The cow-dog of Turangi

Monday August 10, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Tina Maoate’s late husband was Fijian, and gave him his name because in Fiji, “Tui” is a chief.  JONATHAN MILNE 20080909 Tina Maoate’s late husband was Fijian, and gave him his name because in Fiji, “Tui” is a chief. JONATHAN MILNE 20080909

Not so long ago, Tina Maoate got a worried phone-call from the old mama across the road at Turangi.

“E, Tina, there’s a cow that ran across your yard!”

The gigantic, heavyset, black-and-white splotched Tui is a familiar sight around Turangi, guarding the Maoate family front gate, or out for a run along the back road behind the pickup.

And, says his owner, people look twice at the shaggy big-eyed beast: is he a dog, or is he a cow?

Tina Maoate’s late husband was Fijian, and gave him his name because in Fiji, “Tui” is a chief.

Tui is about 10 years old – they’ve had him since he was a puppy.

And since their grandson Roman was born, Tui has been like a babysitter. He follows the 4-year-old everywhere; if the family can’t find their little boy, they just look for the giant dog!

Tina Maoate laughingly calls him a “calf-dog”.

“I’ve taken the collar off because he can’t fit it. He’s a chief – he likes his food and his rest! And his bark is so loud and low.

“He’s a very good watchdog – we actually feel safe with him, this dog.”

2 comments

  • Comment Link Laing Wood Monday, 10 August 2020 10:22 posted by Laing Wood

    Where on earth did anyone get the description 'shaggy' for him? He's definitely not. But he is a nice looking pooch with a lovely 'doggy' face & bright expression.

  • Comment Link Andy Kirkwood Monday, 10 August 2020 09:26 posted by Andy Kirkwood

    We call Tui - 'panda-bear-dog'.
    Guardian of the best water station on the island. :)

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