Sitting in the kitchen chatting with Gary is a lesson in compassion and giving.

As a dog walking volunteer from 1994 through to pre COVID times, he has seen the tough times and delights in the positive journey that the Hobart Home and the Dogs’ Home of Tasmania has taken as an organisation.

Gary has adopted 12 dogs from DHoT over the years, focusing on providing older dogs a safe, secure space for their final years. He noted that as a volunteer, he often saw older dogs getting overlooked. Taking on older dogs has its downsides. “Vet bills are a given and kidney issues are prevalent with the dogs suffering a loss of dignity” said Gary who has replaced the carpet with lino.

Gary has been with each dog when their time comes. He said sometimes they stop eating and some just look at you and let you know. Each dog has their own rose bush or flower in the garden.

“Older dogs” said Gary, “ have experienced huge upheaval.” He described how each dog had their little mannerisms and how they take up to three months or longer to come out of their shells.

Gary believes that dogs are important and that they contribute to people’s mental wellbeing. He wouldn’t be without them.

With a kennel licence for 5, Gary currently has 4 dogs in residence; Rodney the Jack Russell (8yrs old), Tink the Chihuahua (10yrs old) and sisters Maggie and Missy aged 9yrs. The dogs certainly get on well together and pottered around the kitchen as we talked.

Gary said the council pop around every year to check the kennels and I tell them they are indoor dogs. They certainly are indoor dogs cherished for their individual personalities and the love they give

Tink, at 10 years of age is slowing down, but still has plenty to say.

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