Paddleboarding gets hairy for Dunedin man and his pets

Paddleboarding gets hairy for Dunedin man and his pets

An unusual sight has been turning heads in Dunedin, with a Macandrew Bay resident putting a new spin on taking his pets for a walk.

Health manager Peter Ellison gets out on his paddleboard a few times a week, taking a relaxing ride around Otago Harbour.

But it's not a solo passion. He's nearly always joined by his five-year-old golden retriever Tama and one-year-old ginger moggie Ellie for the open water fun.

The two pets are best friends, and both seem quite at home on the water.

"Ellie thinks she's a dog anyway", says Peter. "So everywhere Tama goes, whether it's walking or whatever, Ellie tags along."

The trio usually head out early in the morning when the water is calm, or sometimes in the late afternoon if Peter finishes work early.

"The furthest we go is probably about half an hour each way", Peter says. "Ellie gets a bit sick of it after a while and tends to want to come back.  But Tama would stay out there all day."

Living just a few minutes from the beach makes it easy to take advantage of fine weather.

Peter doesn't mind sharing his hobby with his two four-legged friends, who have developed good water skills.

But he admits it's sometimes a challenge balancing all three on the stand-up paddleboard.

"Tama's a bit of ballast at the front I guess. And Ellie tends to just wander around and please herself. Yeah, it can be a bit hairy at times. But it's lots of fun."

The trio have become a quirky photo opportunity on Otago Peninsula, with the coastal bay a popular spot for local residents as well as tourists.