At the moment Christine walks Tori – a bull terrier, and Ollie – a corgi/cavalier mix. These two are such a delight that Christine has had to show some restraint in not taking on any more dogs. When asked why she volunteers she replied:
“It’s just for the enjoyment, the company of dogs and knowing that I can help someone to be able to have a pet in their own home that brings me the most joy. I love fresh air; I just love going out. It’s like meditation.”
It’s no wonder Christine is attracted to the outdoors. A country girl, she was born in Narrogin and grew up in Wanneroo when it was still just a country town.“Yeah I’m a country girl. From Perth it would probably take me 45 minutes to an hour to get to where we had a market farm in Wanneroo. It’s closer to Yanchep. Back in the day the drive was on a narrow road – but now Wanneroo’s a city.”
Christine became a volunteer with POOPS a few years after she retired. Her career started and ended with nursing, however for the 30 years in between she worked in the family business and raised five kids, who are now all grown up. Thirty years is a long time, but even after all those years, Christine felt the call to return to nursing.
“I just wanted to go back, and I love helping people I guess - seeing them recover and putting a smile on their face.”
After she successfully completed her re-registration, she worked as a nurse in Narrogin. A few years later the family moved to Perth and Christine moved on to nursing at the Swan District Hospital.
The hospital eventually closed down and Christine was faced with the choice of looking for a transfer or retiring, which she describes as a tough decision.
“I was really restless for a long time, wondering if I did the wrong thing. Then I thought - naw! So we bought a caravan and did a bit of travelling. And then - POOPS came up!”
Not one for being idle, Christine has found volunteering has slotted into her active life perfectly. “I think Monday is the only day I’m home. Other mornings I’m out either walking a dog, or socialising, or involved with a seniors group. I’m probably the youngest there, but I love it. We go on bus tours. I like to keep busy.”
Thankfully Christine is happy with her decision to retire from nursing, and has found a new community at POOPS that aligns with her love of nature and being outside.
“I always wanted to volunteer and I’m so glad I found this group, because it takes me outdoors. I still meet people, and dogs are my passion. I thought of working in op shops, but that’s inside. I want to be outdoors - come rain or shine. Of course if it’s stormy I won’t walk a dog, but if there’s a bit of drizzle, I put my raincoat on and off we go!”