The real-life Hairy Maclary gang has been announced

Publish Date
Monday, 17 July 2023, 1:29PM

Say hello to the real-life Hairy Maclary clan!

Last month, it was announced the iconic children’s book character was celebrating a massive anniversary and Kiwis were invited to bring their own canine pals to the party.

To mark 40 years since the terrier first went out of the gate and off for a walk, it was announced a special anniversary hardback edition of Dame Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy would be published, and some very special pups would get their paws on a copy.

Publishers Penguin Random House put out a call to Kiwi dog owners asking them to share photos of their furry pals who resembled Hairy and his ragtag bunch of mates, now, the results are in and the winners announced.

(L-R) Muffin McLay, Hercules Morse, Bitzer Maloney, Hairy Maclary, Schnitzel von Krumm and Bottomley Potts.

Taking to Facebook, the publisher announced the adorable winners, sharing images of each real-life member of the Donaldson Dairy clan.

Telling fans they had a massive collection of entries to choose from with over 1600 submissions, they found it tricky to pick their winners. Thankfully, one very special person was able to make the tough call.

“The Penguin Random House team narrowed the entries to a top group, and then Dame Lynley Dodd herself picked our winners!” They said, adding, “Check out the real-life raggedy rascal’s gang!”

Here are the winners:

Bitzer Maloney

Bitzer Maloney winner is Juno from Christchurch. Photo / Facebook

Known for being all skinny and bony, the beloved character Bitzer Maloney is the only other member of Hairy Maclary’s gang that is of mixed-breed parentage.

His signature traits include big eyes, long legs and a tiny frame leading many to assume he is a greyhound. The real-life Bitzer Maloney title went to Juno from Christchurch.

Bottomley Potts

Bottomley Potts winner is Molly from Cambridge. Photo / Facebook

The Dalmatian covered in spots has a name that may make your child giggle because it is slightly rude but this pup is anything but.

Molly from Cambridge was dubbed the winner in the competition for her smart white coat with well-defined black spots.

Hercules Morse

Hercules Morse winner is Butters from Auckland. Photo / Facebook

He might make you gasp because Hercules Morse is as big as a horse and the real-life version of him is no different.

The winning title was awarded to Butters from Auckland and just like the character, he is a sleepy gentle giant.

Muffin McLay

Muffin McLay winner is Rocket from Oamaru. Photo / Facebook

It’s hard to spot this friendly pooch and that’s because the faithful and popular member of Hairy Maclary’s gang looks just like “a bundle of hay”.

Rocket from Oamaru took out the win for this iconic character. Like any Old English Sheepdog, he is covered in a profuse woolly coat and it’s adorable.

Schnitzel von Krumm

Schnitzel von Krumm winner is Cooper from Kaiapoi. Photo / Facebook

Cooper from Kaiapoi is the wide-eyed pet who won the title of Schnitzel von Krumm’s doppelganger.

With a beautifully smooth red coloured coat, the short, four-legged friend is a favourite in the boisterous bunch.

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Hairy Maclary

Hairy Maclary Winner is Lexi from Wellington. Photo / Facebook

And finally, the one you’ve been waiting for - New Zealand’s very own, Hairy Maclary.

Lexi from Wellington is the small dog of mixed pedigree who Dodd believes looks most like the fictional pup. The beloved character is known for being bumptious and bustly; that is until he is met with Scarface Claw.

Unfortunately, the competition did not include the feisty feline with publishers telling the Herald last month, “The competition is running to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, which features predominantly him and his canine friends,” a spokesperson said.

“Hence, the competition is open to just the six main characters in this particular book.”

But who knows, maybe the 50-year anniversary will include the cat.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission. 

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