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The Million Paws Walk, the RSPCA’s national community fundraiser, comes around every year. But Kaylene Brown, Keogh’s executive assistant, did something different this year; she got the whole household involved.

Kaylene and Bella rose before dawn to get to the Million Paws park in time to act as volunteer assistants. Her partner Toby and his son Zach arrived at a far more civilised hour for the sponsored walk with the dogs – Hodge and Baxter are their two young boxers.

Everyone was a winner. The family got an extended day out together, the dogs got a long walk in the park (and plenty of other dogs to sniff), and the RSPCA received a worthwhile contribution to its fundraising effort. About 80,000 people and 45,000 dogs participate in the event each year; it is held around Australia – in big cities and small – and it is the animal protection group’s prime means of raising funds.

Kaylene is an ardent animal lover and a regular volunteer at her local animal shelter. But she was delighted to get the whole family involved on the one big day for dogs, particularly Bella, who now appreciates that “donating your time is just as valuable as donating your money”.