Real Life

HELPING HANDS: Why Denese Coster has dedicated her life to keeping hundreds of dogs warm after a chance encounter 20 years ago

The keen crafter has been lending her helping hands for years creating cosy jumpers for the Lost Dogs Home!
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Through countless stitches, Denese Coster has created thousands of knits that have kept lost, abandoned and neglected dogs warm during the coldest of days.

For almost two decades, the 76-year-old has been making jumpers for furry friends in need, driving bags of her handmade winter warmers to The Lost Dogs’ Home each month.

Denese loves knitting for dogs in need

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“I was at the home one day and saw a lady walking out with a little dog with a jacket on, so I asked the girls in the office if they had a pattern, which they were only too willing to give me,” says Denese, who lives in Burnside, Victoria.

Rarely without a ball of wool at her feet and knitting needles in her hands, Denese, who lives with multiple sclerosis, tells Woman’s Day she fell in love with knitting as a young girl when her grandmother and mother first taught her how to cast on – and she’s been knitting ever since.

Denese’s dog Lucky models her beautiful coats

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“I’ve knitted a lot over the years, first with jumpers for the children. But I figure humans can mostly help themselves, but animals rely on us,” she smiles as her own rescue pup, Maltese shih tzu Lucky, curls up at her feet.

The winter woollies are keeping pooches warm this winter

(Supplied: Lost Dogs Home)

Delighted to be helping as many four-legged friends as she can, Denese has no plans to put down her knitting needles anytime soon.

“Seeing some of the adopted animals with the coats on gives me a great feeling of satisfaction knowing I’m helping make their life a little better,” she says.

“I’ll knit while I still can!”

How YOU can help!

Donate yarn to Woman’s Day, 54 Park St, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Send your knitted items to The Lost Dogs’ Home, 2 Gracie Street, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3161

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