A postie and a dog

Postie Steve Hennum and German shepherd Kyza share a special bond. Photo: Chris Callinan.

Kyza naps by the fence, waiting for his best friend to arrive.

Ironically, his best friend is stereotypically other dogs’ worst enemy. The postie.

This really rather large nine-month-old German shepherd timidly approaches the fence when he sees postie Steve Hennum ride up on his bike. He doesn’t bark, he doesn’t jump up, he doesn’t lick, but he’s clearly excited for a cuddle from his friend.

“Normally, because he’s a puppy he jumps around and everything but this mailman has got the charm over him. He’s his best friend,” says Kyza’s owner Michael Collins.

“I wish he acted like that all the time.”

Steve says he and Kyza were fast friends.

“Even if we don’t have mail Steve will jump off and give him a cuddle.”

Michael shared a simple video of the love between Kyza and Steve on Monday, which has since taken the nation by storm with far more than 500,000 views.

Michael says Kyza and Steve have gotten on since Steve began delivering mail in his Te Puke area earlier this year.

“Who knew that patting a dog could be so interesting?” says Steve, who adds there are a few dogs on his rounds but Kyza is special.

“They’re not all like him, Kyza is a real special one.”

Steve, who has been a postie for 12 years and has worked within NZ Post for two decades, says he loves the job.

“You get to see people, and when it rains, with the first sunny day you forget all about it!”

And Steve says NZ Post makes sure the posties are equipped for the job – from delivering mail to knowing how to identify a dangerous pooch.

“NZ Posties are trained in identifying intimidating and dangerous dogs, their behaviours and warning signs and that sort of thing. Some can be aggressive but they’re only doing their guard dog duties. “You treat every dog as a unique case.”

The self-diagnosed technophobe says he had no idea the video was being filmed, and only found out about his social media fame through a work colleague.

“The first I knew about it was from a colleague who has a computer. I’m a bit of a technophobe but they told me that I was ‘world famous on the Te Puke Buy and Swap Facebook page patting a dog’. “That was the first I knew about it.”

Steve has his own pooch at home – a 16-year-old Foxie cross called Mickey.

NZ Post’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional service delivery manager Dean Horsup says the video has gone down well with head office.

“We love the video – obviously Posties, who are out on the street a lot, do have issues with roaming or aggressive dogs from time to time and we train our staff to treat all dogs with caution.

“However, in this case, it’s very clear these two are great friends. We’ve had quite a few ‘awwww’ moments in the office.”

And at the end of the day, the short video has played on the heart strings of animal lovers throughout the nation.

“The whole stereotype and with dog attacks being in the news lately, I thought I’d share it to get good dogs in the limelight,” says Michael.

“Obviously, people are warming to this story,” says Steve.

Watch the video here.

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