Image: Archi Banal
Image: Archi Banal

SocietyApril 3, 2022

Welcome to The Spinoff’s first virtual pet day

Image: Archi Banal
Image: Archi Banal

Remember back in the day when you would bring your pet to school and everyone would win a prize? It’s like that, but online.

All week we’ve been examining and celebrating our relationship with animals in Aotearoa. Click here for more Pet Week content.

It has been a great week for pets on The Spinoff. Our writers have been everywhere from the depths of the litter box, to the outskirts of a dusty Muriwai carpark, to the throes of a raging rat party, to bring you all the important stories from the weird and wonderful world of pets. As our first Pet Week comes to a close, we thought it was only fitting to celebrate with an online Pet Day, and invited you all to submit your pets for consideration. 

Crunchie, one of the many adorable cows from Cows of New Zealand, and her Pickle’s Pawtrait (Image: Supplied)

Readers, we were absolutely inundated with submissions from across the country. Our tireless judges have been working around the clock, drawing up equations and swiping furiously on their iPads to bring you the following coveted awards. We tried to give out as many as possible, but we hope you all understand that you left it all out there on the field, you wore your heart on your sleeves, you tore down your walls and you are all winners at the end of the day.

Whether you’re wanting something special to remember a lost pet, or just a daily reminder of how much you love your animal sidekick, the team at Pickle’s Pawtraits would love to help. Offering digital portraits, prints, mugs and sticker sheets they will work with you to capture your pet’s unique personality. To find out more, check out their website.

Scroll down for the grand prize presented by our mates at Pickle’s Pawtraits

The Chris Hipkins Award for spreading your legs

Rude? Lancelot will show you rude. And then he’ll show you some of his favourite movies on DVD, including Robin Hood and Shrek. Congratulations Lancelot.

Honourable mentions:

Funnily enough, both these dogs were called Daisy. Coincidence, or something more sinister? The jury is out.

The Miley Cyrus Award for tongue awareness

Just outstanding work from these two pooches, pictured here on a walk in Waitaki.

Honourable mentions: 

Maisie and Kikachu both don’t give an eff what you think about them, and we respect that hugely.

The Rob Brydon Award for small man in a box

An eggs-cellent display of feline boxwork here from Nico, congratulations.

Honourable mentions:

As the bard once said, our cats really do love to hide in boxes.

The Momo Award for cursed imagery 

Forward this post to seven of your friends or this dog will be at the foot of your bed at midnight.

Honourable mentions: 

Congratulations to all the finalists.

The Lady Gaga Award for services to fashion

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s a Karen Walker campaign – either way, she’s a beauty.

Honourable mentions: 

Say it with me: dogs can be casual, dogs can be political, dogs can wear an octopus.

The Sharon Strzelecki Award for best all-round athlete

Have you even seen a dog on a paddleboard as placid as Poppy?

Honourable mentions:

Both Puku and Margot know how to have an absolute ball.

The John and Yoko Award for being in bed

Tammy gets it.

Honourable mentions: 

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

The Joey and Chandler Award for best friendship

Tia and Tina, an iconic jean-drying duo for the ages.

Honourable mentions: 

We’re not crying, you’re crying.

The Rihanna Award for ‘work’

It’s really hard work, being both a towel and a master of disguise.

Honourable mentions: 

Good to see that cats nationwide are still keeping up with the writing, be it with a quill or laptop.

The Rod Stewart Award for good hair

Good luck achieving that kind of volume at home – even the Dyson Airwrap could never.

The Lily Allen Award for services to smiling

“At first when I see you smi-i-ile, it makes me cry-y-y”

Honourable mentions: 

Coach and Oryx both showing off chompers for the ages.

The Maggie Barry award for being out in nature

A stunning example of pure 100% nature here, courtesy of Daisy the cat.

Honourable mentions:

Lockdown who? Screen time what? Shout out to Bluey and Ruby for reminding us to get out there and explore greener pastures.


Congratulations to Merlin and owner Matt for this truly stunning image. We love everything about it – the fluff, the eyes, the towel messaging. It may be both a Hitchhiker’s Guide and a Coldplay reference, but if there’s one thing our pets have reminded us over the last couple of years, it is not to panic. Five stars.

Keep going!