For years there have been a series of unsavoury incidents at Craigavon. From memory, it used to be men jumping out of the trees with items of clothing missing. More recently it was poisoned baits laid for dogs. In the last year there has been dumping, a car burnt out on the Connaught St boundary, and a shooting death in a nearby house. The protestations of a tree trimming “pastor” caught on camera dumping a truckload of mulch was the only light relief. Even the new $500,000+ playground seemed to take the best part of a childhood to complete.
This surely can’t have been what was envisaged by Mrs W.H. Smith in 1929 when she donated the land to the citizens of Auckland to commemorate the visit of Lord Craigavon.
Now a dog attack has been added to the list. Recently Matthew Adair was walking Rex, a one and a half year old Pomeranian dog off leash near the new playground. He heard dogs running in the bush and then a husky came up and sniffed Rex. Then two other dogs arrived. One of the dogs grabbed Rex and swung him from side to side. Matthew felt helpless as his little dog was yelping before the dogs ran off. Matthew picked Rex up and held the gasping dog but just a few short minutes later Rex died.
The owners of the other dogs were shocked. Matthew amazingly holds no animosity towards them and does not want them to suffer the loss of having their dogs put down.
The grief that Matthew and his wife Becky Wong suffered is clear in Becky’s message:
My beloved little angel Rex was taken away from us yesterday 12.5.18 at the Craigavon dog park, west Auckland. I was not there, and my poor husband had to witness our baby getting bitten and shaken to death by an entire female husky (of a pack of 2 and another large dog) that came out of nowhere in the bush. Quickly and violently, it only took a few seconds and he was gone, through no fault of his own.
Our baby Rex was only 2kg and 1.5 years young. We were devastated that he didn't even stand a chance. Blood was everywhere; it stained my husband's jacket, pants, and... our hearts. Rex was taken from us right there and then. It happened too suddenly and what was left was a cool, silent and stiff body. Our poor Rex had so much life in him. He was such a good boy, beautiful inside and out.
I just want to remind everyone that dog attacks can happen any time and anywhere. It's often only a story that's been shared and heard until it happens to you. It is more than enough for it to happen once to your fur baby. There were so many ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ that have gone through our head. Too many tears have been shed, grieving for Rex. I just hope that if you see this post, you will be reminded to keep a closer eye on your fur babies around off leash areas, to protect your or someone else’s beloved dog.
Since this happened there has been another dog attack at the park. How could this park be made safer and remain as a valuable off leash area for responsible dog ownwers to enjoy with their pets?