updated   Last minute

Lots of labrador love in the Manawatu, New Zealand



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    UPDATE 22ND JANUARY: I am currently fully booked through mid-year. I may open Workaway spots for the second half of 2024 but won't know until later in the year as the dogs and I are shifting into a new building on the property. Keep watch of my profile and I'll update it as soon as I know if I have spaces available!

    **Ideal Workawayers are self-motivated, take pride in their work, are outgoing, caring and sociable.**

    If you like dogs and can run a vacuum and do some general cleaning, I'll provide a comfortable room and $$ for your food. Spend the rest of your day playing with puppies and cuddly labs. I'm looking for volunteers who can stay a minimum of 1 week but preference will be given to those who are willing to commit to two weeks or longer.

    If being around a whole pack of slobbering, cuddly Labradors, each with their own personality and quirks, sounds like your kind of heaven, please come join us!

    I moved to New Zealand from the USA several years ago. I have just recently purchased and moved to the most stunning property for my dogs and I -- 40 acres in the Manawatu with towering trees, flowers, ponds, a gorgeous meandering stream and views of the snow-capped mountains in the winter! The dogs think it is paradise! And I kind of agree with them.

    I have a small flock of bottle-raised sheep that like to think they help with the lawn-mowing(!) and then I have a WHOLE BUNCH of Labrador dogs that are my 24/7 passion.

    Depending on the time of year, I have anywhere from 13 to 50 Labradors, ranging in age from newborn puppies to my retired seniors. Most are mine. Some are visiting. Some are looking for their forever families.

    What do I do with ALL THESE DOGS you ask?

    My favourite thing is to see how my dogs and puppies can impact the lives of others. Whether it is a smile on an elderly person's face, a memory brought back to a dementia patient, a couple's first fur-baby or an autistic child who opens their arms to a new best friend.

    The ability to brighten the lives of others through dogs is an amazing feeling. I secretly believe there is nothing that a Labrador can't do! They are always amazing me, making me smile and laugh.

    My days are spent raising, training and sharing my dogs in a variety of ways including therapy/assistance dog work, scent work, education of dog families and more.

    Come see for yourself! Not only will the dogs etch themselves into your heart but you may learn a thing or two as well about dogs!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Animal Care
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    While I am not a native-born kiwi, I understand first hand what it is like to be away from your homeland and be in a new country. I love to share what I've learned about Kiwi life and compare/contrast it to American life and then learn how that compares to OTHER cultures.

    There aren't many places where you can live with 13-50 dogs at any given time and learn a great deal about what goes into raising healthy and happy dogs, from newborn through old age. You will learn a lot about how dogs communicate and how having multiple dogs compares to having a single dog in the household. I am happy to share what I've learned on this journey of raising and training hundreds of dogs during my lifetime!

  • Help


    As my dogs live with me in my home, my biggest need is for those who can help with keeping their environment clean.

    That mostly involves typical household-type chores... vacuuming, mopping & dusting... with some occasional more "spring cleaning" type activities thrown in (cleaning nose and paw prints off windows, gardening, filling dug holes, etc.). Dogs generate a lot of hair, dirt, and dust so there is always cleaning to be done. When I have puppies, there is a bit more! There is also some poop scooping/doggy clean up but not as much as you might think as my dogs don't live in kennels.

    There may be some outside help needed as well such as getting rid of thistles, weeding gardens, painting, planting trees, etc.

    You will also get to play with and cuddle puppies, young dogs and our older retired labs, take them for outings around the property or take them for a swim in the pond or stream. What a great job, right??

    Spending one-on-one time with my labs is an important part of each day. This may include teaching the dogs some basic training commands (I can show you how), meeting up with other dogs on social outings, possibly therapy/comfort-related dog work, and reinforcing the dogs' learning through consistency. Many of them LOVE "beauty parlor day" (brushing, nail trimming) too.

    I am more than happy for volunteers to stay long term! I do ask for a minimum 1 week stay in order to keep the environment as consistent as possible for the dogs. During whelping and when I have young puppies I often require a minimum of a two week stay.

    Thank you for understanding that smoking, vaping and your own pets are not permitted anywhere on the property at this time.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation is currently in a 1904 villa with the dogs and I. You will have a private room with a comfy bed along with access to a full kitchen, laundry, and bathroom.

    Because I'm a horrible cook (even though the dogs would say I do a GREAT job of preparing all of their meals!) I provide each Workawayer $75/week for food/spending so that they can buy/cook what they would like to eat during their stay.

    I am located rurally but less than 10kms from two different towns -- Norsewood & Dannevirke. We go to town most days so you are always welcome to come along if you need anything.

    I do not set specific working hours. A lot of the help is very flexible and can be done at any time throughout the day.

    Thank you for understanding that smoking, vaping and your own pets are not permitted anywhere on the property at this time.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The Manawatu is a very scenic part of New Zealand. Enjoy exploring Dannevirke and Norsewood as well as the hiking/trails in the region! Hawkes Bay is just an hour away where there are stunning beaches, great shopping and Te Mata peak for hiking. Cafes are PLENTIFUL in both Dannevirke so if you love your coffee, I know a great place!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have decent unlimited broadband access at the moment. Cell phone reception is good.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Plenty of room for self-contained vehicles.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Flexible. 5 hours per day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 445575398471

Feedback (31)


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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.8)

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