Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Sara and Samwise — May 20, 2022

Sara and Samwise

~ Sara and Samwise ~

Five years ago, Sara met Yellow Labrador pup, Samwise. Since then, Samwise has had a huge impact on his human’s life and they have formed a very special bond. In the time they’ve been a team, Samwise has given Sara freedom and, as a result, more confidence and independence. 

Sara has struggled with schizoaffective disorder and syncope issues. This can impact her in many ways, from dizziness to hallucinations brought on by anxiety, among other symptoms. It was because of this that Sara decided that getting a service dog would be helpful.

In 2017, Sara heard of a litter of Labrador puppies with one puppy in particular, Samwise, who was a good candidate. After some behavioural tests, he was top of the litter! Samwise had an even temper and enjoyed being around people. He was perfect. However, when Sara went to pick him up, he let out a very loud and opinionated squeal, and she knew they had some work to do. 

It took some time, but Samwise has become a life-changing companion for Sara. He has helped her to have more independence and confidence when out in the community. From blocking people who may be approaching her when out and about, to interrupting certain behaviours that indicate sensory overload or a psychotic episode may be about to happen. When he interrupts these behaviours, he helps to remind Sara to take her emergency medications and to prevent the situation from escalating. As well as this, he also helps by picking up items, turning on lights, and steadies Sara when she feels dizzy. 

Not only does Samwise help her through performing tasks, but also simply being a companion. Sara feels safer with him by her side and he has helped break down barriers for her socially. Before having Samwise, Sara had to have someone with her when she went out. Now, she has the freedom to go out and do what she wants. People would often make negative comments, stare or would move away if she were symptomatic. With Samwise by her side, people see him. They see a beautiful dog and talk to Sara about him. 

During Christmas one year, Sara, Samwise and their family went to Longwood Gardens to watch the Christmas light show. This was a huge experience for Sara and one that Samwise helped her to accomplish. Crowds can be overwhelming for her and, when she’s anxious, she can experience hallucinations. Sara felt confident having his support and it was something she was able to fully enjoy the moment with her family. 

One of their favourite things to do together is trick training. It’s helped to further strengthen their bond and is something they enjoy doing. Not only is it fun, but Sara and Samwise enjoy showing others all the cool tricks that he has learnt. When they’re just wanting to relax, however, both Sara and Samwise simply enjoy being in each other’s company. 

Having Samwise has been life-changing for Sara. He has given her the freedom to live her life how she wants to as she knows he’s always by her side. He’s inspired her to advocate for those with disabilities, to volunteer, and help train service dogs. To Sara, Samwise represents everything she has worked for and continues to work for. They truly share such a beautiful bond and have had such a huge impact on one another. 

Genevieve, Izak and Frankie — May 4, 2022

Genevieve, Izak and Frankie

~ Genevieve, Izak and Frankie ~

In 2021, Genevieve and her fiance, Izak, adopted Taco Terrier, Frankie. They have formed a very special bond and have become a family together. 

Having been wanting to adopt a dog, Genevieve and Izak had spent some time discussing it but felt that they needed to find their own place first. Once they did, they began searching for a furry friend. 

Izak started searching by joining some pages on social media. After a while, a 5-month-old puppy, Frankie, appeared on one of them. She was being rehomed as she and her sibling couldn’t be kept together due to fighting too much. Izak sent a photo to Genevieve and they both fell in love with her little face. They were unsure if they could adopt her as a lot of people were also interested in giving her a forever home. However, two weeks later, Izak and Genevieve received a call telling them Frankie was theirs. 

After receiving the call, Genevieve and Izak went on a six-hour drive to Hawera to pick up their new furbaby. Halfway there, they found themselves being filled with anticipation, wondering if she would like them and be a good fit. Once they arrived, however, they knew Frankie was perfect. She fell asleep on Izak’s shoulder and he and Genevieve knew she had found her forever home. 

Since adopting Frankie, she has had such a huge impact on both her humans, Genevieve especially. Each day, Frankie brings so much joy and love. When they return home from work, being welcomed by an excited pup never fails to make them smile. 

Genevieve is a mental health advocate and has co-founded a charity, Voices of Hope, and co-created an app resource name Love Your Kite. Both help to provide hope to those struggling with mental illnesses. It can become overwhelming at times but Frankie is always there. When things are tough, whether it’s a challenging day or it’s been a difficult day at work, Frankie is right by Genevieve’s side. She also just knows exactly when to give Genevieve a big snuggle. 

Not only has Frankie had an impact on Genevieve and Izak, but also those around her. When out and about, all who pass by smile as they see her little face. She’s a very social dog and just loves meeting new friends. As well as this, if Frankie wants more attention or pats, she taps her humans with her front paw and looks up with her puppy-dog eyes. 

One of Genevieve, Izak and Frankie’s favourite things to do together is go to the beach. Seeing Frankie tear around and play fills Genevieve’s heart with pure joy. The happiness that the beach brings Frankie spreads to those who see her living her best life. One time, she even made a friend at the beach by sneaking a chip from their fish and chips lunch! 

The impact that Frankie has had on Genevieve and Izak has been huge. From being woken up early in the morning to be met by a snuggly pup, to laughing every day because of her antics. She has brought so much light and love into their lives and has formed a special bond. 

Storm and Oakley — April 29, 2022

Storm and Oakley

~ Storm and Oakley ~

Two years ago, Storm met Oakley. Oakley, who has since become Storm’s service cat, has had a huge impact on both his human and the community. 

On a hot summer’s day in 2019, Storm’s mother asked her to come outside and help take some groceries out of the car. When Storm got there, she saw a box that had two kittens in it. One of the kittens was Oakley, who Storm immediately felt a bond with. Storm was beyond excited by this unexpected surprise.

Storm struggles with anxiety, so she felt that a service animal would be helpful. When she met Oakley, she felt he would be ideal. He is smart, protective and loves to work, making him the perfect candidate. They began training together and Oakley soon became an official service cat. 

Since they started training, Oakley has been trained to alert Storm to high heart rate, behaviour interruptions, DPT when she is experiencing a panic attack, and more. One time in particular that Oakley had a big impact on Storm was when they were together at a park. It was a very busy day as there were activities being held, and some parents and children had crowded around Storm and Oakley. Sensing that his human was becoming stressed from this, Oakley pulled on his leash and guided Storm to a nearby bench. 

Not only does Oakley help with his task-work, but he provides Storm with a sense of companionship. On days that are difficult, he’s always there to comfort and support her. Whether through snuggles or simply being close by, he always manages to brighten Storm’s day. 

When Oakley isn’t working, he and Storm enjoy going quad biking together. They both love the sense of adventure and exploring the new surroundings. When they feel like something more relaxing, they like to go for walks, whether at a park or around the block. 

The impact that Oakley has had on Storm has been huge. He has not only helped her to gain more confidence and independence, but also has brought so much love and happiness into her life. They truly share such a beautiful bond.

Cara and Edna — April 20, 2022

Cara and Edna

~ Cara and Edna ~

Last year, Edna changed Cara’s life. During one of the most difficult times in Cara’s life, Edna was right there to help her.

A few years ago, one of Cara’s close friends adopted Edna. However, when she went to university, she had to leave Edna with her parents as animals weren’t allowed there. During this time, Cara became very unwell. Her friends’ parents offered to have her stay with them while she recovered. 

As she moved in, Cara took over the care of Edna. It wasn’t long before they became great friends. Cara loved watching Edna do zoomies around the house, with her fur puffed up and green eyes wide. Each morning, Edna would go into Cara’s room and soothe her with purrs or sit in her lap and just looks up. 

Cara has struggled with pain disorders and mental health issues. This can cause pain attacks, panic attacks, paralysis and difficult emotions. Whenever she experiences these episodes, no matter what she’s doing or where she is, Edna will find Cara and comfort her. Whether it’s simply being by her human’s side, giving her cuddles or massaging the painful areas. Knowing that she cares so much has had a big impact on Cara’s overall wellbeing and feeling safer. 

Sometimes, as a result of her mental health issues, Cara experiences severe nightmares. Recently, after a particularly scary nightmare, Edna woke up Cara by placing her paws on her chin and purring loudly. When Cara woke up, Edna rested on her chest. This was like a weighted blanket and greatly helped to relax her human. As well as this, it reminded Cara to take deeper breaths and to ground herself in the present. 

Edna has provided Cara with a sense of companionship. She knows that, no matter what, Edna is right there beside her. If she’s having a tough time, talking to her furry friend can be a huge relief. As well as this, having Edna allows Cara to focus on something else and have a purpose each day. 

Not only does Edna provide Cara with a sense of hope, but she spreads so much joy and positivity. Each day, she brings so much laughter through zoomies and her playfulness. Cara loves when Edna chases her feet under the blankets. They’ll happily play this for as long as they both have the energy to. 

Each day, Edna brings so much happiness into Cara’s life. She has been life-changing and has had a huge impact on Cara’s recovery. The love that they share for one another is so strong and will only continue to flourish.

Tash, Karl and Petal — March 30, 2022

Tash, Karl and Petal

~ Tash, Karl and Petal ~

Just over a year ago, Tash and Karl welcomed beautiful Corgi pup, Petal, into their home. Since then, she has brought so much joy and love into their lives and has had a huge impact. 

In 2020, Tash lost her dog, Logan, a lovely and charming Corgi. He had severe kidney dysplasia. They monitored him 24/7 and ensured he could live the best life possible. He even helped her start her business, Pup and Running. Sadly, at two years old, his condition went downhill and he passed away later that year. Just before, Tash and Karl were looking to adopt a second dog so they wouldn’t be alone after Logan’s passing. 

Losing Logan was heartbreaking. However, Petal was able to provide Tash and Karl with some sense of peace and a little more joy through the difficult time. Tash always tells Petal stories about Logan and how much of a good big brother he would have been to her. Petal just gave them a sense of hope. That they could get through it all and she was right there for them. 

Having Petal has helped Tash immensely. While Logan ignited her passion for dog training and her pet accessory business, Petal has helped to hone in on this. Pup and Running is something Tash owes to Logan, but Petal helps by being a great model. She also thrives off of learning new things and being active, which has encouraged Tash to do so, too. 

Both Tash and Petal’s favourite thing to do is to spend time together. Be it training, going for a walk or relaxing on the couch, simply being in each other’s company is enough to make any tough day better. Not only this, but having a face similar to a teddy bear comforts Tash and reminds her that she isn’t alone. 

Petal has had a huge impact on Tash and Karl. She has helped bring them love when times have been tough. Each day, she brightens their day and continues to provide them with hope and joy. 

Zoey and Raven — February 8, 2022

Zoey and Raven

~ Zoey and Raven ~

Almost two years ago, Zoey adopted Raven, a very sweet and friendly Border Collie, German Shepherd and Labrador cross puppy. Since then, they have become the best of friends and Raven has helped Zoey immensely. 

Zoey first met Raven as a puppy. Initially, Raven was living with Zoey’s neighbour, but they weren’t able to care for her, and Zoey asked if she could meet the pup. As soon as Raven saw her, she ran straight into her arms and started licking her face. From that moment, Zoey knew Raven was the perfect dog. 

For a few years, Zoey has struggled with mental health issues. Since adopting Raven, not only has she become Zoey’s best friend, but she has also become her psychiatric service dog. Raven helps her by alerting her to low iron, reminds her to take her medications, does deep pressure therapy (DPT), and much more. Above all, Raven is Zoey’s companion and helps her to have more confidence when out and about. 

One specific time Zoey recalls Raven having a huge impact was helping her through a very dark time. Her mental health had become overhwhelming and she closed herself in the bathroom, in tears. Raven immediately knew something was wrong. She pawed at the bathroom door for 20 minutes and, once Zoey let her in, she laid down on her lap and wouldn’t leave until she felt Zoey was feeling better. 

Since then, Zoey’s mental health has gradually gotten better thanks to Raven’s love and support. She has provided her human with so much happiness and has given her a sense of purpose. Because of the huge impact Raven has had on Zoey, she’s been enrolled in a therapy dog program. Once she completes this, she’ll be able to help others.

Not only has Raven had an impact on Zoey’s mental health, but she has also impacted her physical health. From going out each day to walk Raven, to doing dog agility training, having her canine companion has had a huge impact. Raven loves to learn and Zoey enjoys teaching her new tricks and commands, so it’s time when they just get to be together and have fun. 

Raven has truly had an incredible impact on Zoey. She has been by her side through thick and thin. It is obvious how much love and care they share for one another. They share such a special bond.

Nafisha and Ary — January 10, 2022

Nafisha and Ary

~ Nafisha and Ary ~

Five years ago, Ary found her forever home with Nafisha. Since then, Ary has helped Nafisha immensely and has changed her life so much. 

For as long as she can remember, Nafisha had been terrified of dogs. She couldn’t go near one due to her anxieties around them. In the years before adopting Ary, Nafisha slowly got used to being around dogs. Her boss would bring in service dogs-in-training and her partner is a big dog lover. After a while, Nafisha began to overcome her fear of dogs. 

In 2016, after having thought about it, Nafisha decided to adopt a dog. She discovered a mixed breed puppy at a pet store in Auckland who was affiliated with a animal rescue based in Thames, NZ. She was instantly drawn to this one pup as she was very small but had very long legs in proportion to her body! It was love at first sight and, as a Game of Thrones fan, Nafisha named her Ary after Arya Stark. 

Being Nafisha’s first dog, Ary has had such a huge impact on her life. She has helped Nafisha to further overcome her fear of dogs, and has brought so much more happiness into her life. Not only this, but Ary has improved her mental health overall. Through encouraging her to socialise more, she helps calm her down in times of stress, and more. 

Something that Nafisha and Ary enjoy doing is going for adventures together. Whether walking along a beach, exploring a new place or one of their favourite parks. They love doing this as it’s time for just them, to be in each other’s company and experience new things. 

Through thick and thin, Nafisha and Ary have been by each other’s side. Ary has brought unconditional love and so much joy into Nafisha’s life. For this, she is incredibly grateful and they have both changed each other’s lives for the better.

Nabihah and Winston — December 1, 2021

Nabihah and Winston

~ Nabihah and Winston ~

In mid-2021, Winston found his forever home, and Nabihah found her best friend. In the short amount of time they’ve been together, they have formed a very strong bond. 

Following the 2020 lockdown in New Zealand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nabihah found her mental health greatly declined. She couldn’t find any happiness in her days and felt herself continuously spiralling downwards. It was a very difficult time for her, and she just couldn’t see any way out. 

One day, while at work, a co-worker recommended Nabihah get a pet. This was something she was interested in, but at the time couldn’t find the right animal for her. Then, in 2021, that all changed. 

Nabihah heard of a breeder and quickly contacted them. There was one kitten there but he had just been given to a family. However, not too long after, the family had to give him back as they couldn’t look after him. The breeder got in contact with Nabihah to let her know he was back up for adopting and, without a doubt, she said yes! She felt it was just meant to be. 

When Nabihah first met Winston, she instantly fell in love. The moment they met, she was filled with immense joy and knew that her life would be changed as a result. 

Having Winston has had an incredible impact on Nabihah. Her mental health has gradually gotten better. He has given her a sense of purpose, an unconditional source of love and is her own personal ray of sunshine. On days when Nabihah may be struggling, she knows she has Winston. 

Amid the 2021 lockdown in NZ, Nabihah found her mental health challenged once again. Yet, this time around, she had Winston. Every day when she woke up, he was right there and happy to give her as many snuggles as she needed. Even though it has been a very stressful situation, it was made a bit better with her furry companion. 

Through all the obstacles that Nabihah has faced, Winston has been right by her side. She would often have multiple appointments per week with doctors and therapists, but with Winston, she has found herself to be in a much better place, both mentally and physically. 

One of the most significant things Winston has helped Nabihah with is simply bringing more joy into her life. As Winston is a kitten, he is very playful. He loves to chase and Nabihah through his cat tunnel. This never fails to bring her immense joy and endless laughter. 

The impact that Winston has had on Nabihah has been life-changing. Right from the first day they met, he has brightened every day since. The love and care they have for one another is truly special.

Evie, Eddie, Biggie and Pebbles — November 5, 2021

Evie, Eddie, Biggie and Pebbles

~ Evie, Eddie, Biggie and Pebbles ~

Evie has always been passionate about animals, and has been surrounded by many different furry friends throughout her life. She currently has two dogs and a cat – Biggie, Pebbles and Eddie. 

Some years ago, Evie was devastated when her lovely Italian Greyhound, Jasper, passed away. She was beside herself and soon put herself on a waiting list for an Italian Greyhound puppy. It was a very challenging time filled with grief and sadness, and she couldn’t bear being without a canine companion. 

Soon after putting her name on the waiting list, Evie was contacted about a puppy in Australia. It was love at first sight when she met Biggie. Biggie has a big personality and, from the moment they met, was able to bring a smile to Evie’s face. 

It wasn’t long before Evie welcomed another fur baby into her life. One day, she discovered a small black kitten on the internet. She fell in love with him and soon welcomed Eddie into her family. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, a while after welcoming Biggie and Eddie into her life, Evie adopted Pebbles. When Evie first met Pebbles, she thought she looked like a Kunekune piglet with her curly tail and markings. She loved how unique she looked and instantly adopted the wiggly and snuggly puppy. 

All three animals have had such an impact on Evie. She has struggled with depression and anxiety, however, with her furbabies by her side, she feels less alone. No matter what, they always know just how to make her laugh and smile. With Eddie, Biggie, and Pebbles, each day is made a bit better. 

Spending time with all her animal friends helps Evie immensely. They offer her constant comfort and companionship. As well as this, Biggie and Pebbles encourage her to get outside for walks. When they don’t feel like going out for a walk, however, both dogs are natural models! They all enjoy taking photos with each other and all the fun that goes with it. 

Not only has Evie always been passionate about animals, but art also holds a very special place in her heart. Initially, she was more interested in art history but before long, she discovered graphic design and found her dream career. 

Because of the impact all her animals have had on her, Evie is very inspired by them. Evie’s art is filled with colour, fun and the occasional animal, of course! Her art is something that has become a part of her. 

All Evie’s art can be seen on her social media pages and on her website, eviekemp.com. A simple like or follow can mean a lot and make all the difference! 

As well as selling her own prints, Evie does artwork for different places. Most recently, she painted a beautiful mural for the Pet Refuge shelter. Pet Refuge provides hope and shelter for the pets of domestic abuse victims. Evie’s mural will be one of the first things people will see, bringing a bit of colour and happiness to those in need. 

Creating art brings Evie so much joy. Knowing her art can brighten one person’s day or inspire them keeps her motivated to continue. It’s also something that she can work on from home with the help of her furbabies! 

The impact Eddie, Biggie and Pebbles have all had on Evie has been huge. They have supported her through tough times and provide her with joy and inspiration every day. Her passion for animals is evident in all she does, from her art to just how she speaks about her furry friends!

Cylie and Sophie — September 20, 2021

Cylie and Sophie

~ Cylie and Sophie ~

Five years ago, Cylie met her service dog, Sophie. Since then, they have become best friends and are now inseparable. 

Cylie struggles with having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can face day-to-day challenges. Because of this, it was decided that a service dog may be helpful. 

Before long, Cylie met a gentle and sweet puppy. It was love at first sight and with the new name of Sophie, she had found her forever person. Not only had Cylie found a service dog, but also a best friend. 

Having Sophie has helped Cylie immensely. Following her training, Sophie can alert Cylie to any potential triggers or before she experiences an episode. If her symptoms become too overwhelming, Sophie will find Cylie’s mother or someone close by to help. 

With Sophie at her side, Cylie can have more independence and confidence when out within her community. She can socialise more, go out, and live her life because of the help and support that Sophie provides. She knows that no matter what, she will be right there for her. 

The love both Cylie and Sophie share for one another is very special. They both just want to help and make each other happy. Cylie is thankful to her companion as she has helped and saved her so many times. 

They both love to spend time together. Cylie and Sophie both enjoy training and practising tasks. When not working, however, going to dog parks is always Sophie’s favourite activity, and of course, simply being in each other’s company. 

It is obvious how much love and care both Cylie and Sophie have for each other. They want nothing but the best for one another and truly share a very special bond.