Lots of labrador love in the Manawatu, New Zealand


New Zealand


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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    If you like dogs and are keen on gardening or can run a vacuum and do some general cleaning, I'll provide the bed and $$ for your food. Spend the rest of your day playing with puppies, trips into the local cafe, or even on outings for puppy socialising. 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 stunning 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 10 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.

    I'm also developing this property to be a one-of-a-kind dog paradise for the community to use.

    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 10-50 dogs at any given time and learn a great deal about what goes into raising healthy and happy dogs, from newborn until old age. I am happy to share what I've learned on this journey!

  • 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 & 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. The property is new to me (I've just moved in in February 2022) so I'm sure there will be random jobs cropping up such as getting rid of thistles, weeding gardens, painting, planting trees, picking fruit.

    You will also get to play with and cuddle puppies, young dogs and our older retired labs 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 (Covid permitting!), and reinforcing the dogs' learning through consistency. Many of them LOVE "beauty parlor day" (brushing) 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 litters on the ground I often require a minimum of a two week stay.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be fluctuating a bit through 2022 as I am in the process of working on the property. However, rest assured, I won't be bringing on Workawayers until I can offer them a minimum of their own private room with a comfy bed in either my own home or in the 120 year old villa on the property, along with access to a kitchen/kitchenette and bathroom.

    Because I'm a less-than-great 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. I'm still discovering the area myself! It is a beautiful area with all the modern amenities.

    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.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The Manawatu is a very scenic part of New Zealand. Enjoy exploring Dannevirke and Norsewood as well as the many hiking/trails in the region!

  • 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

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Host ref number: 445575398471