Despite a common belief that mail delivery people are afraid of dogs, the exact opposite is the case for local postman Mike Paterson.
Paterson has been a postie for nearly 33 years. He has delivered from Titirangi to Parnell, and in the last 17 years has been more centered around Mt Eden. “I didn’t always like dogs, but the dogs I meet on my rounds are just great," he says.
Paterson loves the dogs that he meets on his postal run around Maungawhau so much, that he wrote a book about them.
With the help of the Albert-Eden Local Board Arts Broker and a $3000 local board grant, Postie Mike, A Dog’s Best Friend was published in December 2022. It is an illustrated children’s book, based on real dogs in the community.
“It started off as a joke between myself and Katie from Time Out Books in Mt Eden Village. I never really believed I would get to write a book of my own.”
“It is a special book because every dog is real, and every story is true.”
While delays due to COVID-19 nearly drove Paterson barking mad, encouragement from local dog owners and a grant from the local board meant that an illustrator was finally found and the project could go ahead.
“I’m glad to have found the support I needed, and it is just great to see the book, and these local stories, out there in the community,” explains Paterson.
Margi Watson, chairperson of Albert-Eden Local Board says that supporting this project was an easy decision. “There has been a lot of enthusiasm around this book, particularly from dog owners in the community. Many already know Mike from his postal rounds and so it’s really special to have this publication available.”
The first print round of 169 copies sold out in only eight days and so a second print run is planned for early February 2023.
“I honestly thought I would sell about 50 copies to local dog owners, and I would give the rest away to local businesses or children on my postie rounds,” Paterson says.
Postie Mike, A Dog’s Best Friend by Mike Paterson, will be available at the Albert-Eden Community Library and can be purchased from Time Out Bookshop in Mt Eden Village.
To ensure availability within the community some copies will be given to a few local schools and kindergartens.
For more information on Neighbourhoods Art funding visit facebook.com/neighbourhoodarts or @neighbourhoodarts.
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