Mr. Velcro

We drove from Kaka Point to Dunedin to Amy and Brandon’s house where we would be house/dog sitting for the next 6 weeks while they were away in the US for work and holiday. We had met their dog Emmitt before when they had graciously allowed us to park our car at their house while we were in the states. Both Susanne and I were smitten with him. Super nice dog. Total lover boy.

In the grand scheme of “it’s a small world,” Emmitt had been adopted from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. This is an organization that I have done a lot of work with and is one of the best in the country. It was ironic that we were dog sitting for a Colorado native all the way in New Zealand.

Amy and Brandon bought and moved into a new house about 4 days before they were leaving. It is on the top of hill on 8 acres and has a view out over Dunedin and to the ocean. They let us stay in their little ADU the first night which gave us a chance to learn the ropes with the house and Emmitt. I drove them to the airport in the morning and said that we were already in love with Emmitt….which was totally true!

Our abode for 6 weeks
Nice views!

The next day we had to organize all of our stuff which had gotten a bit out of hand. Seems to be a theme for us! We didn’t mind because the weather was dreadful. We took Emmitt down to St. Kilda beach for a short walk; all three of us were definitely ready to head home after 30 minutes. We felt like we were in Scotland. Cold. Rainy. Windy.

St. Kilda beach on a dreary day

It just so happens that Dunedin was mostly settled by the Scottish and the downtown has a lot of Scottish architecture. And the weather is a lot like Scotland.

Dunedin, city and port, Otago local government region, southeastern South Island, New Zealand. It is located at the head of Otago Harbour (14 miles [23 km] long) with deepwater Port Chalmers at its mouth.

Founded in 1848 as a Scottish Free Church settlement, the town was chosen for its timber resources and potential for farm settlement. It was called Dunedin for the Gaelic word for Edinburgh (Duneideann). The discovery of gold in 1861 in Otago brought prosperity and migration to the town, making it New Zealand’s leading city during the second half of the 19th century. A borough since 1855, it was proclaimed a city in 1865.

Encyclopedia Britannica
Dunedin train station. Classic Scottish architecture.

After a few dreary days, the sun finally came out and we decided to take a drive northward to Long Beach. The road cruised along the west edge of the Otago harbor through Port Chalmers. It is a pretty industrial part of the harbor for much of it; not terrible, but not super nice either.

The good news about Emmitt is that, as well as being bomb proof around other dogs, he is a pretty good car traveler, although he was starting to make his displeasure known at the delay in his morning walk, as we headed down a very steep hill toward Long Beach.

“Where is my morning walk!!”

It was a bit windy, but in Dunedin terms, wasn’t too bad. We parked and found our way out to the beach. It was yet another lovely New Zealand beach with hardly a soul on it. Emmitt was happy. Finally, his morning walk.

We walked to the end of the beach in one direction and started heading back the other. It was just too nice to not do a longer walk. Emmitt was in agreement and he truly was enjoying himself. He is a super sweet dog and loves to go up and greet other dogs. He just loves them. He never seems to have a problem either; I guess it is his jovial good nature that disarms them all. As we were heading back down the other way, Emmitt saw another dog and it was barking. He did his usual and picked up his pace to go toward the dog. I wouldn’t call it a run as he is an old man with stiff joints, so it is kind of a half fast walk and half jog. Kind of like me if I were to try to run again.

As we got closer, we could see that there was a gigantic sea lion on the beach. Finally the owners of the barking dog showed up and hurried him along. Emmitt, in his hardheaded way, eventually also came back. We decided that we were close enough to the sea lion and should let it sleep in peace, so we headed back to the car.

Emmitt is awesome. We have really been enjoying him and Amy and Brandon’s house. He goes with us wherever we go. You go to the bathroom to get a kleenex. He follows. You go to the kitchen to get some water. He follows. You go outside. He follows. You go back inside. He follows. He is a true velcro dog. Just the kind that we really like. He looks surprisingly like our very first dog Cooper. A bit stockier, but the markings are dead on. I think Emmitt is Cooper’s doppelganger.

Cooper on the left. Emmitt on the right. Doppelgangers? Probably!

We are looking forward to exploring Dunedin a bit more … especially now that the weather is a bit more seasonable. And hanging out with Emmitt is just a big bonus.

Sunset from the house
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