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Pakus Story

We were not in the market for another dog.

Our beloved pitbull was nearing the end stages of life, and we had a small rescue pup. Huia was the only dog we have had from a puppy to senior years. Rescue has always been a thing with our whānau, and it has exposed us to the character and beauty of a wide range of  breeds.

Then, up came Paku on a Facebook page for the CDRRNZ, and I fell in love. While clearly smitten, it took me three attempts to finally and formally apply for a dog whose breedings defied belief – husky x chihuahua.

But here she was, blue-eyed and a perpetual mischief smile.

However the story doesn’t start with me and it would be remiss of me to believe that. Her lead may have been handed over to me, but Paku was Kevin’s dog. His companion for eight years.

I had the privilege of meeting Kevin and taking Paku to see him in Hamilton. The joy may have well belonged to him that day, being able to spend time with his old mate, but my heart further opened to Paku’s former life that day. This is not just my story – it also belongs to Kevin and Paku.

Kevin had some great yarns. He had found Paku as a pup at the Ōpōtiki pound – he reckoned she was originally called April. She is no April...

I pressed him for stories – there was the 20km run (we did say part husky) behind the car. The times Paku took off, speeding bullet out the back window of his car – having seen something that caught her eye in the distance, only to land in the duck pond and be pulled out drenched, and unceremoniously plonked in the boot for the drive home. Subsequently, Kevin built Paku her own car seat.

I only wish I had heard more of those stories. It dawned on me on the day of Kevin’s funeral that Paku had a family all ready and not only did they love her, but they had experiences of her to share too. 
Paku was clearly devastated, and kept running back to the viewing room. If you are Māori you will know that there is tikanga/kawa – real procedures around the dead. Not that it mattered to Paku, who has always made her feelings known loud and clear. She leapt into the coffin to wash Kevin’s face. Her dad. 

It is so easy to think that a dog becomes yours despite its past. It is almost a mistake to think in terms of total ownership. I swiftly learned that Paku wasn’t just mine, and she brought a rich whakapapa/genealogy and a history with her, that then inserted itself into my life. She was one of the lucky ones that had a good life, and continues to have the best life. In turn she enriches mine.

My very insubstantial gift to her is to provide her with love and adventures. Her gift to me is immeasurable.


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