20 Aug 2015

Kiwi dogs and their people

From Nine To Noon, 10:10 am on 20 August 2015
Frankie from Wellington mildly interested in the programme this morning.

Frankie from Wellington mildly interested in the programme this morning. Photo: Sam Wadham

Dog photographer and animal rights advocate David Darcy has photographed dogs of all descriptions, all over the world, for the past 12 years.

He began at home in Australia, taking pictures of iconic Australian dogs - a best-selling book Mongrel Country was to follow.

There have been many more hugely popular books, and now David Darcy has turned his lens on New Zealand dogs and their owners for his recently-published book Kiwi Dogs and Their People.

He travelled from south to north and coast to coast meeting those with four legs and two.

Darcy would often go into towns and ask who the most interesting dog owners were.

"And most of these people would come out of the woodwork."

David Darcy is also a keen advocate of animal rights and has worked with a number of animal welfare organisations, including Vets Beyond Borders, photographing their work in India, where they treat, vaccinate and de-sex slum dogs.

He talks to Kathryn Ryan about his journeys throughout New Zealand and an unexpected and very painful accident in Reefton.


A listener's poem: My Dog Brew - Bill Hutchinson

    On the 19th December, ‘91

    Into my life came a bundle of fun.

    A Rotty/Boxer, her name was Brew.

    She became my mate, loyal and true


    As the years went by, there came to stay,

    (She’d have died for them whatever come may.)

    A cat a Magpie, Heron & last, a kitten.

    With all these critters, Brew was smitten.


    I taught her to fetch, sit, stay & come.

    Whatever I wanted, it was done.

    Time went by. Always happy, my Brew,

    Happiest with me. Gentle, and loving,

    Never ‘blue’.


    In 2001, 11th July,

    I took Brew off, her time, to die.

    As she breathed her last, and licked my hand,

    She sighed, and died.

    I cried.


    Now Brew is home, close by the sea.

    She lies at rest ‘neath a Lemonade tree.

    Brew and Lemonade mix together nicely

    So the tree is named,



Brew at the beach. Photo: Bill Hutchinson