Yve Robinson has spent 36 years volunteering with dog clubs between Sydney and Narooma.
Her career began as a mother to four children who desperately wanted a dog, andÂ school holidays.
There was a pet shop close to where we lived in Sydney and I succumbed,â Yve said.
âIt was a beagle-cross, which we called Champ and it cost $2.”
That dog was not the most well behaved of pups and Yve complained of its propensity to pull clothes off the lineÂ to a fellow volunteer while working the school canteen.
âIt was being really very difficult and she said thatÂ I should bring him to her dog club, and that’s how it all started,” Yve said.
Despite the dog having been bought for the children, it was on Yve to take the pup to training.
âChildren weren’t allowed, so I took him alongÂ and it all just sort of progressed from there,â she said.
Yve laughs when she recalls that she, “didn’t particularly enjoy it” at the start.
“But then I started to progress, and I got on the committee and so it goes,” she said.
Yve describes herself as a volunteer âÂ âIâve volunteered all my lifeâ âÂ who became a lover of dogs, versus the general rule of thumb that says dog club devotees are usually canine-lovers turned volunteers.
I just think theyâre lovely, itâs a terrible thing to say but dogs are nicer than people.
Yve Robinson, Narooma Dog Training Club
In 2015 she won the nationalÂ Susan Wilkins Award from the Australian Pet Dog Trainers Association and Yve has been nominated for several Australia Day awards and senior citizen achievements for her community work.
“These things just grow on you, you don’t ask for them they just happen,” she said.
Yveâs motivation is a simple one: âI just think theyâre lovely, itâs a terrible thing to say butÂ dogs are nicer than people,â she said.
Yve and her family moved to the area so that she could retire, instead she decided to start the Narooma Dog Training Club.
âI still havenât retired,â she said.Â
That was more than ten years ago and today she isÂ the chief instructor ofÂ the Narooma Dog Training Club, a role that involves the organisation of instructors into which classes they are going to take, ensuringÂ that the instructorsÂ are teaching the correct level for their class, and the paperwork that comes atÂ competition time.
In June 2016, when strength of numbers afforded the opportunity to form a new branch in the shire, Narooma Dog Training Club was aligned with the Eurobodalla branch of Animal Welfare League (AWL).
This relationship of welfare and education resulted in many years of successful delivery of AWL services to shire residents.Â
These days the NSW Narooma Dog Training Club branch of the AWLÂ stands alone â a unique, new branch in the NSW AWL family.Â
For Yve, there have been many courses over the years with what used to be the Canine Council and is now Dogs NSW.
“I’ve been to I don’t know how many lectures over the years and I belong to the Pet Dog Association Australia,” she said.
She is a well known and loved face at retirement homes IRT and Estia for her popularÂ Pets as TherapyÂ program, which unfortunately is on pause at the moment because Yve has had to retireÂ her border collie Tilley.
“I think sheâs got dementia,â she said.
âI still goÂ and I play the organ, but she is too old now.â
Of her natural affinity with dogs, Yve believes it is her voice.
“I can’t say I’ve got any sort of talent, no more than anybody else, but dogs do like me,” she said.
Her daughter, Carol Hellmers says dogs feel comfortable around her mother.
“They can sense that they are safe with her,” she said.
âShe is very calmÂ and they donât feel threatened around her.
âIt really is somethingÂ thatâs quite special and unique to Yve,â Ms Hellmers said.
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