These fans will be barking with delight

Last updated 05:00 17/09/2011
STAUNCH: Rugby world Cup 2011 fans. Whitby couple Wendy and John Macilree with their poodles Bree, left, and Morgan.
STAUNCH: Rugby world Cup 2011 fans. Whitby couple Wendy and John Macilree with their poodles Bree, left, and Morgan.

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The aren't your usual rugby supporters, but two poodles are wearing their allegiances on their chests.

Whitby dog owners John and Wendy Macilree had their dogs decorated in honour of the Rugby World Cup.

Eight-year-old white poodle Bree got the English rose treatment to go with Ms Macilree's English roots, while seven-year-old Morgan became All Black – silver fern included.

Their dogs were regulars at Northland dog grooming store Otis and Louie, where painting pooches is among their services.

Owner Annelies van der Poel said the full service of animal-friendly paint and glitter was an all-day task.

"It takes three of us to get everything done once you have done the general grooming.

"You're dealing with some very fidgety dogs but once the stencil and glitter is on it can look really effective."

The Macilrees were not attending any matches, so decided the liveried dogs would help liven up their living room rugby supporting.

Mr Macilree said the dogs were their fellow rugby followers at home.

"My boy Morgan likes watching a bit of TV – he was in front of it for the All Blacks game last weekend."

But Bree had shown less interest in the tournament, Ms Macilree said.

Much like her dog, she was the less rugby mad member of the household. "I actually prefer cricket to be honest, but it's all in the name of good fun."

Mr Macilree was adamant the World Cup would get a good showing at home. "I joked to Wendy that she should realise I would be taking over the remote for the next few weeks. The very next morning she shot out and bought a second television."

- The Dominion Post

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