21 October 2020
As I made my way down Lisa’s driveaway I was greeted by flood of happy golden tails escaping from the front gate.
“I don’t really know how we ended up with nine dogs but I guess it kind of just evolved and I like the idea that when I rescue these old dogs, I’m giving them a second chance and the letting them live their last days as happy ones,” said Lisa.
Whether it is weeks, months or years that Lisa spends with her dogs, together they give love and company to not only each other but make visits to friends in need.
“We make special visits to a nursing home every Monday and have been visiting residents there for the last six years. The way the residents light up when they see TGO are amazing moments.
Throughout our entire conversation, I am constantly getting little nudges on my hand for a pat and It is clear to see, these senior dogs have a whole lot of unconditional love to give.
“Bear here, we’ve only had him four weeks and his family moved overseas, and they desperately wanted to take him, but he has heart problems wouldn’t have survived the plane trip,” Lisa said.
In the corner of the room is Poppy who was rescued from a puppy farm and stares tentatively at us and quivers every time we come within three metres of her.
“She’s fine with Ian and I but when we first got her she was totally shut down, completely catatonic and shaking and it’s hard to imagine how poorly she was treated at the puppy farm, it’s heart breaking.”
Lisa’s TGO Charity has been in action for just over one year and as we talk about its vision and goals, Lisa states she has just finished the figures for the last year.
“We’ve spent $25,000 but what makes me most proud is that we are a pay it forward charity and while our dogs do come first with expenses, we also paid the vet treatment for seven local senior dogs, whose owners otherwise couldn’t afford it.”
“They’re crying on the phone and can’t believe a stranger has done this for them- that’s why I love the charity.”
“One time I noticed a sum of money in the Team Golden Oldies account and I went into Coastline at South West Rocks and asked about it. They told me they donated their money from the gold coin coffee donations to me and I thought that was amazing.”
As with any loss, Lisa says this is a challenge but she speaks of a more difficult situation she is often faced with, which she summarises as believing it’s always better a day too early than a day too late, it’s just knowing when that day is.
“With Zoe, who we’ve had for seven years, her back legs are going so she’s not in pain as such but she’s having trouble standing up so it’s knowing when that time will come,” she said.
With loss understandably comes sadness, however Lisa ensures that each TGO member’s legacy lives on, composing picture books based on their lives, selling them online with all proceeds going directly to other rescues in Australia and overseas to help senior dogs in their care.
“The first three books won awards in America for Best Picture Book and each book I write has positive messages about being yourself and self worth.”
All in all, Lisa’s drive and motivation is to help senior rescue dogs and highlight the fact that these dogs are the ones that a left in the pounds longer than any other, and many of these dogs get put down because they are ‘too old’.
“Their lives matter, so please go to the pound and find that dog that’s been there the longest, that old dog that no one wants and you may only have them for a short time, but I can guarantee they will love you for the rest of their days if you give them a safe and loving home – that’s all they want.”
Follow Team Golden Oldies on Facebook to keep up to date on their adventures.
If you would like to donate to Team Golden Oldies, you can do so by visiting their website https://www.teamgoldenoldies.com/.