Staying connected: Kate’s story with ‘Rescue Dogs’
Ken’s introduction: In today’s post, swimmers will get a glimpse of some of the beautiful qualities of character that lie within Kate and Andrew’s lovely nature. We generally just see what is on the surface, swimmers in good physical condition and etc. Seldom do people open up and begin to reveal their hidden inner self. Today, thanks to Kate, we will see two people who contribute in their own selfless way, to make this a better place. Both have very senior executive/management roles at work, but also have time to make a difference, in their own unique way.
Below, is a MUST read story!
Kate’s story with rescue dogs.
Kate and Andrews journey with rescue dogs started nearly 10 years ago in Singapore. While Andrew had previously had Labradors, Kate had always grown up with pound dogs, but it wasn’t until they were living in Singapore and Kate was regularly volunteering at the SPCA that she started asking for her own. Almost every day she would come home with ideas about which dog they could adopt. At the time Andrew was away from home most of the year for work, so Kate started asking for a new dog or a new boyfriend – it wasn’t long before they adopted their first street dog Jimmy and shortly after a second dog Wicket.
Jimmy was found on the back of a truck near the border crossing with Malaysia, brought to an adoption event by a local man who would travel around the island collecting dogs suitable for human interaction. Jimmy just had the cutest face and the sweetest personality – little did we know how quickly his hunting instinct would develop – he was quite a fan of chasing monkeys! Just as it was decided that Jimmy might need a mate, Wicket was found. Wicket was the sole survivor of a litter of 4 puppies found by a taxi driver at the back of a gas station near Singapore zoo neglected and malnourished – both were pretty happy moving into our apartment.
Soon Andrew, Kate, Jimmy and Wicket were being relocated to Brisbane and then a couple of years later to Houston, Texas. Very quickly Andrew and Kate got involved in rescue again working with various charities in Texas to foster, rehabilitate and rehome sick, scared, and unwanted dogs who were on the short list at the local shelters for euthanasia. Animal shelters in the southern states of the US are overrun with stray dogs and cats and as a result around 400,000 dogs and 600,000 cats are euthanised in shelters every year.
Living in an apartment on the 23rd floor in Houston, Kate, Andrew, Jimmy, and Wicket would open their home up to a series of rescue dogs who were in need of a regular meal, a warm bed and a bit of routine. Up to 5 at a time would be in their care anywhere from a few days to a few years – or in some cases for ever! It became hard to keep count, but they estimate that they fostered over 35 dogs, progressively taking more and more challenging cases both medically and behaviourally.
Eventually the time came to leave the US and they did so with 4 dogs in tow – their 2 existing Singapore street dogs and a pair of chihuahuas (Mali and Rosie Pig) that they just couldn’t bear to leave behind. Once back in Australia, Rosie Pig found a new life on the beach on the west coast with Kate’s retired parents and sadly soon after Wicket passed away from cancer. This gave them room again in their hearts and their home to help more dogs and shortly after Nellie, an overly excitable schnauzer arrived in need of a new chance at life – she quickly stole their hearts.
Finally, when COVID started and both Andrew and Kate were spending more time at home they decided they could again support another dog in its rehabilitation journey. They eventually convinced Wally’s Dog Rescue in Sydney that they could be trusted with their most challenging case. Abbie is a Bull Arab picked up in Parkes that the rescue thought might never be able to be adopted. Andrew and Kate drove to Lithgow to meet a terribly scared dog who didn’t want to get anywhere near them, but they confidently took her into their care and brought her home to introduce her to the rest of the pack. Abbie’s rehabilitation journey really started here in Mollymook. Her first time off leash was at the beach in Narrawallee and this was when she really came out of her shell – it was quite amazing what the sea and the sand did to her demeanour. The big challenge now is toning down her enthusiasm for ball chasing and meeting new dogs at the beach!
Ken B., Mollymook Beach Waterfront: Editor for Mollymook News, Destination Mollymook Milton Ulladulla and Mollymook Ocean Swimmers