WHEN she’s not painting, Tamworth artist Marie Larkin is saving the lives of small, fluffy dogs or caring for her little charges.
Her husband, Mick, and family have welcomed the new, furry, four-legged members, with the dogs treated more like children than animals.
“Mick knew I was crazy when he married me,” she said.
What Mrs Larkin is crazy about, though, is wanting people to adopt rescue dogs before they shop for puppies at the pet shop.
“If you have a dog breed in mind, you will find a rescue dog, you might just have to wait a little while for one,” she said.
“The more you don’t buy from pet shops, the less demand there will be for puppy farms.”
Purebreed maltese terrier Daisy Mae came from Sydney Animal Second Chance and was the first rescue dog Mrs Larkin adopted.
She already had Fergie, a poodle/silky terrier-cross, that welcomed her new sister to the family.
Daisy Mae was the sickest dog that has come into Mrs Larkin’s family, and came to them with only four teeth and a thin coat.
“Her coat was so thin, when you washed her, it looked like you were washing skin,” Mrs Larkin said.
“I treated her with royal jelly and she has to have pancreatic medication with her food.”
She’s had a rough road to the dog haven she now lives in and was found in a pound in Sydney with infected gums and had five benign lumps removed.
“They had to get her to a point where she had enough weight on to be desexed,” Mrs Larkin said.
She was then flown up to Mrs Larkin.
Daisy Mae has her own Facebook page to show how much she has changed since her rescue, to show off her other family members, and to encourage others to rescue dogs like her.
Her next two acquisitions, shih tzu-cross Charlie and silky terrier/maltese Poppy Rose, came from Dog Rescue Newcastle, and she said they would be her last rescues, as four dogs was enough.
Tamworth’s local refuge is Heaven Can Wait Shelter and Mrs Larkin said www.dogrescue.com.au allowed potential owners to search nationwide for their next family members.