Meet Sara, a gorgeous bouncy blonde who has recently joined the CR Surfacing team.
She’s young and full of energy… and she’s NSW Business Development Manager Phil Hazell’s 4-legged best friend.
56 year old Phil was diagnosed with early-onset dementia in July last year, with Alzheimer’s Disease confirmed just last month. This has been a terrible blow to someone in the prime of his life but Phil is determined to keep working for as long as possible with the help of his wonderful employers and his trusty side-kick Sara.
Under the auspices of AWARE Dogs Australia, Phil has been partnered with assistance dog Sara, an 8 month old Labrador who receives over nine hours of training per week. Sara is still to face her final exams at 12 months of age. The 'Public Access Test' is a gruelling three hours of difficult environments and scenarios that Sara needs to negotiate to graduate as a fully-fledged assistance dog.
How does Sara help Phil?
On command, Sara sweeps Phil’s home/motel room/office for items he may have forgotten, such as keys, wallet, phone, IPad, medications. She also does safety checks to make sure appliances are switched off. More items are being added to the list every month. If Phil gets slightly lost while driving or walking, a quick cuddle with Sara melts away the stress and helps him get back on track.
In January Sara completed her first flight; Sydney to Adelaide return. She is given a seat position where she sleeps on the floor.
Phil says: “The team at CR Surfacing are amazing – I can’t overstate how helpful, understanding, and empathetic Ray, Adam and Sasha have been. They can't do enough for me. Their kindness and support is cherished deeply. Going home from SRC on Sunday, Todd made sure I got through the security and bag check for my flight to Sydney. That helped heaps! What an EXCELLENT bunch of people!”
“Phil has been a highly valued member of the CR family for two years,” says Sasha Sergejew, National Sales Manager for CR Surfacing. “We are all very supportive of Phil and will continue to help and encourage him moving forward, with anything he may need.”
ACBO is proud to be associated with this EXCELLENT bunch of people, our platinum sponsors CR Surfacing, who support their staff so generously. We hope ACBO members will keep an eye out for Phil and Sara and lend their support in any way they can.