Four-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi, Taylor, has been awarded Pet of the Year’ by the New Zealand Kennel Club for services to the community.
When a young pup, Taylor (right) began his visiting career going to St Joseph’s Home of Compassion in Silverstream and brought a great deal of amusement to the residents there.
His owner, Michael Romanos of Our Lady of Grace parish, Heretaunga, would take him every week and allow him to roam freely among the residents. He continued this for 18 months.
He is a regular visitor to the classrooms of schools and pre-schools including a visit to St Brendan’s School in Heretaunga.
Michael talks about dogs and reads stories about Taylor while the little corgi does the rounds of all the pupils.
He is also a regular visitor to a retirement village in Silverstream and has been to hospitals.
As the only corgi competing in agility in NZ, Taylor won most improved agility trophy for 2005 at the Upper Hutt Dog Training School.
Taylor has twice been the subject of a television programme and was the inspiration behind his owner’s publication, Amazing NZ Dog Stories.
He was sponsored for a total of $1100 in three successive Relay for Life events to raise money for cancer—the only dog among thousands of competitors. He is featured on 2007 and 2008 American-produced calendars. Next year he will be adopted for the year by a primary school class and will appear at public libraries, YMCA holiday programmes and Te Papa Museum for readings about himself.