GARRY King (pictured) took up residence as one of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s newest staff members last month, but he is not your average employee.
He’s an unlikely addition to the team at GRV, given his lazy nature and the fact that he sleeps under the desk of the General Manager of People and Culture, on the days he does decide to come to the office.
Despite his laconic nature, Garry has quickly become one of the most popular employees and has marked the beginning of the Dogs @ GRV Program.
First, a disclaimer, Garry is in fact a greyhound, affectionately known to some as ‘Gazza’, and belongs to GRV’s General Manager – People and Culture, Donna King, who fostered him with the view to adopt.
However Ms King admitted it didn’t take long to realise there would be no giving Gazza back.
Retired last year, the visits to GRV’s head office were the first time Gazza had been in a home or office environment but he’s settled in well.
“He loves coming to work and gets excited when he knows I am going to bring him,” Ms King said.
“He was such a shy dog to begin with, but within three weeks he has totally opened up.
“I fostered him with the view to adopt, but I knew straight away that I would keep him.”
Linda Franco, Learning and Development Manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria, said the benefits of the program would be two-fold.
“It recognises the important role that these animals play in the lives of employees, and supports responsible pet ownership,” Ms Franco said.
“It also creates a more social and supportive atmosphere for employees.”
GRV is formalising the program which has been in the pipeline for a while.
The Dogs @ GRV Program will mean that anyone with a dog will be able to bring their dogs into the office.
“Staff will be able to nominate when they want their dogs to come in, by notifying us the day before,” she said.
Ms Franco said staff will be encouraged to keep their pets with them most of the day in their work area, where other people can interact with them. There will also be a shared space in reception where the dogs can have a nap.
While the program is still being finalised, organisers are keen to promote the positive outcomes that stem from sharing a workplace with their dogs.