A quick overnight wander to clear our heads!

Heritage Lodge; Tararua Forest Park. 9 & 10 Feb 2021.

I have been wanting to get out bush and clear my head for awhile. It was well overdue and thanks to a couple of friends we locked in a date and off we went. A lot of trips would be out of my “range” at the moment so I deliberately picked Holdsworth Lodge, a bit of a cruisy, glamping trip. I have walked past Holdsworth Lodge plenty of times on my way into Donnelley’s Flats and thought “I need to measure up that ramp and the doorways”. This was the perfect opportunity to do a measure up and see how feasible this site could be for others to use. However the main intent for this trip was to get out of town and cellphone range to chill for the night.

ADNZ Raven is sitting, looking at the camera in the fore-ground. In the background is a lofted out blue sleeping bag, an orange stuff sack and part of an empty black backpack.
Are we going somewhere?

It was an opportunity for Natt to get out bush for her first night and get some “off road” walking under her belt. Pete needed to get away from his email. MJ needed a night in the bush and I have had itchy feet for ages but some “complications” from my medication change has prevented me taking on anything that pushes my heart rate up too much. This was also Raven’s first proper away from home, staying in the bush type trip. All these things meant that Holdsworth Lodge was the perfect sneaky mid-week trip. I had planned to take lots of photos, but I ended up just soaking in the experience and barely got my camera out.

On the way to the road end we stopped at the supermarket to get some supplies, this was an adventure in itself. MJ stayed in the car while Natt, Pete and I headed into a supermarket that none of us know! So I don’t regularly do the grocery shopping at home, so I have no idea why I thought I would be useful to the two people who can’t actually see properly! Shout out to Natt who made sure we actually got the mince for the nachos!

Another bonus to going during the week is that in general, the tracks are a wee bit quieter, which meant that the likelihood of having to deal with general public is lower. Why would that be important?? Well… first people off a lot of people seem to think dogs are communal property and I wanted to reduce that if possible for Raven’s first trip out. Otherwise I have to explain why Raven (previously Ben) needs to focus on their job etc., believe me, it gets tiring. Another advantage to being fewer public meant that Pete and Natt didn’t really didn’t have to deal with the “why do blind (white cane users) want to be out here for?” type questions. Another reason I chose this site for Natt’s first tramping experience is so she could get her feet under her on a better maintained track. This mostly worked, even if we did get jumped on by someone’s off-leash dog that was not under control.

A landscape photo of native NZ Podocarp and Black Beech Forest looking from Holdsworth Lodge towards the East Coast.
Not a bad spot to chill for an evening

For those that use the Mt Holdsworth entrance to the Tararua will probably be going “but Antnz, they won’t get over the bridge”, yeah I know, that is where piggy backs or possibly a quad & trailer will come in to get over the river. Which was the secondary reason for going on this trip. In all honesty this was a bit of a “let’s go and chill” trip with the bonus of getting the information about exactly how accessible this hut actually is.

This hut was a typical access retrofit fail. As I said I have been walking past thinking “That ramp they’ve put in looks pretty good, I wonder that the rest of the access is like?” The bathrooms would work for those in manual chairs that do require full change tables. The ramp itself was good, although large power chairs may not fit through the external door to the bunk room. The internal door however was far far too narrow for a lot of wheelchairs (less than 14inch width chair, with 0 to 3 degree camber) to get from the bunk room into the kitchen/dining area. There are camping options that could be utilized and we should be able to at least drive any additional gear into the hut. I think I have to do some work with Dept of Conservation to see if that internal door can be widened.

We got settled into the hut, chilled out for awhile. Pete taught Natt and I some of the basics behind using a taiha (spear) with the white canes and talked. This hut really is glamping territory people; flush toilets, electricity and hot showers! I recommend this hut if you don’t have access needs, this location would be ideal as a base for a family or group to then head out on the handful of tracks in the area.

Natt, Peter and I headed out to walk the Donnelley’s Flats loop that afternoon. It was a nice wander, with the high-vis vest and cap on, Natt and Peter had a bit of an idea of where I was, I was giving verbal track descriptions and directions, any obstacles and drops. There was one point where we ran into some tree-fall where it was a lot easier to manually guide both Natt and Peter across individually. We only had one “Natt!….never mind” when Natt stepped/slipped down a small rock before I had a chance to actually give her direction. I had been speaking to an guided adventurer from the UK who said “tell them that if they haven’t fallen over a rock or smashed their face into a branch it’s not a real trip out”. Well all 3 of us tripped over a rock and fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) neither Natt or Pete got a branch to the face. No injuries, which is the main thing!

After our wander we got dinner organised, had a meal, sat around chatting, then we made a campfire for smores (Roasted marshmallow between 2 chocolate thins is my preferred recipe) . Pete had never had smores before so we thought it was a good time to introduce him to the smore life… It was at this point we discovered that process of cooking smores needs some guiding on height of flames, and the “squidge” test works, as long as the cooking guide is onto it and doesn’t actually let the marshmallows catch fire. We also discovered that even Pete can see the sparks thrown up by my flint.

A picture taken at night of a campfire. The campground is in the foreground center of the picture. Natt and Peter sit to the left of the fire, to the right of the fire you can see a torch. In the the background are the lights at the hut.
Nothing like chilling around a campfire!

The forecast had predicted some drizzle Tuesday evening and some showers on the Wednesday, we had a couple of minor spits of drizzle for the last maybe 10 mins to the hut. The sky opened and poured overnight (Tues night) and it was threatening to bucket down so we made the decision to chill for a bit and head home instead of trying to try head up the hill. When a full class of (I think Year 9 or 10) teenagers wandered past the hut headed into the grotty weather, I was somewhat relived that we didn’t have to try and deal with getting off the track and getting more than 20 people past us.

Although we had crossed the bridge to get on track on the Tuesday, we hadn’t actually been down to the river, so on the Wednesday morning MJ took us to a couple of spots they had found while we were walking on the Tuesday. A bit of turning around and guided down-climbing meant we all got down into the riverbed safely. The hope of not having “wet-dog” smell in the car on the 1 &1/2 hour drive home was quickly shattered as Raven caught sight of a lead that “needed” to be retrieved!

It wasn’t actually until Peter asked me as we were headed for the car that this was my first proper out bush stickless wander! I also did not fall when jumped on by an uncontrolled young chocolate lab so I am #TakingTheWins

ADNZ Raven, a black Labrador is standing ankle deep in a river. Raven is shaking, water droplets can be seen flying off her. Her ears in a line perpendicular to her head as she shakes
No longer a dry dog!

Content warning: Suicide

Going on in the background of this trip was the fact that the creator of a NZ tramping (hiking for the non-kiwis) group could no longer fight his own mind. In his own words “There’s a place for each and all of you in my heart and soul, I’ll take it with me on my new adventure. There was this story I wanted to tell you about a guy who walked the most beautiful walk, but I’m too tired and need to rest, I’ll tell you when I see you again xx”

Brad had used walking and his love for the outdoors to turn his life around, make change for the next generation. He encouraged all around him to take time to find yourself and feed your soul by walking, moving and just getting out there, being humble, honest and the kindest person you can, each day we’re here. Unfortunately a couple of bit hits recently had landed Brad in a rocky place and he reached out too late. I will continue to find peace in NZs natural places. Brad thank you for all the encouragement to keep walking into the wilderness, no matter how big or small, even when my body didn’t always want to.

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane. The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane (Whakatauki; Maori Proverb)

As I said in a post in the group, you were on my mind Brad as I introduced others to the great escape of nature. Walk on my friend, walk on. We will share your love for natures places. #WalkForBrad

a picture of a small river, on the opposite bank is a log lying partially in the river surround by brush. The background is the edge of beech forest
Finding the quiet spaces, is good for the soul.

I have navigated my share of rocky places both figuratively and literally, and I know how hard it is to hang on when the hits keep coming. I also know how hard it is to reach and ask for help when you need it. The biggest lesson I have learned in the last 2 years of rebuilding my life is; instead of the usual kiwi “yeah, I’m alright ay” that being honest and saying when you are struggling and being realistic about our limitations, our energy levels and how we are coping or not coping is key to getting through the hard times. So if you are struggling please reach out, I know many of the systems that we have to “help” are crap but if we all support each other a bit more and share the load we can weather the storms.

The last couple of weeks (since this trip) have in fact been a bit rocky with my body still throwing a bit of a tantrum that the chemicals in it are changing. Although the last few months have been challenging, we are nearing the end of the major medication adjustments which means my body will then adapt to its “new normal” of medications. I am already feeling the benefit of this medication change however it is a fact that those of us that use medications to help manage our symptoms build a tolerance and dependence to a specific medication, so it makes sense from a physiological perspective that this was always going to be challenging.

During writing this blog New Zealand has moved around our Covid Alert Levels a little, am reminded that as a country we got through 2020. That I made it through the last 2 pretty weird and challenging years and the only reason that I, and that NZ made it, is because we all need a team to achieve anything. Gather your team, lean on your team when you need to; but more importantly (and is something I am still learning) is be honest with your team and when you need help reach out to your team.

Take care everyone, be as safe as you can!

Picture Description: A picture of 3 people with arms around each other smiling at camera. They are standing by a river with native forest behind. From left to right stands Peter, Antnz and Natt.
Not the finest photo, but we had a blast!

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. Our strength does not come from ourselves alone, our strength derives from the many. (Whakatauki; Maori Proverb)


CHAOS seems to be the theme of 2020

Once again it feels like just the other I sat down and got stuck into writing a blog, but in reality it’s been awhile since my last one. For me life had been in this weird space of both carrying on and being on pause. While we in New Zealand have seemingly successfully navigated Levels 4 and 3 of our Covid Alert system; the sun rose each morning, yet so much of life was “on hold”. And now we have moved down through Level 2 and now after several weeks of Level 1 some sense of “normality” was happening before New Zealand had a “second waves” cluster/s appear in the last few weeks.

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Assistance Dogs NZ Team Training: Day 2

We haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do public access with Assistance Dogs NZ (ADNZ) Raven while we’ve been on lock-down, and today she rocked it in her new harness. ADNZ Raven’s physiology is different to ADNZ Ben so we’ve been getting the set up right for her public mobility tasks. If you would like to support ADNZ Raven’s fundraising please head to: https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/assistance-dogs-nz-ben-has-retired-please-support-his-succes

Video description: ADNZ Raven is wearing a bright blue harness with a Y-front and small handle attached to a D-ring on the back of her harness, to the right of her body. Antnz is on Raven’s right (behind in frame). They are walking into a bank. Antnz is using crutches.

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ADNZ Raven Team Training Day 1

We’ve been together a wee while now, but lockdown prevented the face to face time with a trainer. We’re off to a good start today.

Out and About, then some play with ADNZ Ryder

Out for a walk. Level 4, Covid19 Alert

I’ve finally dragged out the GoPro and been taking some footage here and there. This was us getting out on a “government approved exercise” walk on the 23rd April. Assistance Dogs NZ Raven is still getting used to this route and where the barking dogs live. I needed to get my editing groove on again, so put this together…. I hope you enjoy.

Nice day for a walk with ADNZ Raven!

Stay Home, Save Lives.

WOW in the last couple of months the world went a bit wonky!

It seems like yesterday I was writing a tribute to Assistance Dogs NZ (ADNZ) Ben, then next thing I know; the world is looking a whole lot different! ADNZ Raven is here and our entire country is in a state of emergency on “Level 4 Covid 19 Alert”; which is essentially “only leave your house for essential services like food or medical care, or your employment is classed as an essential service, the borders are now closed”.

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Life is a Series of Chapters; A tribute to Assistance Dogs NZ Ben

Its time for one chapter to close, and another to open.

If you have met me over the last 6 or 7 years you will have also met my sidekick, Assistance Dogs NZ Trust (ADNZ) Ben. ADNZ Ben has been with me through many ups and many downs over the years, but the reality is that he is now 10 years old, he’s done an amazing job for me over this time but he is retiring. He will be rehomed with a long time friend of mine who will give him a relaxed retirement, where he can just chill. She is also one of the few wheelchair users he will sleep behind so I know he trusts her. I have also been matched with a successor through ADNZ.

A close  up of my left foot and ADNZ Ben's right rear foot.
Together our feet get us there

Before I really get into the “ADNZ Ben, you’ve been amazing and this is a tribute to your work” (prepare yourself for pictures of ADNZ Ben overload) I know I have an international audience and I would just like to give a quick run down on the law for Disability Assist Dogs (official legal term for “Service Dogs”) here in New Zealand.

ADNZ Ben laying on his bed looking at camera, he has his stuffed teddy bear and rabbit close to hand.  The shot has out-of-focus wheelchair spokes in foreground.
ADNZ Ben chilling on his bed.

To have full public access rights with a Disability Assist Dog, the dog must have gone through and been accredited by one of 7 organisations that have followed a process through Ministry of Primary Industries. ( http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0013/latest/LMS175895.html#LMS175895 ) This is stated in the Dog Control Act 1996 and subsequent amendments. Businesses are within their rights to ask for any dog that is not accredited to be removed. After recently going through a Human Rights process around access, following the Dog Control Act is a reasonable accommodation, therefore any dog that is not associated with the 7 organisations is not protected by law. The common terminology here for Service Dogs is “Assistance Dog”.

I initially started looking into Disability Assist Dogs in 2003 when I began my rediscovery of outdoor adventuring. What I did not know at that time was that Disability Assist Dog organisations are severely underfunded and that the organisations at that time deemed me to be “too high functioning” to meet the criteria at that time. I had been looking into training our pet dog at that time, and I would seek permission to take him where I needed to go.

ADNZ Ben sitting on a wooden deck looking at camera
Ben’s first night with us.

So fast forward a few years and some additional organisations had been accredited to provide Disability Assist Dogs, I got in touch with Assistance Dogs NZ and ADNZ Ben was placed with me on the 18th of March 2013. I was managing Vert-X Climbing Gym at the time and my bosses were supportive of having ADNZ Ben as part of the team. By May we were flying to Auckland for a conference, a bit like my life ADNZ Ben had a bit of “deep level entry” to working with me. My life has changed a bit since but its still hectic, just in different ways at the moment. By November we had gradually weight trained him to carry some of my climbing, tramping (hiking) and camping equipment.

If I were to list every little thing that ADNZ Ben has enabled me to do, well, you would be here all night. I am going to over some of the highlights (and a couple of not so good moments) so this won’t be such a long read but please remember that behind this there are many more stories. It also doesn’t show the vet visits, hours of training, exercising, grooming and picking up poo (which is one thing I don’t like him “picking up” because that’s just gross)! We have also been active in many Assistance Dogs NZ Trust Appeal Weeks, and spoken to groups about ADNZ. We’ve also met with a wide range of people in our travels. This has been a hard blog to write and selecting the pictures to share has been a challenge because I literally have over 1000 pictures of him and although I have included many of my favorite pictures; hit the comments, share and like etc if you want to see a full “ADNZ Ben” album uploaded! (If we get over 20 comments wanting an album I’ll put one up!)

One of the main reasons I wanted an Assistance Dog was for some of the outdoor shenanigans I get up to, because of my mobility impairment I cannot physically carry enough gear for multi-day trips, and at times even just day walks. ADNZ Ben has his own pack (saddle bags) and can carry around 4 or 5 kilograms (absolute maximum of 6kg). We did a lot of conditioning training for him to be able to do this task safely by slowly increasing the weight in his packs for walks. This is just enough weight off my back for me to be able to extend the trip lengths that I can manage.

A shot from behind of ADNZ Ben (left) and Antnz both with full backpacks on in the foreground.  In the mid-ground and foreground is a grassed area, fence and gate, in the background are hills of native bush.
Bags full, and we’re off into Alice Nash Memorial Lodge, Ruahine Ranges,
Nov 2019

One of the major highlights was my first “solo” trip in 12 years, this was only possible due to having Ben. One of my limitations is that I fall over, and often need assistance in getting up again. This has prevented me from doing solo trips due to the safety issue of doing a turtle impersonation and not being able to right myself. ADNZ Ben is trained to assist me to get myself upright again. I shrug my pack off, get his packs off him, he helps me up then we put our packs back on and head on our way. I also carry an InReach (satellite tracker with text message capability) so if things really go sideways I can hit the “SOS” button, more often than not though I use the InReach for weather updates and to let my emergency contact know of any changes in plans. We have done many adventures, both wet and dry since.

One of the things that may seem simple to many but can be a real pain in the ass trying to move things around the house while on crutches, a stick or wobbly walking. We solved this problem (except for food, drinks, medications, and other things that maybe dangerous for ADNZ Ben) by tying a short rope to our washing basket; this rope gives ADNZ Ben something to grab hold of and drag the basket around the house. The funniest part about teaching him this task was that he was used to picking up objects for retrieval (and hopefully get a treat). Well he is not entirely stupid and to start with he would shake the basket throwing out everything in it, then pick up each object and bring it to me wanting treats. He soon learnt that in this situation he would only get the treats if he bought things IN and with the basket.

ADNZ Ben dragging a washing basket on a short rope
It’s hard to get a decent shot when he is helping with the washing!

In 2016 I went back to Universal College of Learning (UCoL) to finish my Certificate in Sports and Exercise Performance. Although ADNZ Ben is cleared for public access and is well used to crowds; the general population on campus had zero idea of how to interact with Assistance Dogs (it’s pretty simple: just don’t). Within the first day I had lost count of how many people tried to interact with ADNZ Ben, my classmates were pretty good once they had the “he’s here to do a job, not to be cute dog” talk but the rest of the student population were pretty much idiots. This was the year that we completed a 7km Trail “Run”, which I walked. It was this event that I realised that I needed to enjoy the journey more, instead of just the achievement or goal I was trying to reach. My classmates were doing the half marathon event, and when I was asked if I had noticed the amazing views I realised that I had been so focused on my foot placement I hadn’t really taken in the rest of the journey.

Antnz using walking poles, with ADNZ Ben licking his face. In the background are hills of Hawkes Bay
Te Mata Peak Trail Run June 2016

Over that year we had some truly jaw dropping experiences: Someone tried patting ADNZ Ben while I was on crutches climbing stairs. I got sworn at for saying “Sorry but I have class” and continuing on my way when someone asked “oh can I pat the pup?”. I helped write a “Dogs on Campus” policy to make it explicit that people (staff or student) can’t just rock up with their dog unless it is a Disability Assist Dog or one of the dogs being used for grooming by the Vet Nursing students.

A picture of crutches, a pack with Kaha (Kiwi Beanie Baby) and ADNZ Ben in the UCoL Atrium
First Day at UCoL Feb 2016

What will forever stick in my mind was being called to a hui in the campus Whanau Room, a Maori kaupapa space to talk about my dog being allowed in there. I had walked in one day to the greeting of “What’s that thing doing in here?”. Which was quickly followed with “Does it bite?” and “Does it have fleas?”. This student then complained about ADNZ Ben being in the space; now I totally get some iwi and hapu don’t allow dogs in the whare on marae (this is a topic which I won’t get into here) but this was an education institution covered under the Dog Control Act not a marae. Had it been a marae I would have sought permission from kaumatua or come to an arrangement where both ADNZ Ben and I were safe, and I could participate. For instance when we visited Mata Atua in Whakatane back in 2019, I left ADNZ Ben just outside the whare with a water bowl and in the shade where I could check on him easily, I had MJ and the guides with me so they could provide me assistance. Mana whenua were amazing and worked through this with me to ensure I followed tikanga and ADNZ Ben was safe. The issue at the whanau room was resolved pretty easily at the hui, but I was a bit shocked that it even happened at all.

ADNZ Ben sprawled out on his side next to a gym mat.
Apparently he gets bored while I am working out!

Although we flew pretty early on, it wasn’t so much of a regular occurrence until I got involved in Enabling Good Lives (EGL) and in the last couple of years we have taken over 30 flights. ADNZ Ben is fine flying (better than some human passengers), although he doesn’t like touch down quite so much. Once again the general public seem to forget that they have seen a dog before and often stare, point and I often feel like a bit of a zoo attraction. I also end up doing more than my fair share of “education” on these trips; I can’t seem to sit down for more than 5 minutes before someone is talking to me about the dog. Please people, remember there is a person attached to the dog, and in general we just want to get on with our day, I have had all sorts of inappropriate questions (“What’s wrong with you” seems to be a go to) and sometimes it gets a bit much.

On one occasion after a long day and troubles checking in because the travel agent hadn’t put ADNZ Ben on my ticket. I just wanted to get home and relax. I was trying to answer questions politely but with a “get out of my face” vibe, but I’m human and I snapped when she looked ADNZ Ben square in the eye and said “I just want to take you home” my response was “Do you want my crutches as well?”. This seemed to shock her and somehow “oh but that’s different”, I told her it wasn’t as he provides me just as much independence as my crutches did. Please don’t be like this person, our Disability Assist Dogs provide more than a cute companion and allow us to live fuller lives.

I often get asked the “jobs” ADNZ Ben does for me, which is fair; I’m pretty able and my limitations don’t stop from me doing much but ADNZ Ben has become instrumental to me participating in more. A lot of his tasks probably go unnoticed to the general public. One of his main tasks is picking up objects I drop, as this is the highest risk time for me “testing gravity” (falling), alongside this he helps me in and out of chairs and off the ground if I do deck it. He has opened the door to solo outdoor adventures again and he has the added bonus of being a great pressure therapy, hot water bottle. One of the things I didn’t expect him to do was pick up on some of my micro-cues of when I am in pain and trying to push through, he will nudge me to say “Hey, I think you may have done too much” and if I keep going too long he will physically get between me and whatever I am doing.

ADNZ Ben has been alongside me when I had one of my “how the hell did I end up here?” moments (there have been many) last year when I visited Parliament to meet with the Honorable Minister Sepuloni to discuss Enabling Good Lives. He is certainly a good way to break the ice and seems to be camera candy in this role! The staff and security were great with their interactions with us, I had been a little worried about the metal on his work gear but it was not an issue. So ADNZ Ben has literally helped me to get from out in the hills to the steps of Parliament.

A picture in MP Carmel Sepuloni's office with (left to right) Gerri Pomeroy in wheelchair, Carmel Sepuloni, ADNZ Ben and Antnz.
Photo credit: Carmel Sepuloni
Meeting with the Honorable Carmel Sepuloni, Aug 2019.
Left to right: Gerri Pomeroy, MP Carmel Sepuloni, ADNZ Ben and Antnz.
Photo credit: Carmel Sepuloni

ADNZ Ben, thank you for you amazing service over the years, I simply could not have done some of the things I have without you. You are my “main man” and I honestly can’t express how much having you around has improved my life. As much as it hurts you’re heading into retirement, I know you are going to a great home that you are going to get a whole lot of love and a chance just to chill and be a dog. Love you dude, enjoy your retirement and I will be seeing you soon, which is why we wanted to keep you close to home. Thank you to Rach and her whanau for offering him a wonderful place to retire to.

ADNZ Ben having a shake as he exits Lake Taupo, he has a green toy at his feet
He loves Lake Taupo

Thank you to Assistance Dogs NZ for partnering me with ADNZ Ben and providing on-going support throughout the ups and downs (don’t let your dog eat climbing chalk) of our journey together. Thank you for training him to start with and for your willingness to work on ensuring ADNZ Ben’s safety for some of the crazy adventures we get up to. Thank you for matching me with a successor and training her, I am looking forward to the adventures we will be having!

So “What’s next?” you may be asking. As you can see I have been matched with a new dog through Assistance Dogs NZ (ADNZ Raven). I will be meeting her and starting my training with her near the end of the month. Unfortunately Assistance Dogs NZ cannot just give us these well bred, highly trained dogs so I am now kicking off my fundraising to raise $20 000 NZD over the next 2 years. I will be looking at different avenues for this funding; however if you would like to contribute please feel free to make a donation to Assistance Dogs NZ Trust with the following details:
Bank: Bank of New Zealand (BNZ)
Branch: Lower Hutt, Wellington
Account Name: Assistance Dogs New Zealand
Account Number: 02 0528 0138534 00
Payment Reference:  Dog 201365
GST Number: 101153568

ADNZ Raven, A black Labrador Retriever cross
ADNZ Raven

I will also be getting a Give A Little page set up in the near future specifically for ADNZ Raven; however if you would like to you can donate now via Give A Little now at https://givealittle.co.nz/org/adnz. If you are donating this way please add “Dog 201365” in the comment section of the donation page so your donation is allocated correctly.

Once again a huge thank you to ADNZ Ben, Assistance Dogs NZ Trust, Rach who is giving ADNZ Ben a chilled retirement and all my supporters out there! My life is certainly an ANTNZVENTURE!

ADNZ Ben free running on a white sand beach, all but ADNZ Ben is sepia
Stretching his Legs at Anarua Bay, Feb 2019

January started quietly then ramped up!

It’s been an intense couple of weeks that’s for sure!

So after taking it easy for a few months it’s time for me to start putting my toes back in the waters of Enabling Good Lives and being more active again in taking control of what I can control and try to let go of the rest. Which is hard, I seem to be “hard wired” to just get in there and make it happen. I also have a lot going on with the “medical” side of life coming up so I’m prioritizing what I do and how much I take on this year.

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I know I said I’d be more posting more regularly…. then I went AWOL. Now it’s a new decade!

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions shared in this blog are my opinion and written from a personal experience. My opinions do not represent any organisation that I collaborate or work with.

Well I know that I said I would be posting more regularly in my last blog, then I promptly seemed to fall off the planet. Honestly though whanau; I had a mental breakdown at the end of August. It’s taken me until now to get my head together again enough to write. It’s been a case of surviving so I can once again thrive.

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You may have noticed some changes!

If you have been following closely to this page you may have noticed some changes recently. Although I have been incredibly busy with Enabling Good Lives, a lot of things have still been on the go behind the scenes.

One of the things that has been going on is a bit of an update, refresh and upgrade of this page. The bulk of the “foundation” work is now done but some additional bits and pieces will be continue to be quietly updated over the next few months. We’ll be tweaking a few things, adding more photos and I will be trying to write a little more regularly now that I have a more “Antnz friendly” interface to be working with.

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