GUIDE Dogs Tasmania’s ambassador dog, Dexter, paid a special visit to Mermaids Takeaway in Derwent Park recently to show his appreciation to owners, Manny and Andreas Akamotakis, for their long-term support.
For the past 35-years, the business has helped Guide Dogs Tasmania raise and train guide dogs by hosting a mini collection dog on its front counter.
The collection dog, which sits next to the register, is fed change from customers and any tips that staff members receive, or coins found on the floor.
Manny Akamotakis said he had fond memories of the collection dog from when his parents ran the store.
Mr Akamotakis said he was “more than happy” to keep it when he took over the store with his brother, Andreas.
“It’s a win-win situation,” he said.
“Guide dogs provide so much assistance for those who are vision impaired. We’re happy to do something good for the community.”
Paul Wyld, who looks after the collection dogs for Guide Dogs Tasmania, said Mermaids Takeway was a “great example” of a local business supporting a local charity.
“It costs more than $35,000 to get a pup into a guide dog harness and we rely on the community’s support to make sure we can continue training guide dogs for Tasmanians who are blind or vision impaired,” he said.
“Already this year,10 Tasmanians have requested a guide dog.
“As the only organisation that raises and trains guide dogs, we want to ensure that we can keep up with the demand and provide every one of these people with the services they require – but we can only do this with help from the public.”
There are currently more than 2,000 businesses hosting a collection dog in Tasmania.
If your business would like to support the charity with a collection dog, contact Guide Dogs Tasmania on 1800 484 333.
Caption: Mermaids Takeaway owners Manny, left, and Andreas Akamotakis with Guide Dogs Tasmania’s ambassador dog, Dexter.