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Christina Bakker

Volunteer Management & Liaison

I first came across PAWS when I read a newspaper interview with Sharon. Reading the article, I was struck by the warmth, compassion, and professionalism of Sharon and her organisation. I finished the article, picked up the phone, rang the PAWS office, and had a great chat with Lisa. By the end of the day, I had signed up to begin my volunteering journey with my beautiful dog Pepper Potts.

Pepper and I made regular visits for a number of years until she retired due to ill-health. I loved watching Pepper’s excitement when she saw me in my PAWS uniform, and her joy when I put her PAWS vest on. My delight at seeing this was only equaled by seeing the faces of those people who Pepper and I visited. Whether at a school, library, hospital or during one-to-one visits, I never tired of watching Pepper meet people and lean into them as her way of offering calm support. And in return those people would reply with smiles, pats, cuddles and belly rubs. They were happy days! I now have the enormous pleasure of working in the PAWS office, assisting aspiring and existing PAWS teams with bringing the magic of pet assisted therapy to their communities. I have also welcomed Dave the energetic Sheepadooodle to our family and more recently to the PAWS team. It's great being back out visiting with Daves...he's got a lot of love to give.



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