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True story of dog who captured the heart of a city

Media Release
Paddy the Wanderer
by Dianne Haworth

The true story of the dog who captured the heart of the city

A well researched and endearing non-fiction account of an amazing Airedale who captured public imagination throughout New Zealand during the Great Depression, and who is today honoured in Wellington by a statue celebrating his status as a much-loved local legend.

Like Scotland's Greyfriar's Bobby, Paddy mourned the loss of his human, in his case a little mistress who died of pneumonia, but instead of haunting a graveyard, Paddy headed for the waterfront. There he became a favourite of the watersiders and seamen, not to mention the taxi and tram drivers of the Central City, who fed and protected him from dog rangers.

He certainly got around – taken on board ship and crossing the Tasman, travelling around coastal ports and even flying in a Gypsy Moth – not to mention the dastardly attempt to move him to Auckland by jealous Aucklanders. He was also rumoured to have made it to San Francisco and back.

Formally adopted by the Wellington Harbour Board, his official title was Assistant Night Watchman responsible for pirates, smugglers and rodents. On his death, his funeral procession brought Wellington to a standstill. Not bad for a stray dog.

Dianne Haworth is an award-winning journalist and author of adult sporting books and biographies, and is HarperCollins leading local biographer. An experienced editor and journalist, she edits Animal Voice for the SPCA, and is a devoted animal lover. Paddy the Wanderer is her first work for children. Dianne was raised in the Waikato and Wellington and now lives and works in Auckland.

"To have the privilege of writing the tale of the legendary dog, Paddy the Wanderer, has been to embark on a wondrous, entertaining journey comparable, perhaps, with one of Paddy's own voyages.

Such is the charisma of the dog that even now, almost seventy years after his death, Paddy remains as large a personality as ever he was in life. I had only to say to people working in many different spheres, that I was researching the life of Paddy the Wanderer, for all doors to open. Everyone, it seemed, had a grandfather, an uncle, someone in the family or an acquaintance who had spoken fondly to them of Paddy.

Paddy's personality affected me deeply. In him I saw glimpses of our dog, of dogs we have had, of dogs I have known. And, as I read contemporary accounts and then wrote of Paddy's death, I found myself weeping for a dog, long gone, who had touched so many lives then and who still brings a smile to the face of those who know his story." – Dianne Haworth

The author and publishers wish to thank the Museum of Wellington City & Sea for their willing involvement, support and permission to use the title 'Paddy the Wanderer.'

Cover art by Rebekah Tisch of Weta Workshop
Internal illustrations by Frank Victoria of Weta Workshop

Recommended Retail Price $18.99
Release Date 1 May 2007


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