Do you know what happens to rescue dogs and kids who don’t really fit in, get together? Ask Dave Graham – better known as ‘Farmer Dave’.
Farmer Dave is a proud Judge for this year’s Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022, which returns for its 5th year to inspire rescue groups and animal shelters that continue their efforts in saving lives during these challenging times of the pandemic and more recently, the devastating floods in parts of Australia.
Dave is also the Co-Founder and Manager of RuffTrack, a life-changing youth program based at the RuffTRACK Farm near Riverstone.
Q&A with Farmer Dave, Rescue Awards Judge
Rescue dogs are a big part of the RuffTRACK program, just like Jimmy Choo and Jetta in Dave’s Insta post about why he is proud to be involved with the Rescue Awards.
“Dogs rescue us and we rescue them, and the relationship we form is pretty awesome,” he says.
The rescue dogs at RuffTRACK were in a family situation that didn’t work out, at the pound, or cam
e directly to RuffTRACK as a retired working dog. The kids at RuffTRACK have also found themselves a little lost and needed a helping paw.
Q: Why is being a Judge for the Rescue Awards important to you?
Farmer Dave: The Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards are an amazing awards program. It showcases what so many people are doing out there in society for dogs that have fallen through the cracks. Dogs end up at pounds and circulating in public when family circumstances change, ending up with the neighbour, cousin, mum, and dad. The Rescue Awards is all about making sure we showcase the people in our society who are doing their best to keep dogs where they belong, back in loving homes that are well-suited for that dog.
Q: How do rescue dogs benefit troubled youth?
Farmer Dave: Oftentimes, dogs that end up in rescue are full of beans and probably aren’t suited to that home. Some of our kids are not suited to a certain situation, in school or communities they are in, things aren’t just working for them. It’s about finding the right home or place for the young person; the same as for the dog. When they meet in the middle and can reflect on each other’s journeys, they find that all you need is kindness and compassion. It really is a relationship made in heaven, when rescue dogs and kids that don’t really fit in get together. It has worked out really well for many kids and rescue dogs at RuffTrack. Once you have a relationship with a dog, then the magic really does happen.