Three years of hell for a Taranaki man attracts the kindness of strangers
A man who has lost all he's held dear in life has received just what he was begging for - a new furry companion to call his own.
John Fairweather lost his wife unexpectedly in 2014, survived cancer in 2016, felt helpless when cancer killed his brother and a stroke crippled his sister in 2017, and watched in horror as beloved dog bloated and later died of poisoning last month.
Fairweather thought another canine companion would help him get through his days and a plea from terminally-ill Auckland woman Kim Girbin to find a new home for her two beloved dogs caught his attention. He offered to take them.
While he did not get a response from Girbin, the Hawera man made his own plea to the public last week, which was met with countless offers from kind strangers.
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"A lady in Stratford is giving me a pomeranian named Buffy, like the vampire slayer," he said.
"She described the dog to me and it sounds like I'm going to have a lot of fun."
Fairweather does not know the age of the dog or the date he will officially have Buffy, but could not contain his happiness for his soon-to-be new friend.
He had people find his phone number, message him on Facebook and comment on the Stuff article offering him a dog or well-wishes for the future.
"And there's a man in New Plymouth who set up a Givealittle page."
So far $55 had been raised with excess funds expected to be donated to Fairweather to cover related costs of dog ownership.
In the past four days, he had more positive news than the last three years.
"I'm just happy to get a dog."
John Fairweather lost wife Christine on a rainy night in August 2014 when she was hit and killed by a ute while removing barriers blocking State Highway 3 in Normanby, South Taranaki.
The barriers had been set up by three Taranaki men, who later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
A string of bad news followed with the final event last month when pet dog Louie was fed anti-freeze and died.
Fairweather said the new pet dog will be his best mate and keep him company.