seek help to change their animal's behaviour, he said.

Ah, a vet that talks sense...

I actually cut out WHO Mr Berbman actually is... he's a Tasman District Council dog control officer !! holy molly !! that's scary !! Perhap s our dog "control" officers should have a Certificate in Animal Care! And heaven forbid if they actually do and possess this opinion.

Sadist who cut ears off dog sought

A 10-week-old puppy found with its ears cut off – possibly with a pair of scissors – has horrified SPCA staff.
The german shepherd/labrador cross was found yesterday, dumped at an industrial site in Wellington.
"He's a lovely, lovely boy. What's left of his ears is quite crusty. They are in danger of starting to rot, and he is on a course of antibiotics."

Ms Snow said that cases of this extreme type of abuse against animals were particularly worrying, as there was often a link between cruelty to animals and harm towards people.

Yup, she's right about the link... Read about the link here

November 21, 2006

Mel gives SPCA a big helping paw

One Hamilton dog's good fortune is spreading to other needy animals, after her owners made a $10,000 donation to Waikato SPCA.

Mel's owners, who want to remain anonymous, blew the organisation away when they sent the cheque in last month on her behalf, after reading about the SPCA's plight in Hamilton Press.
"It's an absolute disgrace that the SPCA is worried about survival," they said.

The donors have pledged to give the organisation $10,000 every year, provided their income stays the same, and challenge other Hamiltonians to dig deep to help the SPCA.
Mel, thought to be a staffy-german shepherd cross, was about three months old when she was found on the streets of Auckland. There was no room at the Auckland SPCA, so she was shipped to Hamilton.

After losing their other dog nine months earlier, the couple felt their house was "terrible" without a dog –- so the search began.

The woman's visit to Waikato SPCA on Christmas Eve was Mel's lucky break, when the woman fell in love with the pup –- and adopted her on the spot. The next part makes me laugh!! Isn't that how we usually find our dogs?

"She came home with a dog when she just went to look," her partner explains, laughing. In her defence, the woman says she could not possibly leave Mel behind when she found out the puppy was abandoned. MORE>>

November 20, 2006

Police van crashes in chase in Hamilton

An eyewitness to a crash between a police dog handler's van and a 4WD says the police vehicle was travelling at least 80km/h at the time.
But was the dog okay??

November 18, 2006

Small dog warns of blaze

A small dog is being hailed as a hero after alerting its Christchurch owner to a fire tearing through her Mount Pleasant home. Another great dog hero story... the more the better as dogs really do get a bad wrap!

Heather McLean was forced to jump from her home's 5m-high balcony at 8pm on Thursday to escape the fire after two-year-old jack russell-cross Ginger barked and growled at the laundry door, where the fire started, to raise the alarm.

The house was destroyed in the blaze.

McLean's partner, Mark Ramsay, said yesterday that she had been watching television in the lounge when the fire broke out.

"(Heather) was telling (Ginger) to be quiet, but the dog kept barking, so she opened the door and there were flames going flat out," he said.
and we know how fast fire can spread !!

"If we had a big dopey dog that slept in the corner all the time it wouldn't have worked."
Ramsay had been gone less than an hour on a bike ride when he returned to find his home ablaze. Oh, I don't know about that. I think any kind of dog would have said something. Hell, they want to preserve their life to! It's just a way for them to say how much they love their dog...

"I wondered what everyone was looking at, then I looked up and saw it was my house.

November 17, 2006

Furious farmer shoots dog

AFarmers have shot dead a pig dog they say is responsible for thousands of dollars worth of dead stock.

Waituhi farmer John Topp and hunters had been stalking the dog for over a month before shooting it last week after it killed an estimated 500 sheep and lambs. How can one dog do so much damage!! That's a lot of sheep and a lot of energy to 'output'.

The worrying actually started in early June with a small spate of killings by two dogs, but after chasing the dogs off nothing else happened for two and a half months.

In October the killings started again and Mr Topp estimates from docking tallies, the farm lost around 167 ewes and 240 lambs. Oh, there were small sheep. I get it!

Mr Topp says he is "bloody furious" and he is calling for pig hunters to be more responsible.
"They need to take more responsibility, the dog we caught was a bull terrier or pit bull and it was a real killing machine.
(... read the line in between)
This wasn't an isolated incident for those in the Waituhi area.

Reports from other farmers who border the popular stretch of bush estimate 10 other dogs have been shot over the last 10 months, with at least three picked by the pound.

Taumarunui Constable John Tito says it was one of the worst cases he has ever seen and that must be pretty soul destroying for Mr Topp. "If the dog owner was caught, it is then a civil matter."

Mr Tito says in the eyes of the law if a dog is worrying sheep you are allowed to shoot it on sight and he reiterated that once started these dog just keep killing.

"In my experience most pig hunters who lose a dog are very responsible and leave a Swandrai behind which the dog stays beside, then they go tell local farmers and take ownership for their dog's behaviour if it does anything.

"There are many responsible hunters out there so fortunately this thing doesn't happen often."

November 14, 2006

No regrets with Adopt A Pet

"It was the best decision I ever made – she is the most amazing dog." Says Cherie Heaslip about her decision to adopt Tia – one of the first dogs featured in the weekly Matamata Chronicle Adopt a Pet.

Cherie says she and her family always wanted a dog, and were originally going to go to the SPCA to find one, and then spotted Tia in Adopt a Pet.

The family headed to Te Awamutu SPCA to have a look at the spirited border collie cross, and knew straight away.

"She sounded great (in the feature) and I took one look at her and thought 'yip' she will fit right in. We have had no problems with her, she has a great nature."

November 10, 2006

Boy attacked by dog in city

A father sprinted to save his screaming 9-year-old son from the jaws of a rottweiler-cross dog that attacked him in a suburban Invercargill playground on Tuesday.

The man said he was gripped by terror as he ran from his home towards the Galway St playground where a "massive" dog was wrestling with his son's thigh.

A girl was battling to drag his son away from the dog but the dog was pulling as fiercely the other way.

"I was going to get the boys from the park but then I heard my wee boy screaming and I just ran out there as quick as I could," the man said yesterday.

"This big dog ... it had my wee boy by the thigh. It was just nutting out, it wouldn't let him go. My wee boy he was just trapped in his teeth." MORE>>

November 08, 2006

Principals say dog safety is parents' responsibility

The Principals Federation says the job of teaching children to be safe around dogs should not be thrust onto schools.

Federation president Pat Newman was commenting on the relaunch of a dog safety programme that includes resources for teachers. He says dog safety follows a long line of add-on jobs for primary schools.

The Stay Dog-Safe This Summer campaign is one of a number of government initiatives aimed at improving public safety around dogs. The initiatives were introduced largely as a result of the mauling of Auckland girl Carolina Anderson in 2003.

A teaching resource called the Dog Box was developed for schools last year. Associate Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta says it was decided to offer the resource again to schools, with the approach of summer when people and dogs are more likely to be out and about.

However, Pat Newman says the campaign is yet another case of schools having to take on what has traditionally been the responsibility of parents.

He says it is getting to the stage where schools are expected to be responsible for every aspect of children's welfare.

However, Ms Mahuta says the programme fits in well with what schools do. She says the programme gives people the tools they need to act in ways that will help keep them and their children safe.

Ms Mahuta says many dog attacks are preventable if people know how to behave around dogs.

Speed is undone by a little pause

Doggone it. More than 500 children from Onehunga Primary and St Joseph's School lined up on Church St on Monday in a bid to create the world's longest dog tunnel.

They had several attempts with two dogs, but just missed out.

The event was organised by Grey Lynn-based Southern Stars Charitable Trust to promote its work.

Trust spokesman Brendon Cook says Speed made it through 477 pairs of legs, more than the current record of 457, but stopped a couple of times along the way.

"She was allowed to slow down but not stop and she stopped too many times," he says.
St Joseph's principal Andy Thompson says they will try again in the new year.

I wish I could have gotten a Utube video !!

Time to brush up on dog care

Puppy training could take on a whole new meaning. It won't just be "sit" or "stay" but also training your pooch to have its teeth cleaned.

Highfield vet Bryan Gregor said humans were careful about looking after their own teeth and the same level of care should be taken with their pets.

Mr Gregor said dog owners should try to clean their pet's teeth with a soft child's brush every second day because it only took three days for bacteria to build up in a dog's mouth.

Mr Gregor suggested new dog owners started cleaning their puppy's teeth to get them into the habit. Dog biscuits designed to protect teeth and chew toys were alternatives for dogs reluctant to have their teeth brushed.

Mr Gregor said he saw pets with bad teeth on a daily basis and urged owners to get brushing.

ya, I dunno about this manual toothbrushing. I mean, we've got a dog going on his 11th year, and we got a 'tartar' job for our dog. The vet said that he had great teeth, and that the tartar was not bad at all. We never brushed our dog's teeth, but we do give him bones to chew on every couple of days or whenever we remember to get some from the butchers. So... my advice is Give your Dog A Bone!

Dogs love it, and it gives 'em something to do..

November 07, 2006

"Stay Dog Safe this Summer" campaign launched

Press Release: New Zealand Government Hon Nanaia MahutaAssoc Minister of Local Government

"Stay Dog Safe this Summer" campaign launched

Keeping families, especially children, safe around dogs is the focus of a public education and advertising campaign launched today by Associate Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

Announcing the Stay Dog Safe This Summer campaign at Te Aro School, Wellington, Nanaia Mahuta said ensuring public safety around dogs was an important part of the Labour-led government's commitment to building safer families and communities.

"Incidents between people and dogs are far more likely to happen in the summer months, when they are both are out and about and more likely to run into each other," Nanaia Mahuta said.
"People may be surprised to know that a majority of incidents involving people and dogs happen around the home, and often involve the pets of family or friends, which
shows that any dog – no matter how familiar or well-trained – has the potential to bite.

“However, many dog attacks are preventable if people know how to behave around dogs, and children especially need to be very careful. That’s why we’re launching this campaign now. The Government wants to ensure the greatest possible enjoyment and safety for families, dogs and owners during summer."

The public education campaign is just one of the Government’s initiatives to improve public safety around dogs, which also includes measures such as tougher penalties for irresponsible dog owners, microchipping identification and the National Dog Database.

The campaign involves print and website advertising targeting parents of children aged 0-14. The ads feature nine dog safety tips for children, including always asking permission before approaching a strange dog, and to only pat dogs on their chin or chest. The tips were taken from The Dog Box, a dog safety teaching resource distributed to all New Zealand schools in October 2005.

“This campaign is an important part of our work to promote public safety around dogs, and gives people the tools they need to act in ways that will help keep them and their children safe,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Squad called in to rescue fallen Skye

A border terrier dog apparently spooked by fireworks spent a night frozen with fear and perched on the Kina Cliffs before being rescued by abseiling search and rescue experts.

Six-year-old Skye was carried to safety by Nelson-Tasman Emergency Response Team volunteer Hamish Pirie on Monday. Mr Pirie abseiled 10m down the face of the 200m cliff to reach the trapped dog.

"It's one of the strangest rescues we've had to do lately, that's for sure, but she looks pretty relieved to be at the top of the cliff," Mr Pirie said.
Mr Bergman said the dog's owners were happy to pay for the cost of the rescue which was likely to be about $600.

I once volunteered for Animal Rescue in Wellington. We practiced every weekend, and I did a lot of abseiling. This would have been the perfect job for the rescue team. Unfortunately, egos got in the way in the team, and it is now defunct (unless someone revived it)
It was fun while it lasted...

November 04, 2006

Dead dog run over many times

A dog which was run over on Middle Renwick Rd yesterday distressed a motorist and highlighted the need to keep dogs constrained, according to an animal control officer. or... maybe it shows the need to be more compasionate and stop when a dog in one the raod.

The motorist said the jack russell had been run over so many times it was almost severed at the chest. Its head was sitting upright, almost looking at him. Isn't that disgusting... no one stopped! To me, this article is about how uncaring society is becoming. Fast pace, can't stop nighbour in distress. Don't want to be involved...

He saw someone talking into a cellphone on the roadside and thought they were calling for help and because he was on his way to the airport he could not stop. However, the man said he could not believe nobody had stopped to remove the dog as it appeared it had been run over many times.

Senior animal control officer Johnny Joseph said the dog, which had apparently been hit by a tanker, belonged to visitors from Rotorua who were staying with friends in the area. He said there had been reports for the past two months of a small roaming dog, but it was not the dead dog.

Mr Joseph said that while in this case the dog had simply escaped the property, the death highlighted the need to contain dogs on properties or on a leash. Sheese, on dead dog and a blatant statement like this! It's as if they are looking for stories to put their morals on. Yes, of course it's sad that the dog ventured into the road, and yes the dog owners will be regretful, ...check the next paragraph...

People often had excuses as to why their dogs escaped, and animal control officers were not often thanked for impounding animals when they were only trying to keep them safe, said Mr Joseph. He said impounding them was better than having to clean up dead animals off the road.
Oh ha... here we go. .. the reason why we should be grateful for dog pound officers to throw our dogsin the pound, given 'em a 7 day leash on life, then 'too bad, sorry'! Or charging (what is it now?) $70 to get your dog out of jail. "But we were only trying to save your dog!" their excuses are.

I know of a few stories like this. The dog pound guy KNOWS who the dog belongs to, but do you think they'll bring it to the dog owners? Oh, no they have a point to prove and some mighty male/female egos to float... they'll bring your dog to jail. Why? so that the dog has a demerit point against him. So that the next time your dog is 'lost' (when in fact he's just sniffing the front lawn), they can charge even more money to release him, and YOU get the 'bad owner' sign put in front of your name!
The accident came just before the SPCA's annual appeal week, which kicked off today and focuses on reducing violence against animals and humans. (...) MORE>>

Prosecutions put bite on dog owners

Hamilton meter reader Anna Jagger, bitten by a dog while working in June, hopes owners will heed a rise in city council prosecutions and always have their dogs under control.
Miss Jagger was reading a gas meter at a Snell Dr house on June 24 when a dog bit her on the thigh.

Dog owner Ana Kathleen Leo appeared before Judge Anne McAloon after pleading guilty to owning the bull mastiff crossbred dog that attacked Miss Jagger.

Lawyer Linda Moy said the meter reader was escorted on to the property by Leo's daughter.

Two dogs were ordered to stay on the deck of the house, but one, recently classified as menacing, did not. Leo was convicted and ordered to pay sustenance fees of $1060 and court costs of $130. Her dog was put down by the council last month.

Outside court, Miss Jagger said she had been shocked by the dog's actions. "The owners were there and they said it was all right to come in so I assumed it would be all right." MORE>>

Sheese, these dumb dog owners make my skin crawl... I mean, they knew it might bite as it was classified as menacing. Yes I know, council love to do that to get more money and scare the neighbourhoods but we don't know the history here. It just gives those dog breeds a bad name!

November 02, 2006

Keep your pets safe this weekend

Thursday, 2 November 2006, 3:36 pmPress Release: Waitakere City
Media Release

It’s that time of year again……time to celebrate the festivities of Guy Fawkes with your friends and family.

The Waitakere City Council would like to remind people that while you should have fun this weekend it is important that you ensure the safety of your animals too.

So to help local pet owners the council's Animal Welfare unit has prepared this list of tips to help you have a pet-friendly Guy Fawkes this year:

• Keep pets indoors, with exterior doors and windows kept shut to prevent them escaping or running away.

• Close interior house doors and draw the curtains. This will not only block out the flashing lights of fireworks but also help muffle the sound. Place some familiar items such as toys and bedding in the room and turn on the lights.

• Put on the radio or television for your pet this may help soothe, distract and also drown out some of the noise.

• If a frightened animal hides under furniture, don’t try and coax it out as this will only be adding to its distress.

• Make sure that your dog has a collar on with a registration disk, and cats have a tag with contact telephone number just in case they escape.

• If your dog or cat is elderly, nervous or has a known heart condition, speak to your veterinarian before Guy Fawkes as to whether a light sedative could help calm the animal.

• Livestock owners should move their animals away from areas where firework displays are likely to take place. Horses can be particularly sensitive to loud noises.

If you are worried about the welfare of an animal, then call the animal welfare team on 839-0400.


Norm Hewitt to play key role in anti-abuse education campaign
For release: 1 November 2006
The Royal New Zealand SPCA will this Friday (3rd November) launch a major educational campaign aimed at reducing violence against both animals and humans. The launch's date has been chosen to coincide with the start of the SPCA's Annual Appeal week, which lasts from 3rd to 10th November.

The campaign, will give a lead role to former All Black and 'Dancing with the Stars' Champion, Norm Hewitt, who will be leading the anti-abuse campaign and supporting the educational programme into schools throughout NZ over the next three years.

"We've called the campaign 'One of the Family' because we want animals to be safe, secure and loved members of the human families whose homes they share. And we also think that a family that truly cares for its animal members, will be a loving and responsible unit in which everyone is respected and children are safe," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"Norm will take the campaign to selected schools in the Bay of Plenty, South Auckland and Wellington between now and Christmas, in the company of local SPCA representatives.
"Each year, the SPCA investigates numerous cases of violence and cruelty towards animals and, all too often, the perpetrators are children or teenagers. This is of clear and obvious concern to the SPCA, particularly when we know how the violence can escalate.

Greyhound meeting proves big winner

The $6000 Life Members Wairarapa Cup, feature event at the Wairarapa Greyhound Racing Club's highly-successful TAB meeting at Solway Showgrounds on Tuesday was a thrilling affair in more ways than one.

Not only did it provide a stirring contest but it was won by Tirau visitor Thrilling Guy whose track sense from the outside trap played a huge part in his success. MORE>>

True love is for Eva for Bailey

Eva the unwanted guide dog is anything but a failure to nine-year-old Bailey White.

The golden labrador is Bailey's best friend and supporter. The Wattle Downs boy was born with cerebral palsy, cortical vision and epilepsy.

His parents Jason and Louise White decided to get a dog as a companion for their oldest son and as a family pet for their other children Madison, six, and Colby, five.

They knew it would take a special dog to match their needs and, having no time to train a puppy, they turned to the Guide Dog Services adoption programme. The service allows dogs who do not make the grade in training to be adopted out.

Within two weeks of making an application, Eva arrived on the doorstep. She had been withdrawn from guide dog training because she is easily distracted.

It did not take long for the two-year-old to make her mark on the family and for the bond between her and Bailey to form. "The look on Bailey's face when Eva first licked him was a Kodak moment - pure shock," Mrs White says.

Now he is used to her kisses and has learned to pat her softly.

It was three days after Eva's arrival that the bond between the two showed through in an emotional moment for the family.

Every night Bailey's parents lay him on the lounge floor and stretch his limbs to stop them seizing up. One night Eva lay beside him and rested her head on his lap. She has continued to help Bailey with his stretches ever since.

When the family go for walks at night Eva walks beside Bailey's wheelchair and when he has a fit, which leaves him distressed, she just sits with him.

She is the first to greet him when he gets home from school and has taken to sleeping under his bed at night.
I feel like someone is watching over him," says Mrs White.

Eva's protective nature also extends to the other children. If one is crying she will sit beside them until they stop.

The magic of dog ownership! I just love these stories... My partner was knocked down by our dog Holmes. Not on purpose, but just as dogs do when horsing around with another dog. Unfortunately, Blair went over his bike while walking it up the drive.

He hurt his knees badly, and while nursing his knees, Holmes came around and started to lick his knees. When he told me this, I just couldn't beleive it. Holmes knew he was hurt, and he might understand that it was his fault and wanted to make it better.

It may be a dog's life but the future's brighter

NEW PET: Terry Moore from the Lifecare Retirement Home in Cambridge with adopted greyhound Minnie.

On the racetrack, Minnie was a streamlined streak of canine energy. In retirement, the four-year-old greyhound bitch is the perfect pet, though in stark contrast she is "bone idle".
That's the assertion of Su Robins, manager of Lifecare Cambridge, the retirement home where Minnie will spend the rest of her days.
Minnie, who won nine races as I'm Wishing from the kennels of Pokeno trainer Phil Green, was adopted under the Greyhounds As Pets scheme launched by Racing Minister Winston Peters in March to give greyhounds a future after they finished racing.
Most greyhounds race until they are four but in the past thousands of dogs have been euthanised once their careers have finished.
Greyhounds are the ideal pet for a rest home," she said.
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