Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Reagan and Lola — May 13, 2022

Reagan and Lola

~ Reagan and Lola ~

A few years ago, Reagan adopted paraplegic Australian Kelpie, Lola. Since then, they have had a huge impact on each other’s lives and have shared so much love and joy with one another. 

In 2019, Reagan wanted to adopt a canine companion. He searched for dogs through the Austin Pets Alive website and noted down some names of dogs he wanted to meet. One of them being Lola. She suited his living situation, but he was unsure whether or not he could properly support her with her additional needs as a paraplegic dog.

After a long while of meeting the different dogs at Austin Pets Alive, the last one on his list was Lola. She came into the meeting room and immediately hopped onto the couch where Reagan sat and rested her head on his lap. From that moment, he knew that she was perfect. On the way home, many thoughts went through his head – how would he best support her? Would she enjoy her new home? But the main thought he had was that she’s the one. 

Unfortunately, the day after he met Lola, Reagan suffered a severe leg fracture. This meant he had to wait a bit longer than anticipated to adopt Lola, but she was certainly worth the wait. With his injury, Reagan was in a lot of pain and was unable to walk on that leg. Throughout his recovery, Lola was right there. She curled up on his bad leg and would always make him feel a bit better just by being there. 

Not long after, the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and Reagan’s office shut down, leading to a longer period of isolation. As lockdowns and restrictions lifted, he found it difficult to reintegrate into the world. However, it was made easier with Lola at his side. She helped by encouraging him to be more active through daily walks, meeting new people, and more. 

During one of their walks, Reagan recalls a particularly special interaction. He met a mother and her son who used a wheelchair and was nonverbal. The son was very excited to meet Lola. They were staying at the local Ronald McDonald House and he was missing their dog. Lola walked right up to him and shared her positivity with him. This is something that solidified what Reagan has always known about Lola, that, by simply being herself, she heals people and spreads love wherever she goes. 

While Lola may not have much interest to do regular dog activities, she loves going for walks and spending time with her human. Sometimes, at the end of the day, Reagan will sit with Lola in the backyard as she explores and rolls around in the grass. 

Not only has Lola had an impact on Reagan, but also on the greater community. Despite being paralysed from the waist down, she exudes positivity and love. She’s an inspiration for Reagan as each morning, she wakes up with a big smile, and treats everyone she meets with kindness.

Jen and Cooper — May 9, 2022

Jen and Cooper

~ Jen and Cooper ~

Thirteen years ago, Jen and Cooper met. Ever since, they have changed each other’s lives for the better and continue to share so much love, hope and joy with one another.

Initially, Cooper was brought into the local shelter. He was terrified, weak and severely malnourished. During the same time, Jen was in a treatment centre being treated for an eating disorder. Individually, they weren’t doing well emotionally or physically. 

While at the treatment centre, another patient had a dog with them. Jen loved helping to care for it. Her treatment team saw how much the dog had helped her and, when the patient and their dog left, they suggested she look into getting her a dog of her own. Jen’s mood lifted and it was suggested she look into getting her own dog. She decided to visit a local shelter. After some looking, she met a scared, small one-year-old Chihuahua. From the moment she looked into his eyes, she was in love and had no doubt in her mind that he had found his forever home, and a new name – Cooper. 

Since adopting Cooper, Jen’s life has changed for the better. She didn’t just rescue him when she adopted him, but he, too, rescued her. Each day, Cooper spreads so much love and joy. He became Jen’s service dog, best friend, and companion.

At 3 years old, Jen helped Cooper to beat cancer. It was a difficult time for the both of them but, through thick and thin, they stayed by each other’s side. He has since made a full recovery and has continued to live his life to the fullest while sharing joy with everyone he meets. 

Both Jen and Cooper have their own health challenges; Jen struggles with chronic neurological Lyme disease and Cooper has heart disease and neurological difficulties. Having each other has helped each other hugely. They have a mutual understanding and just know how to brighten one another’s day, no matter what. 

Despite the struggles she has experienced, Jen is grateful for all she has gone through, as, through it all, it led her to Cooper. He has shown her that there is so much good in the world and together, they found hope. They both had to learn how to have a good relationship with food, build up their strength, and face their past traumas. Individually, this was a huge challenge, but by believing in one another, they got through it all. 

No matter what, Cooper can always brighten Jen’s day. If she’s struggling, Cooper is right there to cheer her up with his antics or a warm cuddle. Not only this, but Jen ensures that Cooper is able to live his best life with all the love he deserves. They also share joy within their community by sharing Cooper’s adventures on social media. He’s a great model and loves posing for the camera. 

Not a day has gone by since Jen and Cooper met that they haven’t had an impact on each other. The unconditional love they share is truly special and, although they both face health conditions, they help each other to stay positive, determined and not only to heal, but to flourish. 

Ruffles Pet Wear — May 26, 2021

Ruffles Pet Wear

~ Ruffles Pet Wear ~

In 2019, Ruffles Pet Wear launched.  Ruffles Pet Wear is a New Zealand business that hand-makes quality coats, raincoats, pyjamas, and more for dogs.  

Founder, Liv, had the idea to make coats when she was 15 years old.  Her family had a mini fox terrier who, while always on the go, was always cold.  Her mum would buy jumpers for her until one day, Liv decided to make some.  She bought a pattern and some material and started making what is now her pattern for the pyjamas that are now part of their catalogue.  

Soon, Liv began selling her coats through vet clinics, grooming salons, and TradeMe.  At the time, she was selling these through her business, then called Poppy’s PJs.  This continued for a few years but soon stopped.  It wasn’t until 10 years later when Liv got her own down that she pulled out her old patterns and materials.  She found some beautiful wool blankets and decided to repurpose them, making her creations warmer, more colourful and more sustainable.  

From this, in 2019, Ruffles Pet Wear was born.  This has allowed Liv to build a community from her business.  From communicating with customers to help create their dog the perfect coat, to seeing them out and about, it brings Liv so much happiness and encourages her to continue her work.  

Aside from the coats, Liv has a passion for animals.  Both Liv’s dogs, Aero and Jet, are rescues and now occasionally model for Ruffles Pet Wear.  Liv wanted to give both Aero and Jet a chance at having a good life, one they might not have had before being rescued.  Because of her passion for supporting animals and rescues, Liv has done a lot of charity work.  She has held fundraisers and occasionally drops off coats to animal shelters to help keep some of the dogs warm.  

In 2020, Liv supported different animal rescues by creating special one-off coats and selling them at an auction.  All the proceeds made went to the rescues.  Not only this, but she also arranged a donation drop and collected dog food, toys, bedding and grooming tools, too.  

One of Liv’s biggest motivations for Ruffles Pet Wear is simply the dogs.  She enjoys creating the perfect coat for each dog.  Seeing their happy faces when wearing the coats and, of course, adding a bit of cosiness to a cold day.  

Each and every purchase helps Ruffles Pet Wear.  As it is a small business, any support helps, big or small.  From liking a post, sharing a cute picture or buying a coat for your dog, it all means a lot.  

Amid the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Liv had struggled with a greatly reduced income.  Being able to create and sell coats helped support her and her family during this time.  Unfortunately, she had been made redundant by the end of the year, however, she has now made Ruffles Pet Wear a full-time job.  Just this year, she released limited winter collection in a wide range of colours!  

Having Ruffles Pet Wear empowers Liv.  She is able to combine her passion for dogs and design through her business.  It makes her feel proud being able to work from home, work for herself, support her family and to help dogs within her community.  The passion Liv has for her business is amazing.  It is evident how much she cares for her creations and for the four-legged customers she makes them for.  

Ruffles Pet Wear is an amazing New Zealand business.  If you would like to purchase your own Ruffles dog coat, check out their page.  There are so many colours and they can be made for dogs of all shapes and sizes.  Go check them out now!

Kristyn, Harper and Sadie — May 24, 2021

Kristyn, Harper and Sadie

~ Kristyn, Harper and Sadie ~

Kristyn and her doggos, Harper and Sadie, share a very special relationship.  Throughout the years together, they have helped each other through difficult times and made the good times great.  

8 years ago, Kristyn met Harper.  He had been rescued from the side of a road and taken into the care of a local shelter.  At the time they met, Harper was only 6-months-old.  In this short space of time, he had been to 7 different foster homes.  Kristyn, although young at the time, remembers instantly falling in love with him.  It was from this moment, Harper found his forever home.  

Following welcoming Harper, 6 years later, Kristyn and Sadie met.  Sadie, then 4-months-old, had a difficult start to her life.  She had been rescued and taken to a shelter but had evidently sustained some serious injuries prior.  Soon, she and Kristyn met.  Again, it was love at first sight.  Thus, expanding their family by welcoming a second dog into their home.  

Since adopting both dogs, they have both become Kristyn’s service dogs.  Sadie helps Kristyn when she is at home, while Harper helps her when she is out and about.  It is immeasurable the number of times that these loving dogs have helped Kristyn.  Whether helping her through a panic attack, calming her down when her anxiety is high or any other number of issues that could arise, Harper and Sadie are right there for her.  

Having Harper and Sadie has given Kristyn newfound confidence when going out into the community, as well as more independence.  She feels safer and happier knowing that she has her two companions there for her, no matter what.  They all enjoy training, too.  Whether going over known commands or learning something new, it’s always something that can provide them with time to bond and strengthen their relationship.  

When they aren’t working as service dogs, Harper and Sadie enjoy simply being dogs.  They love going for walks together, while Harper often enjoys a nice car ride.  As well as this, Kristyn often enters Harper and Sadie in competitions with 4-H Tail-waggers.  This is always a great time for them to spend time together and celebrate one another.  

The bond between Kristyn, Harper and Sadie is truly very special.  It is evident how much of an impact Harper and Sadie have had on Kristyn, and how much Kristyn loves her canine companions.  You can see just how much they care for each other simply by the way they all look at one another.  

Laura and Eugene — May 19, 2021

Laura and Eugene

~ Laura and Eugene ~

When Laura first saw Eugene, a very sweet little Spoodle, online, it was love at first sight.  Since welcoming Eugene into her home, Laura’s life has changed for the better.  The two are now inseparable and have helped each other immensely.  

Having always wanted to get her own dog, Laura was searching online for the perfect dog.  One day, she found a listing for a light brown Spoodle with a heart pattern on his chest.  Laura fell in love and immediately contacted the breeder.  The next day, she went for a four-hour drive to meet the puppy.  

As she arrived, Laura saw all the excited puppies running around, however, one puppy ran up to her immediately.  She picked him up and was then told that the puppy she was holding was the puppy she came to meet.  Safe to say, this was simply meant to be.  The puppy fell asleep in Laura’s arms and went home with her that day, and was given the name Eugene.  

Before having Eugene in her life, Laura had been struggling with her mental health.  Once Eugene became a part of her family, she found a sliver of hope again.  Having him in her life gave Laura a sense of purpose and responsibility.  On days when she may have been struggling with caring for herself, she was able to care for Eugene.  He required a lot of looking after and care, and this was something that helped Laura immensely.  

Since having Eugene in her life, Laura has gained so much in her life.  He gave her happiness that she hadn’t felt in a long time.  He helped her go outside and socialise on the days she didn’t want to.  He showed her she wasn’t alone.  He showed her she is worthy of unconditional love.  Even though he needed her to look after him, Laura feels that Eugene looked after her in her challenging times. 

If Laura has had a difficult day, whether at work or in general, she knows Eugene is right there for her.  His love for Laura is true and unconditional.  He welcomes her home every time she returns.  He brings happiness to each and every day, regardless of what may have happened earlier.  Even on tough days, Eugene can bring a smile to Laura’s face and make her laugh when it may be difficult.  He gives her licks, tail wags and lots of snuggles!

Simply by being himself, Eugene can bring happiness to anyone’s day.  He has encouraged Laura and her family to be outside more and to socialise.  He has changed Laura’s life for the better.  Even during her lowest moments, Eugene has brightened Laura’s day by just being there.  He brings joy to Laura, her family and her friends.  He can bring a smile to anyone’s face.  

One of Laura and Eugene’s favourite activities to do together is spending time at the beach.  Eugene especially loves digging for any hidden treasures he can find in the sand.  As well as this, at any time or place, Eugene is always ready to play fetch.  He also loves to see and play with his doggo friends.  

The bond between Laura and Eugene is truly a special one.  It is evident how much they care for one another.  Eugene has helped Laura immensely and has provided her with so much happiness and positivity.  The love between them both is obvious, simply by how they look at each other.  

Bri and Patch — May 17, 2021

Bri and Patch

~ Bri and Patch ~

Although he had a rough start to life, Patch, a Border Collie x Staffy, with the help of his human, Bri, has flourished into a beautiful and loving dog.  They have both formed a very strong bond and are now inseparable.  

At only a few weeks old, Patch’s mother was in an accident.  He and his 10 other siblings were all then taken to the SPCA.  At 4-months-old, after he was taken into the care of the SPCA, Bri found him listed on Trade Me.  She fell in love with him and welcomed him into her family.  

Having Patch in her life has helped Bri immensely.  She has found more purpose in life and more reasons to go outside and be active.  Patch loves to go for walks and run around.  He has helped Bri a lot, both mentally and physically.  For Patch, Bri has helped him to have a better life.  He is loved and is able to play, enjoy food and more.  

One of Patch’s favourite things is going for walks.  If Bri simply says the word ‘walk’, Patch becomes very excited!  He’s definitely a character, but it’s because of this that no matter what, he can always bring a smile to someone’s face. 

Not only has Patch helped bring more happiness to Bri’s life, but he is loved by the community.  Bri’s father enjoys walking Patch, and their community enjoy saying hello to him when out and about.  He’s certainly a bit of a local celebrity there!

The bond between Bri and Patch is obvious.  From the way they look at one another, can understand each other and simply just how much love they have is truly something special.  

Jacinta and Milo — May 10, 2021

Jacinta and Milo

~ Jacinta and Milo ~

Chocolate Labrador, Milo, found his forever home with Jacinta. Since bringing him home, he has added so much light and happiness to those around him.  

Eight years ago, Jacinta met Milo through her partner’s mother. She introduced them to a litter. From the first visit, Jacinta fell instantly in love with one puppy in particular; Milo. He was just so sweet and friendly.  

From day one, Milo has helped Jacinta very much. Whenever she feels upset or stressed, she knows Milo is right there for her and puts his paw on her leg. He offers her companionship and support 24/7. During the evenings, they both enjoy simply relaxing on the couch, spending time with each other. Having Milo has helped Jacinta to feel calmer and he has greatly reduced her anxiety with his calm yet outgoing personality.  

No matter what, Milo can bring a bit of happiness to anyone’s day. Whether it’s Jacinta, her partner, or the wider community, he always knows how to make someone smile. With his big smile and Labrador antics, you can’t not smile when you see him. 

Jacinta, her partner, and Milo all enjoy going on adventures together. Together, they often go on holidays and for car rides. They all love doing this and spending time together. Other times, such as when Jacinta returns home from work, she loves being greeted by a wiggly Labrador!

It is obvious for anyone to see how much Jacinta and Milo mean to one another. He is her fur baby, and she and her partner both care so much for him. Milo brings happiness and joy to so many, but the bond he has with Jacinta is so special.  

Erica and Chief — May 5, 2021

Erica and Chief

~ Erica and Chief ~

Over 4 years ago, Erica met her best friend and service dog, Chief. In the time they’ve been together, their bond has only strengthened.  

Within the first 6 months of Chief’s life, his owners passed away. As his family had an older dog, they felt Chief would be best suited as a therapy dog for someone in need. Chief flourished in this role. Erica’s mother had heard of him and decided to give Chief a new home. It was from that moment, Erica fell in love with her new fluffy companion.  

Due to Erica having some health issues, Chief has been trained to be her medical alert and mobility dog. He was trained by Erica. Initially learning basic commands, Chief proved himself to be very smart and keen to learn. Erica knew from this that Chief was her one in a million dog. 

Having Chief has helped Erica in so many ways. Their journey together started with Erica training Chief to be her service dog, but they have since become the best of friends. Chief can now perform a wide variety of tasks to help his human companion. He helps give Erica independence and confidence when out and about. She feels safer with her companion by her side and has more freedom in her life. The most valuable thing Chief does, however, isn’t a task at all. He shows Erica that he is there for her, that she is loved unconditionally.  

It has helped Erica immensely to know that Chief is there for here. He has been there for her through both the good times and the not-so-good times. This has helped Erica to be who she is today. He has truly shown Erica the beauty in life again.  

Not only has Chief helped Erica, but he has also had an impact on those within their community. Before the Covid-19 lockdowns, Chief would often work as a therapy dog at local libraries as part of a program called ‘Reading with Rover’. As part of this, children are able to read to Chief. It helps them gain confidence in their reading skills as this is done in the presence of a loving and calm Golden Retriever. There have been many children who have benefitted from this, but one, in particular, found it immensely helpful. She had struggled to speak, but after some sessions with Chief, she was able to speak words and sentences.  

As well as the ‘Reading with Rover’ program, Erica and Chief have helped out at Camp New Dawn. This is where children who have experienced grief in their life are able to share what they have been through and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Chief was one of the therapy dogs who attended this. Having him there helped many of the children to feel more comfortable and safe to share their personal stories. Even when discussing difficult topics, Chief was able to make everyone smile and laugh.  

When Chief is off duty, Erica and he enjoy simply being together. Chief loves dog sports, especially if it involves water! He has also shown a liking towards weight pulling and is always keen to learn more tasks and tricks. It has been a way for the two of them to bond. They both enjoy doing this and it’s another way for them to spend time together.  

Since having Chief, Erica’s life has become more full. Chief has brought more laughter, happiness, positivity and confidence to Erica. Before she graduated, during their exams, Erica would bring Chief onto the field for her peers to have some time to simply enjoy the company of a lovely doggo.  

The bond between both Erica and Chief is truly a special one. They both care so much for one another. It is evident the love they share simply by how they look at one another. Chief has helped Erica to have more confidence and independence, but also more happiness and laughter.  

Colina and Will — May 3, 2021

Colina and Will

~ Colina and Will ~

In 2019, Guide Dog puppy, Will, was born. Since then, Will did become a guide dog but is now happily living his best life with Colina. The two are now best friends and help each other immensely in their lives.  

Will was born through Guide Dogs New Zealand as part of the W litter. When Will was 9 weeks old, he was introduced to puppy raiser, Colina. When guide dog puppies are born, they spend their first 9 weeks simply just socialising and growing. After this, they undergo formal training so they can become working dogs for those who are blind or visually impaired.  

For the first year, Guide Dog puppies live with puppy raisers. Puppy raisers help to not only raise the puppy but to help them properly develop through socialisation and education. This includes taking the dog out to different places, meeting a variety of people and different animals, and more.  

During this period, dogs are monitored in their progress. If they do not meet certain criteria, they may then be moved into a different role, such as a mobility or assistance dog, or be adopted out. In Will’s case, he unfortunately did not pass his formal training.  

While he couldn’t become a working guide dog, Will was able to be adopted by Colina. At this time, Colina and her family were struggling with the loss of their 12-year-old dog, Charlie. Having Will was immensely helpful and they were thrilled to welcome him into their family. He could bring a smile to anyone’s face and, no matter what, he is always there for his family.  

Having Will has helped Colina a lot. Will brings so much happiness to Colina and her family. He brings a sense of calm, even when Colina may be feeling anxious. Not only this, but Will is very gentle and wants to show everyone kindness.  

When Colina may feel a bit anxious or stressed, Will reminds her to be present in the moment. He is very intuitive when it comes to others’ emotions, too, so always knows who needs an extra hug!

Both Colina and Will love their time together. They both go out every morning for their daily walk, often along the nearby beach. Occasionally, while at the beach, Colina will set up doggy-playdates for Will. He will happily play in the sand and in the water. He has a mischievous side to him and loves to race around, sometimes with a favourite toy!

The bond between Colina and Will is a very special one. He has become very well known in their community. No matter what, he brings smiles to the faces of anyone who meets him. Will is very loyal, loving and is always happy to be by Colina’s side, through thick and thin. The love between him and Colina is so strong and you can see how much they care for one another.  

Jules, Emerald and Ruby — April 28, 2021

Jules, Emerald and Ruby

In 2011, Jules met Emerald and welcomed her into their family. Nine years later, they welcomed another fur baby, Ruby, into their family.  Since then, they have become inseparable.  

In March 2011, Emerald was found and taken into the Wellington SPCA. She had been found on the side of the road, sick and had just given birth to a litter of kittens. Not much was known about her past. However, it appeared she had been abused or neglected due to having only 3 teeth when she was found. 

A few months later, in May of that year, Jules decided to go to the SPCA and find a new furry friend. She had been wanting a cat for a long time and felt this was the right time to welcome one into her home. The first time she went to the SPCA, she didn’t feel she bonded with any cat. The second time, she met Emerald. Emerald was very sick. She was on medications and was dribbling everywhere, however, she showed Jules endless affection and love. The third time Jules went to the SPCA, she left with a happy, healthy and affectionate Emerald.  

Once Jules had brought Emerald home, she immediately ran under the bed. Not long after, she came out and curled up next to Jules. Ever since, Emerald has never left Jules’ side.  

During this time, Jules had been struggling. She felt alone as she had moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone there. Having Emerald brought her a friend and companion. Emerald would follow Jules anywhere she went and would always enjoy a cuddle! As well as this, Emerald was someone Jules could feel comfortable with. She knew Emerald was there for her, and Emerald knew that Jules was there for her.  

Nine years later, Jules decided it was time to bring a dog into their family. After searching social media, she found there was a litter of 10 looking for homes. Jules received a call from the breeder. She told her of the final female puppy and wanted to ensure she was going to a good home. Soon enough, Jules was on her way to Ashburton to meet the puppy.  

As soon as she arrived, Jules was greeted by 10 very excited puppies. One puppy, in particular, was a bit more shy than the others but was kind and sweet. A week later, Jules welcomed a new puppy, Ruby, into her home. As soon as she left, Ruby snuggled into her lap and from that moment, they have become inseparable.  

Having a puppy was an adjustment for Jules. Up until that point, she had been terrified of dogs. Having had a bad experience as a child, she would never have seen herself living with a dog. It wasn’t until her husband, Matt, convinced her to adopt a puppy. It was a challenge learning how to live with a puppy, she felt scared and was concerned that Ruby would become aggressive.  

Over the first few weeks, Jules and Ruby worked together. Jules was so scared but wanted to work through her fear of dogs. Having a kind dog such as Ruby was a big help. Gradually, Jules became more comfortable around dogs. In fact, she attended a socialisation session for Ruby. There were six other dogs there, and Jules didn’t think anything of it. Thanks to the support of Ruby, Jules can now enjoy the company of dogs.

Having Ruby has given Jules a new purpose. Ruby encourages her to get out each day for walks. This, in turn, helps Jules to be present in the moment. They enjoy getting out and about, playing frisbee together and chasing each other around the backyard! Time spent with Ruby is a source of pure happiness for Jules. No matter what, Ruby can always make Jules laugh and smile.  

One time in particular that Ruby helped Jules was just before flying on a plane. Jules gets anxious when going on a plane, and the day before she was struggling a lot. Ruby, who is a very active and energetic dog, spent the whole morning, just before the flight, with Jules. She snuggled up with her for an hour.  Having Ruby at her side helped calm Jules immensely. Knowing that she was there made all the difference in the world.  

When spending time together at home, Jules enjoys the company of Emerald. One of Emerald’s favourite things is to simply snuggle up with Jules. Something that Emerald often does when she wants a cuddle is stand on her back legs and raise her front paws up. She certainly loves showing affection! No matter what, Emerald is there to offer love and comfort to Jules, and she is there for Emerald.  

Not only have Emerald and Ruby had an impact on Jules, but also her mother. Her mother, who has health conditions, enjoys their company. She had also been afraid of dogs but with the support of Ruby, found herself loving spending time with her.  

Because of the immense impact Ruby has had, Jules has started her own business, ‘Sweet As Pup’. Sweet As Pup is an online store where Jules sells treats, accessories and more for dogs and humans alike. Not only are there great products, but they donate proceeds to different charities for dogs. They also work with and support other businesses across New Zealand. 

It is evident how much Jules, Emerald and Ruby mean to one another. The love between them is infinite and they have helped to improve each other’s lives.