August 30, 2008


As you know Denver is now part of our family, from the moment we saw him at the SPCA we knew he was the one for us.

The journey over the last 4 months has been amazing, we have laughed (he is a clumsy puppy), cried (he likes to eat our garden plants!) and been totally amazed as to how much he has grown! See photo below as demonstrated by Bethany!

Now we knew when we got him that he was somewhat a mix of Bullmastiff, Labrador and Staffy and we knew that he would be a big dog, but at 6 months old he is already longer than Bethany and weighs in at a whopping 23kg (3 stone 4 pounds!).

It has been a lot of hard work that I will admit, but in an enjoyable way. I have had some amazing help from Karen at Paws In The City and right now we are attending training sessions with Karen’s business partner Julia Maiden.

The classes are held in Aro Valley in Wellington, and they are fantastic. I am very proud to admit Denver is one of the best dogs there. Julia is an amazing woman, hugely inspirational and a wonderful teacher, Denver adores her very much.

Training has been a massive success. Denver can sit, lay down, roll over, fetch, drop and stay – a lot of people have said that’s a lot of stuff for a 6 month old puppy to know, but he is a very clever puppy so training has been easy. See the photo below proving he can sit and stay in public!

So today Denver and I participated in a mini Dog Squad. We met Julia and her daughter in Spotlight in Wellington, where they and a few other wonderful people were doing hourly rotation of dogs representing the SPCA, trying to raise money for the much needed cause.

I’m not afraid to admit I was slightly concerned that he just wouldn’t be able to contain himself, he loves people and gets very excited, and with this being his first ever ‘populated’ outing it could have been a problem. However quite the opposite!! I am so unbelievably proud of my boy. Denver raised $102!!

We had a spot near the door, he sat, shook hands and even rolled over once whilst all the time being the perfect gentleman. Many people asked if he was up for adoption, many said he was a gorgeous looking dog, and the most pleasing was that children and babies in pushchairs were treated to ‘Denver kisses’, I can’t thank those people enough for having an open mind proving that ‘breed’ isn’t always the reason for everything.

It was a truly amazing day and I hope that we all raised a lot of money for this much needed cause. People seem to have the wrong impression about the SPCA, all animals that enter the SPCA are there for a reason, but that reason doesn’t have to be a bad one.

Denver was the last in his litter and was surrendered. Yes there are badly treated animals there but the wonderful people at the SPCA will tell you of any history, and even then, that does not mean the end to a perfectly good animal, many many animals just need that someone to love them.

I do feel sad when people say they want to get their puppy from the pet store – why does that make it any better? With the pet stores you are certainly guaranteed to to be told whatever you want to hear and with the ever growing rumours of the ‘puppy mills’ – how is that fair?

Please watch these videos of a television show aired in the UK called Pedigree Dogs Exposed which highlights and proves that Pedigree breeding is now getting out of control. Please also be aware that these videos are sadly shocking.

Anyway, Denver is amazing, I am so proud of him – he fell asleep in the car on the way home as he was so tired, and was treated to a small piece of cake when he came home which of course he enjoyed!

Next month is the big Dog Squad day as we are hitting Queensgate Shopping Centre – which is going to be massive. I have every confidence in Denver and every confidence in raising money for the SPCA.

OK, so lets all be honest here – there is nothing worse than people out collecting money right? I have myself dodged the man with the clip board on many occasions. The difference is that the SPCA has ordinary heartfelt caring special people (like myself) who only want the best for animals. They work damn hard and deserve to feel contentment in finding homes for those they care for day in and day out.

So next time you see that bucket please donate, you can be safe in the knowledge that Denver and his SPCA buddies are very very grateful.

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  • Sarah

    August 30, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    What a fantastic story and one you should feel very proud of. You have worked so had and deserve to reap the rewards with such a happy pup!

    Awesome post too in highlighting such a very, very worthy cause.


    August 31, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Denver is a gorgeous puppy that is fur sure!!! Never was a dog fan until my partner got two…lol.

    …and everytime I see the bucket I donate, although we are miles apart.

  • Anonymous

    August 31, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    How awesome is that! Well done Dawes Family, you are a credit to the SPCA and Denver.

  • Vintage Amethyst

    August 31, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    AAahh what a lovely post about Denver and well done Denver for being such a good puppy and raising so much money and giving kisses away too!
    Alison x

  • Ruta M.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Good on you for highlighting the fact that we do not need puppy breeders or puppies being sold in pet shops. There are always enough puppies around without them being treated as a commodity.
    A recent Panorama programme highlighted the fact that many pedigree dogs are in constant pain because of breed ‘standards’- hip displasia, eye infections, back problems,neuralgia due to too small skulls, spina bifida etc etc. Long live the cross breed dog shaped dog.
    Please keep on posting those lovely pictures and news of Denver. Life is rather lonely here without our daft Zulu.

  • Anonymous

    September 1, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Well done Denny!!!! Marrisa you must be sooo proud! I am soo very pleased for all of you that all your hard work and extreme patience is now paying off, you have all worked so very hard. Denver is a lovely, friendly happy pup who is lucky to have such a caring family.

  • Rachel

    September 2, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Hiya – Wow how to prove that love brings love back hey – what an amazing dog Denver has turned out to be because of all of your hard work and dedication to him – he’s one very lucky pup! – Rx