When I saw the name ‘retired working dogs’, I imagined elderly,arthritic heading-dogs, curled on a bed in the lounge, waiting untilheaven called them home. Instead, I arrived at a local foster home tomeet Jimmy, a joyful, obedient, affectionate dog and Jake, a sweet,Fundraiser and website developer Karen Cox and local fosterer IrisChristopher, told me that many working dogs don’t make the gradefor farm-life – too soft, not noisy or hard enough – but having gonethrough working-dog training they make wonderful family dogs.It started in 2012 with vet nurse Natalie in Pahiatua andTodd, a 12-year-old working dog a farmer had brought in to beeuthanased. Natalie realised Todd’s potential, saw a gap and startedNow a registered trust, they have hundreds of dogs fostered andadopted all over New Zealand. Todd lived to the age of 17.“The youngest dog handed in was 10 weeks old. This isn’t justabout old retired dogs,” Karen said.“Working dogs have amazing brains and are very family-oriented.They easily adapt to living in a family home rather than a kennel.They’re looking to bond. These dogs are bred to be the ultimate teamworkers and family life suits them well.”Retiredworkingdogs.org.nz hold many fundraising events, thebiggest, most recent being The Big Rail Trail Dog Walk. They sellfor fundraising ideas.Fosterers are always needed. All food and vet care is covered forfosterers. All you need is a big section and lots of love. Or, you couldadopt yourself an amazing, trained dog who comes when you call,de-sexed, vaccinated and registered, for an adoption fee of $200.