Guide dog teaching us work and life lessons
02 December 2022
Staff at the Adelaide GFG Alliance office couldn’t help but notice a new trainee in their midst recently.
While this member of the ‘workforce’ would be classified as a casual (very, in fact, as he spends most of his time settled on the floor) he is quickly winning the popularity stakes on the tenth floor of the King William Street office.
His name is Cody … a pure bred Labrador puppy in training from Guide Dogs SA/NT.
He is currently being puppy raised by HR Services Lead Snehal (Sne) Poduval. As part of that 12-month training, Cody regularly spends Tuesday and Thursday in the office to give him exposure to different environments as he may be required to go into an office environment with his potential client.
”Cody teaches me to be kind and respectful towards everyone I cross paths with and shows us all the value of supporting team members as they follow their passion.”
While it is serious stuff training these vital guide dogs, it hasn’t stopped Cody becoming the ‘awww factor’ favourite on the floor as he brings in his own blanket and toys for his stints of office training.
“The response from everyone in the Adelaide office has been overwhelmingly positive,” Sne said.
“Everyone has been supportive and keen to meet Cody … he is now famous.”
Cody comes from a long line of guide dogs and is being trained to support clients with a vision impairment. Cody may also move into other support areas such as Autism Assistance or the Guide Dogs SA/NT Facility Dog program.
All admirable duties and, even at this stage, Cody is value-adding to the Adelaide office team by teaching everyone about awareness in the workforce for those that live with a disability and how we can all contribute in many ways outside work.
These are all qualities that fit in nicely with Sne’s role in Human Relations (HR) enhancing the work she and her HR colleagues do for everyone in the GFG Alliance family.
“I hope this does create some awareness about consideration in our workforce for others,” Sne said.
”Cody teaches me to be kind and respectful towards everyone I cross paths with and shows us all the value of supporting team members as they follow their passion.
“It has been a big learning curve for both Cody and me and the key is ‘consistency’ we are all creatures of habit”
Along with the necessary training schedule which includes puppy school once a week and a house visit from his Puppy raising Advisor from Guide Dogs SA/NT every week, Sne said there is still time for bonding and personal time.
“The cuddles are the best, he is very affectionate … when I lay down next to him, he puts both his arms around me and makes me forget about all the worries in the world,” Sne said.
“Cody has changed the way I see life; it is the little things such as a good walk, a head tilt acknowledgement when I engage with him that makes my day … I don’t need those fancy shoes to make me happy.”
“I hope this does create some awareness about consideration in our workforce for others”
Main picture: Sne takes Cody out for a walk as part of his training to be a guide dog with Guide Dogs SA/NT Picture: Karan Kadam.
Want to know more?
You can read more about the Guide Dogs Australia here: Home – Guide Dogs Australia
Watch the short video More Than Just Guide Dogs or the inspiring longer video Born To Lead Episode 3
If you or anyone you know are interested in becoming a puppy raiser with Guide Dogs SA/NT, please follow the link https://sant.guidedogs.com.au/get-involved/become-puppy-raiser/#i-want-to-raise-a-puppy.
To help spread the word about trainee guide dogs needing a loving home please check out and share these socials: