Maureen and her little monkey Ray

Say hello to our darling Ray!

Ray is a character. He is playful, affectionate, confident and what you might call a little boisterous.

Maureen tells us as a puppy he wasn't much different: "A real monkey when it came to his personality, but I think that's what attracted me to him. I wanted a dog with personality and he's got oodles of it as you can see"

Maureen never intended to get a puppy, but contacted Hanley Vets where she’d gotten her previous dog, and was told of the ‘wild and unruly’ Ray. She took him home on trial after she was forewarned about his naughtiness, not to mention his sock eating fetish that had already resulted in surgery…twice!

It was clear Ray needed a particular type of person to take him on. Someone who was firm but fair, kind, and extremely attentive. Someone who was in it for the long haul and wouldn’t bail when the going got tough, because with Ray it was bound to get a little testy from time to time.

Maureen, Vollie Jim and Ray
Volunteer Jim with Ray and Maureen

Maureen took the little rascal home and the rest, as they say, is history. Well……not quite. When Maureen took Ray home things got a little hectic.

Socks were involved. Some went missing. A few resurfaced, others were never found.

There was training, treats and tough lessons, like sitting in the naughty corner.

There was also zig zagging in the back garden, playing in the sand pit, and boisterous barking at a moon that wasn’t there.

As the next few years passed, Maureen and Ray got to know each other better, as friends do, and settled into a routine of becoming loyal companions. That was until the day this routine was rudely disrupted.

Maureen had an accident, which left her with a broken hip and a hospital stay at Fiona Stanley. She’s no stranger to hospitals, having been a nurse for over 40 years. She started her training when she was 17, shortly after arriving in Australia from India in 1967. If you’d told her then that she’d be a nurse for that long, she wouldn’t have believed you, and remembers, “To tell you the truth, I ran away from it to begin with”. The culture shock and loss of her father meant she had a rough start and opted to work in a doctors’ surgery. This didn’t last, as the nurse there encouraged her to return to the hospital, suggesting that she was meant to be a nurse. What followed was both a diverse and challenging career in a role that has changed quite a bit over the years. One thing Maureen believes has remained a constant. “Nursing is emotionally demanding; demanding in every way”.

Maureen had an accident, which left her with a broken hip and a hospital stay at Fiona Stanley. Fortunately her transitional care nurse mentioned POOPS and contacted the coordinator for the area.

With her experience as a nurse Maureen was aware just how challenging recovery can be after an accident. Luckily she had the support of her son, and the transitional care after her hospital visit. Hayley Vets were also still lending a hand by having Ray stay at their boarding facilities from time to time. Nonetheless she knew she needed some additional help with keeping Ray active, and that this support would need to be regular and ongoing.

Fortunately her transitional care nurse mentioned POOPS and contacted the coordinator for the area and a few weeks later POOPS volunteers Jim and Beth arrived to meet Ray and Maureen says it was love at first sight.

Vollie Beth and Ray
Volunteer Beth with Ray
"I think they love him as much as he loves them. There's a great rapport there and they have been exceptionally kind to me, and Ray of course!"

Beth and Jim have been walking Ray now for over a year and always catch up with Maureen when they call around. From time to time they also help out with other errands, like taking Maureen to the mechanic, or pruning the trees in her back garden – all of which she really appreciates.

"POOPS has been unbelievably good for me, and to think it's a voluntary organisation! I'm very grateful for it"

Maureen’s recovery may have been long and challenging, but with the assistance of her son, her transitional care, Hayley Vets and her POOPS volunteers she feels very supported.

"Jim and Beth are so kind and gracious. They've just kind of 'fixed' the whole situation as far as Ray is concerned"