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There is life in the old dog yet

December 23, 2020 December 2020 No Comments

Family photo.

If you go down to the vets today, you are sure of a big surprise.  For every dog that ever there was will gather there for certain because, amongst other things, it’s a great place to work!

The rehoming team at Retired Working Dogs (RWD) often get asked how well hard- working farm dogs adapt to a new life away from stock work? I went to meet two rehomed RWD dogs to find out more about their second life.

Beardie collies Ted and Belle can be found most days with Holly Winterwood, who runs reception at South Wairarapa Vets in Martinborough. coolest dog and he replied he hoped to find a good new home for him on the RWD website.”

The RWD website works like a dating site where people can post information about the dog they are looking to rehome and would-be dog owners can search for their perfect match. The website rehomes about 500 dogs a year this way.  As with Ted, the first owner decides where will be the best new home for their dog.

Holly and husband Zac were moving house when they met Ted. It may not have been the most convenient time, but after the weekend visit he stayed. “It was great to have the opportunity to get to know him a little better before we decided, but after twenty minutes we knew he was perfect for us.”

Ted quickly adjusted from life as a stock truck dog to living indoors and soon took on the task of Customer Relations Dog at the surgery. Customers, both animal and human, are greeted gently by Ted and welcomed into the space.  On the hard days when people get difficult news a ‘Ted cuddle’ can really help. People keen to return Ted’s kindness and sales reps regularly send him gifts.

 “RWD let us trial a playmate for Ted with one of their dogs Baxter, but it quickly became clear Ted wasn’t interested in play and romping with another dog. So we decided not to look for a friend for him because he gets to interact with plenty of dogs at work.”

Then they saw Belle on RWDs Facebook page (fans of TV’s  Fraggle Rock will know her doppelganger Sprocket).  She was too old for work but pining for the farmer each time he went out.  With Belle living on a sheep and cattle farm just out of Masterton Holly and Zac couldn’t resist going out to meet her.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Belle took to home life easily. “House training was never a problem for either dog. While they had always lived in outdoor kennels they let us know when they need to go out.  Even though Belle is older and slower than Ted, there’s a lot of life in her yet!”

“She loves water, splashing about like crazy and lying down in any puddle she finds,” says Zac. “It feels good to be giving them love, a relaxed life and a chance to be warm indoors for their final years.”

“Working with South Wairarapa Vets, it’s easy for me to tell farmers about RWD and also those people looking for a special dog to take home.  It’s important that potential owners understand breeds and their inherent behaviours when they choose a dog.  Farm dogs are generally medium to large sized with an impressive work ethic. They deserve comfort and stimulation in their second life.” 

 

                                                                   Story Sophie Hensley, photos by Pete Monk

You can support RWD by buying their calendar – the perfect gift for the dog lovers at Christmas. Calendars are available at most of Martinborough’s top retail outlets.  Or you can order them direct from the website https://retiredworkingdogs.org.nz/.

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