Sponsored guide dog graduates

by Tania Wannenburg
Polyflor Guide dog graduates Jnl 3 16

Asia, a guide dog sponsored by Polyflor SA, has graduated and been handed over to her new owner.

It was with pride and a touch of sadness that Tandy Coleman-Spolander, Marketing Director of Polyflor SA, recently watched Asia the Labrador graduate as a guide dog from Guide Dogs SA.

“This marks the end of an exciting journey that Polyflor was able to embark on with Asia,” Tandy says. “We are a family orientated business and we wanted to assist with the expenses involved in Asia’s training, be part of the upbringing of our puppy and have regular contact with her. It was a privilege to be there when her harness was formally handed over to her new owner”.

Asia’s journey to become a guide dog included a year of puppy walking before proceeding to Guide Dogs SA for her formal training. Guide dogs are specially bred and must possess the correct temperament, intelligence and physical requirements for the work. Fortunately Asia has a very sweet, intelligent nature and easily slotted into her training regime which focussed on improving her concentration and learning to ignore other dogs, people and children. Under the careful tutelage of her guide dog mobility instructor, Asia is now a fully- fledged guide dog and has been paired with a new owner who needs her assistance.

Explaining the rationale behind sponsoring her training at the SA Guide Dogs’ Puppy Raising Scheme, Tandy explains that they resonated with the dependability of guide dogs and the high levels of trust placed upon them by their owners. When the opportunity presented itself for Polyflor SA to sponsor the training of one of its puppies, they didn’t hesitate to get involved.

“Like a guide dog, we help navigate our clients around any obstacle they might encounter when selecting or installing a vinyl floor, and continue on with the least possible disruption to the journey,” Tandy explains. “It is this service that we offer which forms trusted relationships with our customers.” Polyflor also started incorporating images of a guide dog into their marketing campaigns, supported by the pay-off line, “Trust is Earned.”

As they were handed an official portrait of Asia and watched her sitting quietly next to her owner, Tandy highlights that it was rewarding to know that Polyflor had helped to get Asia to the remarkable dog that she is. “We said goodbye with a tear in our eye, and wished her the very best of luck and happiness in her new responsibilities. She is now someone’s trusted companion and we could not be prouder, for trusted relationships are what we are all about, and she has truly earned that trust,” she concludes.

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