Pet project has re­wards

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Ben Smith

WHILE she may spend a great deal of her time sur­rounded by dogs, it is the re­la­tion­ship with the own­ers Haya Bar-Noy is just as thank­ful for.

The Cool­bellup res­i­dent has spent the past four years help­ing out as a vol­un­teer dog walker with non-profit group Pets of Older Per­sons.

Its mis­sion state­ment is to as­sist peo­ple who, due to fi­nan­cial dis­ad­van­tage, age, med­i­cal emer­gency or dis­abil­ity, need as­sis­tance with car­ing for their pets.

Ms Bar-Noy cur­rently looks af­ter six pets, spend­ing time with both the an­i­mals and their own­ers ev­ery week.

She said she had been an an­i­mal lover for most of her life, but the re­la­tion­ships she forged with the own­ers was just as im­por­tant as the bond be­tween her and the pets.

“I feel that we need to give back to the com­mu­nity in some way. The re­ward that I get is to see them happy; they thank me so much for giv­ing my time to them,” Ms Bar-Noy said.

“I don’t re­ally want a tap on my shoul­der and peo­ple say­ing what a good and won­der­ful job I do, I do it be­cause I want to do it and I have the time to give.

“Other peo­ple do not have the time to give and for them just walk­ing the dog is enough.”

While the pets’ well-be­ing and walks were im­por­tant, Ms Bar-Noy said she tried to spend as much time as pos­si­ble with the clients as well, given most of her clients lived alone.

“I spend about six or seven hours a week with them and I think they quite ap­pre­ci­ate it so they make me cof­fee some­times on my birthday they send me cards, buy me flow­ers,” she said.

“One of the ladies is 96 and I pick her up with the dog, take her to the park for 30 min­utes and I take her to the mar­ket and spend two hours with her.

“I have one client who is ill, so some­times I take her to the hos­pi­tal for chemo­ther­apy and we there’s a lady who has MS and she’s bed bound; we sit and I walk the dog and sit and talk to her.”

Visit poop­swa.org.au/.

Haya Bar-Noy with some of her clients' beloved dogs.

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