Mac the real life Hairy Maclary


Meet the dog who comes to work in the Children's Hub

Erin Barclay with Mac

He’s a real-life Hairy Maclary but. unlike his fictional lookalike, Mac hangs out at the Rotorua Children’s Health Hub and his friends are clinicians.

Mac’s owner is physiotherapist Erin Sinclair.

He’s been assisting her with her work since he experienced a puppy illness and was taken to work with her each day as he recuperated.

At that time she was working at QE Health with mostly adult patients, but his calming nature was soon apparent.

“He was cuddled and stroked a lot and that’s what started it. We had people in a chronic pain service who would come to take him to their patients. If there was someone in tears they would phone and ask for him.

“He has an intuition with people who need him. He goes up to them and just sits there next to them.”

Erin changed jobs to the Children’s Health Hub at Te Aka Mauri, it’s a paediatric outpatient centre in the same building as the Rotorua Public Library. Her patients are aged five and under.

Mac joins Erin once or twice a week.

“He does the rounds, he goes from end to end of the office space visiting everyone. I didn’t intend to use him with the children but one of the librarians was going to be reading Hairy Maclary in her toddler session and asked if I could bring him down.

“He was amazing, a bit nervous to begin with but he was so good around the children. He doesn’t come to all appointments but he does help break the ice – and I have some patients who request him.

“Some children are quite anxious and don’t want to be here but Mac is usually a good starting point.”

Watch video here.