The collie-labrador cr' />

His owner has been the butt of a many a joke this week, and now Tui the marksman mutt is in demand from the world's media.

The collie-labrador cross came to prominence when he managed to shoot Northlander John Farr in the buttocks after stepping on a loaded .22.

Farr, 40, had just helped to kill a pig and a cow on his brother Aaron's property near Dargaville when Tui jumped on the trigger.

Farr said last night he was very lucky. The hollow case bullet lodged 5cms above his waist. It entered through the left buttock and narrowly missed the spine.

Getting shot in the backside had triggered international news media interest, who seemed to keen play up his embarrassing predicament.

He'd had calls from the United States, Northern Ireland and Britain. But he hadn't given any interviews.

And it is not the first time he has been shot.

On Christmas Day 35 years ago, he was walking up his driveway in Auckland when he was accidentally shot in the back.

People nearby had got a .22 rifle for Christmas and were trying it out.

"I must be lucky," he said of surviving two potentially fatal incidents.

The bullet he took last weekend may be inoperable and he will have more scans this week to see what the outlook is.

Police say it was fortunate that neither John's 12-year-old son nor his friend, who were sitting alongside him, were shot.

Farr said the rifle discharged when Tui jumped on it in the backseat.

Police are investigating why the rifle was left loaded in the backseat and may press charges.

Farr believes a "third party" was playing with the rifle and loaded it while he and his brother were loading offal from a pig and cow they had shot.

Residents of the small farming community of Te Kopuru, about 15km south of Dargaville, were amused by the incident.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said: "They are being pretty much ridiculed by everyone up here. Aaron is shamed out. I hope people realise we are not all like that around here."