Piri, one of Auckland Council's hard-working biosecurity dogs is expecting puppies - and it's almost time to meet them.
It’s a very special bond, that between mother and child.
And it’s no different for we canines.
As I fondly farewelled Tūī from active duty at the end of November after 11 years on the job, I knew a new generation was about to arrive!
So as not to 'steal the show' from Tūī at her retirement, I kept the secret to myself. But hey, look at this scan:
And what do you see?
While Auckland Council’s first and the country’s oldest pest detection dog bowed out, three more nosy barkers are on their way.
I’m one of the members of the pest detection team and I’m about to become a mum for the first time.
It’s a new experience and I’m excited, quaking with anticipation.
It’s been tough getting about over recent weeks, I’m a bit slow now and about the only thing that gets me moving is that smell of a rodent!
Here I am at my last maternity check-up – all is well and we’re on track for a 12 December arrival – just in time for Christmas. What a wonderful present for my human Carol.
Nero the father is a wallaby detection dog from Te Puke and I chose him for his hunting ability and vigour. He's a Parson's Terrier, known for being bold, clever and agile. My pups are destined to follow in our paw prints and become pest detection dogs in the New Zealand Conservation Dog Programme.
At least one of the pups will stay with me to work in the Hauraki Gulf and train as a rodent detection dog.
Right now I'm getting used to my whelping box and Pai, Tui's son and my half brother has come to check it out too. He has no idea what all the fuss is about!
I’ll let you know when my babies arrive.