Life has been great since Housing New Zealand tenant, Lyn got her pet dog Laila.
She has stopped smoking and thanks to Laila’s love and companionship, Lyn is making friends and is less lonely.
“I used to feel very lonely and was addicted to tobacco, but since having Laila I haven’t smoked in eight months. She keeps me busy!”
Laila, who is a Lowchen crossed with a Sydney Silky, was gifted to Lyn by her daughter during a trip to Dargaville.
“We visited a man with dogs and he asked me, ‘do I want one?’ I said ‘no, no I can’t as they are too expensive’. Then my daughter said ‘surprise mum, I’ve got you a puppy!’”
The impact Laila has had on Lyn’s life has been huge.
“Having her means so much to me. She brings so much joy to my life and I just love her to bits.”
Lyn thinks the new Housing New Zealand Pets Policy is awesome as it gives tenants like her, who are older and living alone, the chance to experience the joy of having a dog.
“When I didn’t have a dog I didn’t know what I was missing. Now I take her on walks and people chat to me and they want to pat her. It’s wonderful.”
Having Laila has also bought Lyn and her neighbour closer together.
“In the beginning, my neighbour was not happy with all the barking, but she now comes over most days and gives Laila kisses and hugs. It has changed her, it’s changed me and now my neighbour is thinking about getting a dog too.”
Lyn says if tenants are thinking of getting a dog, they need to know that the first six months can be expensive.
“There is de-sexing, registration, vaccinations and microchipping and you need to buy them good food to keep them healthy.”
She advises tenants talk to their local vet or the SPCA as there is often subsidised de-sexing for pets.
“It is worth looking into as it can save you a lot of money and it’s good for your pet too.”