We chat to Albert-Eden-Roskill Councillor Cathy Casey about Auckland Council’s animal shelters and her new pup Suzie.
Cathy’s older canine chum, Pat, had been getting lonely since his mother Mitzi died, so Cathy thought it was time to introduce another member of the family.
Knowing that 14-year-old Pat was a chap set in his ways, Cathy dog-hunted carefully, asking Manukau Animal Shelter to let her know if any young and small female dogs came in.
A few weeks later they called to say a perfect match had arrived – Suzie, an 8-month-old cross-breed who was found wandering the streets.
Of course, the big question was how would Pat feel about her?
After taking him down to the shelter and letting the pair sniff each other from top to bottom, Pat gave his paw-print of approval and Suzie came home.
Sure enough they turned out to be the perfect match.
Suzie knew Pat was The Boss and instantly learned to read his signals – when he wanted space, when he wanted to play, to respect his stuff, how to cheer him up or snuggle down.
Meanwhile, Pat showed Suzie the ways of the world. Suzie barely seemed to have been outside before – Cathy thinks she used to be kept as a lapdog and kept in the house – so every sniff was fresh. Pat showed her how to walk on the lead and introduced her to his favourite parks.
“She was so ecstatically happy,” Cathy says. “That’s the only word I can use – ecstatic. The first time I took her to the park she was so excited that she just ran round and round in circles!”
“Everything was a new adventure for her, and whether it learning to swim or chasing pigeons she loved it.”
Looking forward, Cathy hopes that other shelter dogs can be adopted and make their new humans as happy as Suzie has made her.
Auckland Council runs three animal shelters in Manukau, Henderson and Silverdale. As Cathy comments, the advantage of shelters is people can match with the kind of dog they’re after. From German Shepherds to spaniels, old fellows like Pat or pups like Suzie – dogs of all sorts come through.
Cathy is especially passionate about giving older dogs a good retirement.
“They deserve a chance to enjoy their golden years,” she says. “They’re normally house-trained and bring good habits – they’ve been around the block a bit, they know what life’s about.”
“It’s the perfect match. A good home for them and a good friend for you.”
Dogs available for adoption are posted on Facebook.
And they lived happily ever after
And how’s Suzie now?
Still happy and got the whole family wrapped around her little paws. She took so quickly to obedience training that she’s already moved up to agility classes – Cathy admits it’s funny watching her line up beside dogs four times her size.
“I’ve had dogs of every kind but never one as smart as this wee one. She’s fearless and as fast as anything,” Cathy says. “Suzie’s brought nothing but joy into everyone’s lives, including Pat’s.”
“The only thing the two of them don’t like is me showing the other one too much affection,” Cathy laughs. “They get jealous!”
Auckland Council’s animal shelters successfully rehome 100 per cent of adoptable dogs.
All dogs put up for adoption have been health checked, de-sexed, registered, micro-chipped and given a basic vaccination before they leave the shelter. Other vaccinations may be required.
Please note that a fully fenced section or suitable containment area is needed to adopt a dog.