Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Abi, Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri — August 27, 2021

Abi, Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri

~ Abi, Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri ~

A few years ago, Abi met Cookie, then Toulouse and lastly, Daiquiri. Since then, they have all formed a very strong bond and have become a close family. 

Abi has always loved animals. In 2019, she decided it was the right time to welcome a furry friend into her life. Abi had found a beautiful dog named Cookie being advertised on social media. 

They soon organised a visit and, although she was nervous, Cookie excitedly greeted her soon-to-be-family with licks and tail wags. There was no doubt in Abi’s mind that Cookie was a perfect fit. 

Not too long after adopting Cookie, Abi wanted to welcome a feline family member. She discovered Feral Nation, a cat rescue in Wellington, New Zealand. One of their values is allowing a cat to choose you. This was something that resonated with Abi and so she went to the rescue.

Once she arrived at Feral Nation, she was shown to a room full of kittens. A small ginger kitten, named Toulouse, walked right up to Abi and sat with her. While Abi met some more kittens and the ginger one went to play, he decided to soon return and curled up on her lap. From that moment, she knew Toulouse was the perfect kitten. 

Since day one, Toulouse has brought so much happiness to his new family. He never fails to make someone laugh or smile with his antics. He can brighten anyone’s day, whether through his playful personality or offering a cuddle. 

Each morning, Toulouse enjoys morning cuddles with Abi. While sometimes this isn’t always comfortable for her, such as him taking over her pillow, it’s time they love spending together. 

Although he can be a little mischievous, Toulouse loves cuddles. Whenever someone visits, he is always there to welcome them. 

Not too long after meeting Toulouse, Abi met Daiquiri. She and her partner were volunteering at their local SPCA. When Abi first met her, she looked like a smaller version of Cookie. She and her partner discussed it, and by the end of their shift, went home with a third furry family member – Daiquiri. 

During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, having Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri helped Abi immensely. Having others to care for allowed Abi to focus her attention on something other than that difficult time. Toulouse was always there to offer a cuddle and Cookie and Daiquiri were always there to brighten their days. 

Not only have Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri helped improve Abi’s life, but Cookie and Daiquiri inspired Abi to pursue her passion for dog training. She has loved learning about dogs and how best to train and work with them. With Cookie and Daiquiri, she has also learnt patience, what works well and what doesn’t, and so much more. 

Through their training, Abi, Cookie and Daiquiri have been enjoying agility and nose-work. It has been a great way for them to bond and work on their relationship. All three of them enjoy this time together and working on new commands and tricks. 

The love between the four is immeasurable. They have such a strong bond and helped each other grow to become their best selves. Abi’s life has been changed for the better thanks to Toulouse, Cookie and Daiquiri. 

Assisting Independence — November 9, 2020

Assisting Independence

~ Abi and Rosie ~

In 2019, Abi met her best friend and therapy dog, Rosie (My amazing rosie). When Abi first met Rosie, she remembers falling instantly in love and they’ve been inseparable ever since.

Abi struggles with conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), bromidrophobia, and phantosmia. These all affect Abi in different ways during her day-to-day life. Abi’s OCD is triggered by smells and contamination, the bromidrophobia and phantosmia can add to this. Bromidrophobia is the fear of perceived smells, and phantosmia is known as an olfactory hallucination. Both of which can overlap one another, obviously leading to some distress. Abi’s SPD manifests itself through smell as well, as she avoids certain smells in her daily life. As well as this, she finds touch a challenge.

Wanting to find something to help her, Abi discovered an organisation called Therapy Dogs New Zealand. She decided to further research what this meant and soon it was decided a therapy dog could be helpful. Then, in 2019, Abi and Rosie were matched as a team and instantly formed a bond.

Rosie has been trained to help Abi with many different things. As Abi’s conditions can lead to a lot of distress, Rosie helps to calm her down. When they are out, Rosie can find exits and safe places for Abi, as well as finding someone and get help if needed. Rosie can also get any emergency medications that Abi may need. When Abi is engaging in OCD behaviours, Rosie can interrupt these to prevent any harm or anxiety. If Abi is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, Rosie can pick up on this and can act in a way to help reduce these feelings. She may be able to distract Abi to direct her attention elsewhere. As well as all this, Rosie can even perform deep pressure therapy! This helps Abi when she is very anxious. Due to her SPD, Abi can experience sensory overload. When this happens, Rosie paws at Abi to help her come out of that state.

Since having Rosie in her life, Abi feels that her life has changed. She is now able to leave her room, to go out into the community and attend school. Abi has a lot more confidence and independence since having Rosie at her side. Because of Rosie, Abi has not only been able to attend school independently but has also done a year at UCOL, a polytechnic for business studies. Rosie has allowed Abi an immense amount of independence and confidence. Not only this, but they are the best of friends.

Both Abi and Rosie enjoy going on adventures together. Whether outside in nature, in the community or going to their favourite shop, Lush. When Rosie is not working and is able to have some downtime, she loves to swim. Although, she is never too far away from her person, Abi.

Abi’s life has changed for the better since having Rosie by her side. Having Rosie has allowed Abi to live the life she wants. With Rosie by her side, Abi believes they can accomplish whatever they want. She knows Rosie will be there for her through thick and thin, and Abi will always be there and care for Rosie.