Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

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.

Chris, Jazzy, Jojo and Benji — September 10, 2021

Chris, Jazzy, Jojo and Benji

~ Chris, Jazzy, Jojo and Benji ~

A few years ago, Chris welcomed Jazzy into their life. Not long after, Jojo and then Benji were rescued and given a forever home. Now, the four of them are one big family. 

In 2018, a friend of Chris’ dad was looking to rehome his dog, Jazzy as he could no longer look after her. Chris fell in love with Jazzy and she has become a big part of their life. 

Having Jazzy was life-changing for Chris. They were struggling a lot with mental health issues and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Jazzy helped them realise that in order to properly look after her, they had to work on their recovery. She truly became Chris’ beam of hope. 

Then, in 2020, Chris met Jojo. She had shown up at their doorstep, malnourished and in need of some care. They instantly brought her inside and made sure she got the help she deserved. 

It was an adjustment for Jazzy, but soon enough, they became good friends and now enjoy playing and spending time together. 

Around the same time, Chris was going through a tough break-up. It had a big impact on their mental health. Luckily, having Jojo helped them through it. Having both Jazzy and Jojo gave Chris something to focus on and care for. They both helped them so much during that challenging period. 

Two months after welcoming Jojo into their home, Benji arrived. He found his way to Chris’ home and they immediately went to his aid. Benji, while only four-year-old, had obviously had a very difficult life. He had scars all over his body, was malnourished and his teeth were severely worn down. 

It was heartbreaking for Chris to see this, however, they took Benji in. It has been a long journey to recovery, but Benji is slowly moving towards a happy and healthy life. 

Jazzy, Jojo and Benji have all had such a big impact on Chris. They now all love one another and have brought so much love and light into each other’s lives. 

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.  

From Rescued to Rescuer — December 7, 2020

From Rescued to Rescuer

~ Danya and Mel ~

In 2017, Danya met her companion, Mel. Mel, and her sister, were rescued by Danya’s then boyfriend’s mother. At the time of being found, Mel was only 12 weeks old. It was evident she was raised in a bad and negligent environment. As a result of this, it took a long time to build up trust. Soon, Danya and her then-boyfriend broke up, and she moved to a farm. It was decided that Mel would stay with her there.

Mel was a very scared dog. She had been through a lot in her short life. Danya had been struggling with her mental health at the same time, so between them both, there was an unspoken understanding. Following Danya’s break-up, both she and Mel were sad and unsure of what the future may hold. Having Mel during this time was immensely helpful to Danya.

Being neglected led to Mel being an anxious dog, which would often lead to her becoming aggressive. Mel was a reactive dog and had a tendency to bite people when she was scared. This, unfortunately, led to Danya becoming isolated in not being able to invite people over. It created a strain on Danya’s relationships. It was so bad that they considered euthanasia due to Mel’s aggression and unpredictable behaviour and thinking this would be the most humane thing for her. Yet, something in Danya told her she couldn’t give up on Mel.

Danya saw something in Mel and decided she wasn’t going to give up on her. This ended up being something that only strengthened their bond. For months, Danya and Mel worked with a canine behaviourist. The two helped each other immensely. Danya was able to fully understand Mel. Through this, she learned that Mel preferred wide open spaces and would become overwhelmed when around too many other dogs, although enjoys the company of a few.

Since working with a behaviourist, Mel is a completely different dog. Mel is no longer aggressive nor reactive, as she was. Danya is able to invite others over and go out with Mel.

Although it was a challenge, Danya feels this has brought them closer. Not only this, but Mel has helped Danya with her own mental health. She knows that no matter what, she is never alone as Mel is by her side. Mel makes sure that Danya gets up every morning and that she leaves the house in order to allow Mel some exercise. If Danya is unwell, Mel either jumps up onto the bed to join her or will sleep in her own bed and keep watch of her human. Danya sees Mel as her emotional support dog. If she is feeling anxious or her mental health is a struggle, she knows Mel is right there.

Not only has Mel helped Danya with her health and wellbeing, but she has also helped provide more adventure. The two often go on bushwalks and going for walks along the beach. It allows them to get some fresh air and spend time together. When they go to the beach, Mel is able to run around off-leash. She loves having this freedom and enjoys meeting other dogs. Seeing Mel so happy brings Danya a lot of joy. Danya also likes to teach Mel new things.

Being parts fox terrier and huntaway, Mel is a very keen learner. Recently, she has learned ‘shake’ in Croatian, a trick she very much likes to share with others! Mel also enjoys being the subject of one of Danya’s interests, photography.

It’s obvious how much Danya and Mel mean to one another. They are both each other’s best friend and companion. The two share such an incredible bond and have helped each other become who they are today.

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.

Fostering During Covid — October 19, 2020

Fostering During Covid

~ Ofel and Lulu ~

In 2015, Ofel Epicorus moved to New Zealand from Israel. In 2018, since moving, she wanted to help support the SPCA by fostering cats and kittens. In early 2020 during the March COVID-19 lockdown, she was introduced to the foster kitten, Lulu.

The lockdown was a difficult time and Ofel found her mood was getting low and had feelings of anxiousness. Having Lulu allowed Ofel to focus on another living being. Lulu offered Ofel some form of relief from the stress of the unprecedented period. Lulu would bring Ofel toys so they could play fetch, and would often follow Ofel and her partner around.

Not only was Lulu able to provide Ofel with a focus during the lockdown, but she also offered comfort. Lulu would often snuggle with Ofel and enjoyed having her company. It was a great relief to Ofel. As the lockdown was a chaotic and challenging period, having Lulu meant Ofel could have some calm in her life.

Amid the lockdown, Ofel was also managing her project page, A Part of Me Project. This aims to spread awareness and break the stigma of different mental and physical health conditions. Lulu helped Ofel to not only have some relief but also in prompting her to take some time out.

When Ofel found her mood to be low during the lockdown, Lulu offered some light. One time, Lulu was meowing at Ofel. Lulu then jumped onto Ofel’s bed with a toy in her mouth. The two played fetch and Ofel found this to be something that helped her immensely during this time.

As well as this, Ofel enjoyed having snuggles with Lulu. At times when she felt anxious or down, Lulu was there to brighten her day. Whether by offering some hugs, or playing fetch, having Lulu made such a big impact on Ofel.

Soon enough, Lulu was adopted. Ofel was devastated to see her leave but was happy to have been part of Lulu’s journey in finding a forever home. Had she been able to, she would have lovingly adopted Lulu into her own home.

Although Ofel no longer has Lulu, she still fosters cats and kittens from the SPCA. Having Lulu during a time when everything was a bit chaotic had a big impact on Ofel. Lulu never failed to brighten Ofel’s day, through snuggles and games of fetch. Ofel is thrilled that Lulu found a forever home, and that she could help Lulu in the journey of finding it.

A Pup of Hope — September 21, 2020

A Pup of Hope

~ Genevieve and Abby ~

Abby, a mini fox terrier, arrived in New Zealand from Australia in 2007 and was warmly welcomed into the family of Genevieve Mora. The two have since shared a close bond. Genevieve remembers falling in love with fox terriers, and once she and Abby met, she knew it was meant to be.

It wasn’t until Genevieve met Abby that she realised just how much animals can change our lives.

Between 2008 and 2013, Genevieve battled mental health issues. Having struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and anorexia nervosa, this period in her life was difficult, to say the least. Whenever Genevieve was able to return home, she remembers Abby always being there.

During her 5 year battle with mental illness, Genevieve was in and out of the hospital. This was a harrowing period in her life. Genevieve’s obsessive-compulsive disorder impacted every aspect of her life, and was an obstacle she had to overcome. Genevieve has fond memories of Abby always being by her side.

As you can imagine, this was a very difficult time in Genevieve’s life, but she recalls Abby as being a great support. Abby always kept Genevieve company, and helped her immensely in her recovery. It seemed Abby just knew she needed some more love and care. Being in and out of hospital, Genevieve found it difficult being apart from Abby during these trying times. Happily, Abby was always there to welcome Gen home when she was allowed out.

Looking after Abby helped Genevieve learn to look after herself. Having Abby allowed Genevieve to focus on something outside of herself, and to care for another living being. Seeing Abby after a hospital admission or treatment, gave Genevieve some form of hope and something to look forward to. She could know that no matter what happened, she would return home to her dog who would greet her with happiness and no judgement.

Now, Genevieve is in a much healthier place, both mentally and physically. Although she still has days and moments when things can get a bit much, she has resources and a strong support system to help her, which of course includes Abby. Abby is now 13 years old, but she is still very active.

When struggling, Genevieve enjoys the company of Abby. Abby’s presence comforts Genevieve, and despite her small size, helps Genevieve to feel safer. She is encouraged to go out and have some activity during the day to walk and exercise Abby. This is something Genevieve very much enjoys. Watching Abby run around, especially off-leash, brings both of them a lot of joy.

Genevieve views Abby as a sibling. They have a mutual understanding of one another. When they both are a bit tired, Abby will snuggle with Genevieve, and they even share the bed. When her own mental health is a struggle, she knows she has Abby there as a support. Abby provides Genevieve with much comfort and happiness. They have an unspoken understanding of one another.

After recovering from anorexia and OCD, Genevieve wanted to help others going through similar struggles. She, along with her friend Jazz Thornton, started a charity, named Voices of HOPE. Voices of Hope aims to help raise awareness around mental health issues and to inspire hope.

Since recovering, Genevieve has shared her journey with mental health, both locally and worldwide, to show others they are not alone and that there is hope. On top of this, she is working on an app to aid individuals in their eating disorder recovery journeys. The app, called Love Your Kite, will be launching in the very near future. Doing this can make her days very busy at times, but she knows that whatever happens during the day, Abby will excitedly welcome her back home.