I would like to formally introduce you all to our newest member of the BOgear team. Her name is Helen, and she will be with us for a year. Probably not what you are thinking, as she is a black Labrador Guide Dog puppy.
I know you think we must be crazy having a puppy run around our design and manufacturing studio. And to be honest, we think we are crazy too! She is currently 11 weeks old, and so doesn't listen to anything we say.
So why did we do it?
BOgear was started on the premise of giving something back to the community as well as the environment. It is our belief that too many companies tend to take from these two vital sources and never hand anything back in return. As such we vowed to be different, and to help out those that help us. Without the communities surrounding us, we wouldn't exist, nor be the vibrant growing company that we are. And without the resources from the environment we wouldn't be able to do what we do.
As we are currently very small it is hard for us to give something back that has any meaning. Financial help is harder still as every cent earned is gently caressed into the next building block to help us grow. A $5 donation now wouldn't make much of a difference, yet re-invested in BOgear would turn into a $500 donation down the track. And so although we cannot help out financially now, we plan to in the future.
So that leaves us with another valuable commodity; time. BOgear cannot donate money, but it sure can donate time. So with our "spare" time, we plan to raise Helen and integrate her into society (makes her sound like an ex-convict!). It means we start work earlier, finish later, yet have longer breaks in between. Puppies don't understand 9 to 5! We are still able to get the work done, it just may take slightly longer.
What does this entail?
We will be raising Helen and introducing her to all walks of life for a period of 12 months. After this we will be handing her back to Guide Dogs Queensland, where she will be trained into a fully fledged guide dog. After this she is introduced to her new owner where she will assist them in their exploration of the world. We will not be raising a puppy, but rather an intelligent being who in turn will help someone else.
How will this affect you?
For starters you will probably be inundated with photos and posts about her growth and development! Orders may also take slightly longer. With this we really appreciate your patience; that being said we will endeavor to make sure orders are filled in a timely fashion. If it means working into the early hours of the morning, so be it! Also, should you ever meet Helen in person, please do not pat her, or acknowledge her. She needs to learn that people aren't here to meet her, but rather the person on the other end of her leash!
And now for her first official mug shot. Be warned, she is ridiculously cute!
Guide Dogs Queensland currently receives less than 7% in Government funding, none of which is allocated to the Guide Dog training program. It relies heavily on the community to support it. For point of reference, it costs $30,000 to turn a pup into a fully fledged guide dog. If you wish to help them out you can donate at their website.
Welcome to our team Helen!