This is Bloke. He’s a rescue dog from AWDRI and I’m his foster-carer. The organisation rescues all types of working dogs: kelpie, border collie, coolie, Australian cattledogs and heelers.
How old is he and what do you know about his background?
He’s about two years old. I don’t know much, you never find out much because they come out of pounds.
He came from Wagga pound after I saw on Facebook he was due to be put down the next day and I put my hand up to take him. He’s mainly heeler by the look of him. He came down on Dog Transport, which AWDRI pays for through fundraising and donations.
How did he get the name?
Well there’s a bit of a story there. They told me he was a bitch so I was going to call him Sheila; a couple of days later after I said I’d take him it turned out he was a Bloke.
Where do the dogs come from?
Mostly NSW pounds; I’ve also had one from Mornington and one from Broadford.
As a carer, describe your role.
You provide a collar, bedding, leads, feed. If they aren’t desexed you don’t pay for that. Recently we had a trivia night that raised $8000 and last weekend there were a couple of barbecues that also raised money that goes towards transport and vet costs.
What’s the process when you get a new dog?
Day one is a bath and flea treatment and book them in for the vet. Then they get introduced to my dogs and the cat and get a feel for all the resident animals.
What’s your assessment of Bloke?
I haven’t had a lot of experience with heelers but I was very impressed with him from the start. He’s a great dog. If you want a dog to travel around Australia with he would be perfect. He loves the car, he’s fine with chooks and cattle and all that sort of thing.
Although he’s a jumper and needs good fencing, I think he’s just coming to find you, he’s not nicking off. There is an adoption application in for Bloke; it costs $320 and people are given a two-week trial.
How did you get involved with AWDRI?
We lost two dogs (of our own) and I was thinking I might get a kelpie pup. Then I thought ‘‘I don’t even know how to train one’’ and I found out about the rescue service.
It must be hard to let go of the dogs sometimes. Would you recommend foster caring to others?
I do have a failed foster dog I fell in love with, as well as two terriers. I can’t say the one I kept is good but he’s very appealing. He spends all day stalking the chooks outside their run.
But I’m in the perfect position to have them as I have the space as well as the animals to assess their temperaments. It’s been really rewarding. I’ve been really happy where my (rescue) dogs have gone.
For more information about the working dog rescue service or to volunteer as a carer see www.awdri.com.au
Words and pictures: Cathy Walker