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Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted as saying that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

I have to admit to being a bit of a softie for animals. When the family pet dies I have to find a quiet corner and have a good blubber. Then I have to dig the obligatory hole in the back yard and gather the family for the farewell.

I seem to be the kind of person to which animals are attracted. I hope, of course, that it’s not slow fluid seepage – an affliction of oncoming old age – that attracts the snout of dogs to personal spaces.

I’d rather like to think that they acknowledge a kindred spirit, one who would happily wander the neighbourhood and check out interesting sights, sounds and smells all day long, then return to curl up on the couch with good company after wolfing down a hearty steak.

So I tend to treat animals with respect and kindness. It’s got me out of bother on a few occasions, once memorably when a huge hound thought I was about to intrude on its territory. It tore across its front lawn as I stood at the gate, teeth bared (the dog’s not mine) and looked for all money as if it was going to separate my larynx from whatever it is that holds it in my neck, in one foul, salivating chomp. But I smiled at the barrel-chested mutt, held my ground (though concerned at the possiblity of the aforementioned leakage) and the dog stopped in its tracks.

I think it smiled back, but I was backing away fairly rapidly, pleased that there was still a half-hinged gate between us.

So the lesson is to treat animals well and you’ll be rewarded; treat them badly and as Gandhi alluded to, we’ve lost our moral compass. So I was pleased to see that two of the Huha dogs we’ve featured in Ōtaki Today have found new homes (p26).

Think I’ll have a blubber.

A softie for animals


Home page stories from June 2019


Sculpture designs to signify the gateways into Ōtaki were revealed at Ōtaki Community Board meeting. READ MORE

Rex Duckett’s PitRat Racing team passion for drag racing is edging him near the top in New Zealand. READ MORE

Original hump was too aggressive so Tasman Road got its long-awaited speed hump at the end of May. READ MORE

Eric King saw ramp constructed when he was 13, then watched as it was demolished


Home page stories from May 2019

Wylie family pitches in as a record number of trees to be planted this year on Ōtaki River. READ MORE

Lack of Peka Peka expressway interchange challenged by Action group Finish Our Road (FOR). READ MORE

Careers of the future in tech skills beckon Ōtaki’s young people at the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub. READ MORE

Thieves walk off with wooden bench seat, donated by Rotary, at the Ōtaki River estuary lookout. READ MORE


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