The search is on for the real-life Hairy Maclary

Publish Date
Friday, 9 June 2023, 8:51AM

Iconic children’s book character Hairy Maclary is celebrating a big anniversary and Kiwis are being invited to bring their own canine pals to the party.

It has been 40 years since the plucky terrier first went out of the gate and off for a walk, leading generations of children to follow his antics, lovingly told and illustrated by Dame Lynley Dodd.

A special anniversary hardback edition of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy will be published next month to mark the milestone and publishers Penguin Random House are calling on owners of dogs who bear a resemblance to Hairy and his ragtag bunch of mates to share photos of their pets for a chance to win a copy.

Entrants need to be from Aotearoa, but that hasn’t stopped fans from around the world sharing photos online, highlighting the ongoing global appeal of the series of books.

The top dog himself dominates entries, but his mates have all got a look-in too.

Some are a spitting, or perhaps drooling, image for the character and others don’t share much more than breed type, but the personalities of the four-legged friends shine through in all the entries for the special prize.

Here are some of the entrants so far:

Could this Hairy Maclary-double take out the title?
Bottomley Potts, covered in spots.
This Hercules Morse lookalike is serving big boy beach realness.
Low tum? Check!
So skinny, so bony!
Best buds

Fans of the first book will know that the dramatic tension in the story is anchored by the sole non-canine character, Scarface Claw, who is notably excluded from the competition, alongside the glamorous Slinki Malinki.

The Herald pushed the publishers to explain why they had their claws out for the feline favourites.

“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.”

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

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