Please allow me to introduce our GDA supporters to six of our Guide Dog partnerships who completed their training during a graduation ceremony held at S A Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind (GDA) on 9 April 2017. We wish the Guide Dogs and their new owners many, many happy kilometers of travelling together.

  • Amanda Bester from Mossel Bay, Western Cape, with Reo, a yellow male Labrador cross Golden Retriever;
  • Jaco Engelbrecht from Roodekrans, Roodepoort, with Wesley, a black male Labrador;
  • Sharon Bacon from Umbilo, Durban, with Randol, a yellow male Labrador cross Golden Retriever;
  • Pieter Fleming from Florida, Roodepoort, with Quincy, a yellow male Labrador cross Golden Retriever;
  • Neil Antonie from Uniondale, Western Cape, with Watson, a black male Labrador; and
  • Pieter Maree from Kilner Park, Pretoria, with Zak, a yellow male Labrador.

Several of our supporters, service clubs, volunteers, and friends of the qualifying Guide Dog owners witnessed this very special ceremony held at GDA’s Gladys Evans Training Centre. A programme to introduce the services offered by the Association was led by the Executive Director, Gail Glover, and inserts were done by various members of staff on Puppy Raising, Guide Dog training, Service Dog training, Autism Support Dog training, and Orientation and Mobility training that is offered by our College of Orientation and Mobility.

Certificates of appreciation were presented to several Service Clubs, corporates and individuals to acknowledge their support. GDA’s Chairman, Mr Dave Parker, lead the most important moment of the ceremony and presented each Guide Dog owner with their harness to signify that they have graduated.

Bob Martin, GDA’s dog food sponsor, presented each Guide Dog owner with a bag of dog food for their qualifying Guide Dog.

Kennel tours followed so that the graduation guests could have a behind the scenes look at the kennel facilities.

Congratulations to each and everyone who played a part in the raising, training and sponsoring of these working dogs. We are confident that they will be conquering the world with their differently-abled companions.

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