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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!
We are an American couple who moved to New Zealand several years ago. Our 8 acre property in rural Hawkes Bay is surrounded by huge sheep and cattle farms. We have a small flock of bottle-raised sheep that help with the lawn-mowing and then we have a WHOLE BUNCH of Labrador dogs that are my 24/7 passion.
My husband works in town as a teacher and my focus is on the dogs whom I raise, train and share with the community in a variety of ways including therapy/assistance dog work, scent work and more. I truly believe there is nothing that a Labrador can't do!
But 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.
Come let me show you!
Help around the house
While we are not native-born kiwis, we 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 15-40 dogs at any given time and learn a great deal about what goes into raising healthy and happy dogs, from newborn until old age. We are happy to share what we know!
Our dogs live in their own people-sized dog house.
Our biggest need is for those who can help with keeping the Dog House clean.
That mostly involves typical household-type chores... vacuuming, dusting, dishes... with some occasional power washing, window washing, and more "spring cleaning" type activities thrown in. Dogs generate a lot of hair, dirt, and dust so there is always cleaning to be done. There is also some poop scooping/doggy clean up but not as much as you might think as our dogs don't live in kennels.
Our second biggest need is for volunteers who want to play with and cuddle puppies, young dogs and our older retired labs. What a great job, right??
Spending one-on-one time with our labs is an important part of each day. This may include teaching our dogs some basic training commands (we can show you how), meeting up with other dogs on social outings, possibly therapy/comfort-related dog work (Covid permitting!), and reinforcing our dogs' learning through consistency.
We are more than happy for volunteers to stay long term! We do ask for a minimum 1 week stay in order to keep the environment as consistent as possible for our dogs.
Accommodation will be in our "Dog House" that has a kitchen, toilet and electricity as well as lots of dogs! The Dog House does not have central heating nor a shower (shower is at the main house right next door).
We have two sleeping accommodations:
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ A single loft cubby (approximately 2m x 3m x 1.5m in height) (6' x 9' x 4' in height) with a twin mattress. Since the loft is only sitting height, the mattress is on a platform on the floor. The loft is accessed by a staircase (to give volunteers a space that is Labrador-free) and is located high in one of the dogs' main sleeping rooms.
* A small bedroom in the main house with a double futon bed. (This is our overflow space for when the loft space is already in use or our volunteers are a couple.)
We have a family meal on Sunday nights... typical American food... burgers, macaroni & cheese, fish. Volunteers are welcome to join us but we also give each Workawayer $75/week for food/spending so that they can buy/cook what they would like to eat while with us.
Please note that our property is fairly isolated but we regularly go into town so you are welcome to tag along. We do not set specific working hours. A lot of the help is very flexible and can be done at any time throughout the day. We are 25 minutes from the lovely village of Havelock North, 45 minutes from gorgeous beaches, and are frequently blessed with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.
Short drive to Waipawa (15 minutes), Hastings (25 minutes), Havelock North (25 minutes) and Napier (40 minutes). We'll likely ensure you get to see the views from Te Mata Peak, the stunning Ocean Beach, the quaint village of Havelock North, the Arataki Honey Factory and the Art Deco city of Napier!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Flexible. 5 hours per day, 5 days a week
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