Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Spicy Pet — February 14, 2022

Spicy Pet

~ Spicy Pet ~

Over a year ago, Shauni had the idea to start a pet apparel business, with inspiration from her pups, Pepper and Pistachio. Since then, she has launched her own business, Spicy Pet, which has taken off and is bringing joy to many pets and pet parents across New Zealand. 

In 2020, Shauni had been wanting to open her own pet apparel business. She had been trying different things to find her niche. One night, she was sewing some PJs for Pepper and Pistachio and wanted to add their names. After some internet searching, Shauni couldn’t find anything she liked and decided to personalise the PJs herself. She then realised that other pet parents might want a similar product and so, with some encouragement from friends, Spicy Pet was born!

The night that Shauni launched the Spicy Pet website was nerve-racking. However, a week later, she saw people sharing their Spicy Pet purchases and she was thrilled. She received so much positive feedback and felt that this was just the beginning. 

With the release of Spicy Pet being such a hit, Shauni was motivated to keep improving and creating their products. Since then, one of her favourite things about what she does is being able to be as creative as she wants. Anything can be printed, from decals to bandanas, ID tags and so much more! The sky is truly the limit at Spicy Pet and Shauni is excited to be able to share this with so many people. 

At present, Spicy Pet has over 2,000 followers and Shauni is immensely grateful for all the support she has received. Through her business, Shauni has been able to collaborate and work with many different people and small businesses. Working with them has greatly inspired her to continue to improve Spicy Pet. Not only this, but Shauni is grateful for every follow, like, comment, and share she gets. It means a lot to her to bring people and pets happiness through her products. Shauni also enjoys getting custom orders – the more out there, the better!

Spicy Pet has had such a huge impact on Shauni. It’s her passion and she puts everything she has into it. She’s always thinking of new products, ways to better Spicy Pet and so much more. Not only this, but Spicy Pet has given Shauni a purpose, has allowed her to meet so many people, and, of course, meet many doggos! It’s obvious how much Spicy Pet means to her. 

In the short amount of time Spicy Pet has been going, Shauni has reached so many people and pets across New Zealand. If you’re looking for some cool new products, for yourself or your furbaby, make sure you check out Spicy Pet!

Casey and Dottie — October 25, 2021

Casey and Dottie

~ Casey and Dottie ~

Almost three years ago, Griffon puppy, Dottie, found her forever home with Casey and her partner, Alex. Since then, Dottie has thrived and has brought so much happiness into their lives. 

Casey has always been passionate about animals. She has always wanted to help and support animals, which prompted her to open her own rescue, NZ Chihuahua Rescue (NZCR) in 2017. NZCR is a registered charity who work to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome chihuahuas, chihuahua crossbreeds and other toy dog breeds. 

In 2019, Casey was contacted by a Griffon breeder. The breeder noticed one of the puppies in a recent litter was very small and there were two others. Dottie, who was a little larger and another female who was normal-sized. Casey initially said no as she already had four permanent dogs, all Chihuahuas or rescue chi-cross breeds. She wasn’t sure if another dog would be a good idea. However, after the death of the first puppy, she soon decided to meet with the other dog, Dottie.

Soon after meeting the puppy, Casey couldn’t stop thinking about her. She was so small, vulnerable and curious. Something about the pup stuck with Casey. The next day, she called the breeder and agreed to collect Dottie that night. 

Three months after adopting Dottie, Casey and Alex grew concerned that Dottie had not grown at all. She was still only 1.7kg and still appeared just like a puppy. They took Dottie to the vet where they had x-rays completed and it became clear Dottie had dwarfism. From there they began a long journey to confirm the diagnosis and address several other issues. 

As a result, Dottie has some conditions that require monitoring, including hip dysplasia, incongruent elbows, a misshapen pelvis and shortened ulna syndrome. Dottie also has Chiari-like malformation (CM), a serious chronic pain condition that can affect Griffons. However, aside from the CM, the other ailments mainly affect her joints and bones, Dottie can enjoy life as much as any other dog!

While Dottie struggles with different health conditions, she always has a positive outlook on life. She is rarely grumpy and is always busy or looking for someone to cuddle. As well as this, she can always brighten the day of those she interacts with. 

No matter what may be happening in her life, Dottie always seems to know how to bring a smile to those around her. While some days are better than others healthwise, Dottie is always happy to meet people and to live her best life. She is thriving despite having health challenges. 

Because of the happiness Dottie brings, Casey was encouraged by friends and family to start an Instagram account for her. Since starting the account, they have over 20,000 followers! Seeing Dottie living her best life has brought joy to many. 

Not only has she brightened people’s days, but Dottie has become an inspiration. People who have similar conditions and parents of children with similar conditions have felt seen and less alone. It means a lot to Casey to be able to bring some happiness to people’s days. From those needing some joy in their day, to those with health issues, Dottie has touched many lives. 

On occasion, Casey and Dottie have even visited rest homes and hospitals. This allows the patients or residents time out from their days to spend some time with a cuddly pup. Dottie never fails to bring many smiles to their faces. 

In July 2021, Alex and Casey met Dottie’s biological Griffon mum, Emily and she came to live with them also! A video of Dottie being reunited with Emily was uploaded to her Instagram account and has been viewed over 7,000 times!

Casey, Alex and Dottie love to spend time together. Often they, and other pack members, Emily, Briar, Pepper and Spencer, go on holidays together, as well as errands and going into work. When Dottie goes into Casey’s workplace, everyone is excited to greet her. She’ll happily sleep in her bed on Casey’s desk, and often meets clients and co-workers which can make them feel calmer and happier.

When Dottie was first diagnosed with dwarfism, Casey struggled to find any information about what this meant for dogs. A lot of the information was largely negative. It was because of this, she decided to share her own experiences and spread awareness about the condition. 

Having amassed over 20k followers on Instagram, Dottie has had quite an impact. She has shown people that having health issues does not mean being unable to live a full life. While she does face struggles, Dottie is always full of positivity and enthusiasm for what each day holds. 

Thanks to the care that Casey and Alex have shown Dottie, she is absolutely thriving. They share such a strong bond and they have so much love for one another. It is obvious just how much of an impact they have had on each other.