Kerry and Benny

A familiar bark and sneeze on my feet from Benny welcomes me as I greet Kerry and look down to see the mop of white fluff waiting for my attention. I haven’t seen Kerry in a year, since I moved away from West Perth and handed over Benny’s leash to some other amazing POOPS volunteers. I’m welcomed into Kerry’s house like an old friend and, after showing Benny the high praise and pats he deserves, we sit down to chat.

Kerry has been a client of POOPS since 2022 and Benny, the Maltese Shih Tzu who is turning 16 years old this year, is her daily companion. Her sister, who was looking for services to assist Kerry to stay in her home, suggested POOPS to Kerry. Kerry’s increasingly limited range of movement and declining eyesight meant she could no longer take Benny to the park. Kerry still wanted Benny to have the benefits of getting out for a walk and connected with POOPS.

Simple as it is, it’s so meaningful the whole thing…it’s a gift… it’s selfless.”

It is important to Kerry to maintain her independence and wellbeing, not just for herself, but for little Benny. Kerry has always had dogs in her life as a constant source of companionship and says,

To have these [volunteers] give so generously of their time because it helps me stay in my home and have a pet…It means I’ve got a companion and I’m not here by myself”.
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Benny the Maltese Shih Tzu

Benny may be an older gentleman, but he hasn’t lost his spark. While we’ve been talking, he has been keeping one eye open from his spot on the sofa. Any movement attracts his curiosity and we’re visited at our place in the kitchen regularly so we can provide him with our adoration.


Benny is a great lover of his walks and Kerry is grateful that his POOPS volunteers keep him exercised, stimulated and socialised.

[Benny] loves it when he sees other dogs. He still does his little dancing routine…He’s a pretty cool dude in lots of ways. He’s pretty relaxed.”

I reflect on the times I walked with Benny and how interested he was in greeting other dogs. The idea that another dog might want to bark loudly at him or not return his affections is absolutely baffling to Benny!

Kerry can’t speak highly enough of POOPS as an organisation, and as an idea. POOPS is “an extraordinary concept… that people would be so generous with their time for people who are unable to do the right thing by their animals,” Kerry says.

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Kerry & Benny relaxing
I can’t think of a more positive, community-oriented, caring service for animals… it’s unbelievable”.

Not only does Benny get to socialise and walk in the local park, but Kerry also enjoys connecting with POOPS volunteers too, “The walkers are genuinely interesting people so I actually enjoy the few minutes we have to chat or catch up… The people who walk the dogs are very generous hearted people”. The opportunity to meet new people is a highlight for Kerry and an amazing part of POOPS that she appreciates,

It’s a miracle but it has all the benefits of people meeting people they wouldn’t normally meet, different age groups. Those things don’t cross over all the time.”

The relationship of trust that is built between Kerry, Benny and POOPS volunteers is not lost on Kerry, “If someone has a personal relationship with the dog, like POOPS offers, it just changes the whole scenario.” Comparing her situation to friends who live in other cities, POOPS is a welcome antidote to impersonal, commercial dog-walking services.

I always feel very safe when [POOPS volunteers] come”

As I glance at the time I can’t believe we’ve been drinking tea and chatting for nearly two hours, all under the watchful eye of a half-sleeping Benny. It’s easy to tell from the short time we’ve been acquainted that Kerry is an outgoing woman with an easygoing nature, and it’s possible to see these qualities in Benny. They are a perfect pair in many ways!


As a parting question I ask Kerry if there is anything she’d like to say to POOPS volunteers. “I’d really like the people who are volunteering to receive the accolades they deserve, quite frankly… A group of people who really love their animals will be so grateful for the support…”, Kerry states matter of factly.

I love [my volunteers]…There’s not a week that I don’t think ‘how lucky am I?”
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Kerry & cuddly Benny