Celebrating Graduates – Part 2

Last week, in Celebrating Graduates – Part 1, we caught up with some recent graduates – Amber, Bindi, Paddy and Renault. This week we look at another four recent graduates – Fonzy, Leon, Liam and Ranger.

As you know, my first interaction with ADNZT was with Anna , a Golden Retriever puppy, when she first arrived in New Zealand in 2016. After that initial photo shoot, I was very keen to help ADNZT in any way I could, and offered to photograph any other dogs that needed some photos taken. After Anna, my second photo shoot involved four black labradors at various stages of their training. Fonzy was one of them. After a few months, we added graduation photos to our routine, and I met Leon and Liam for the first time at their graduation shoots. Finally today, we’ll look at Ranger who was one of the first litter I got to meet at 6 weeks old.


After first meeting Fonzy at the end of 2016, it was a real treat to see him graduate In May, 2018.

Of course, we’ve all heard a little more about Fonzy recently when he became a Dad to the ‘K’ litter. But apart from that, he is also an active, working Assistance dog.

He is currently based in the South Island, working with an 18 year old boy who has autism.

Having Fonzy by his side, means that this young man can now enjoy family outings to the Sunday markets, or to his sisters sports games.

It means that he can also do day to day things that most of us take for granted like go to the supermarket, the shopping malls etc.

Fonzy is a beautiful boy, and was born to help another boy enjoy life to its fullest.

No doubt some of his offspring will grow to be as valuable as their Dad too!

Great work Fonzy. We’re all so proud of you.


Liam is a delightful boy. Full of smiles and just loves to play with balls in the park.

Liam graduated in February 2017. He was very proud of his graduation cap!

Liam is now in Christchurch, after being matched to Sam, who is in a wheelchair. However, Sams brother has recently been diagnosed with Autism, and so Liam also helps him. Both Sam and his brother benefit from Liam being a part of the family.

It has even meant that the boys can go to the school disco……because Liam was there. Good boy Liam! Taking it all in your stride, and doing ADNZT proud!


One of Leons favourite toys when I met him in February 2017, was a long rope. He loved it!

But he also loved the ball!

For some reason, Leon didn’t get to wear the special graduation hat when he graduated in February 2017, at the same time as Liam.

But he still shines with his intelligence, knowledge, and readiness to work.

Sometimes, family circumstance change, and that’s what happened with the family that first had the benefit of Leon. They also found that their child had reduced needs, so perhaps Leon would be of more benefit elsewhere.

So, Leon has been returned to ADNZT. He is currently undergoing a refresher course, with a few tweaks in readiness for a new family that he will be matched with next week.


Like his brother Renault,  Ranger is one of the ‘R’ litter, born at the end of 2016.

It’s so good to see these dogs go from cute bundles of puppiness to progressing through their formal training and being matched with clients.

Ranger has enjoyed some interesting experiences during his puppy raising and formal training.

While he was in Auckland, he was boarded at Kings College. I’m told that the boys who also boarded there thought he was pretty special.

When Ranger graduated, we took a special photo of him with his graduation hat and the Kings College scarf.

Ranger is now working in Te Kuiti, with a lovely young man called Kyle. Ranger and Kyle enjoy many adventures now they are together. They have flown on a plane together, love going to rugby games together, and are also frequent visitors to shearing competitions, which they both enjoy immensely. Watch out for more about Ranger and Kyle later this year.

As you can see, the work that goes into raising and training these very special and valuable dogs is priceless. We at ADNZT have so much appreciation for everyone who takes part along the way. Thank you all very much. And of course, thank you to our wonderful clients, who welcome the dogs into their homes and their families, allowing the dogs to do what. they were born for.

If you’d like to make a donation, or become a regular supporter, our puppy sponsorships are a great way to help and follow a particular puppy through to graduation and adulthood.

As always, I’m looking forward to all your comments, and any questions you’d like us to answer.

Have a great week.