Penguin Random House has launched ‘The Tales of Mr Walker’ – a short collection of stories principally centred around the canine welcoming committee winning over hearts at Park Hyatt Melbourne.
The Golden Labrador, hired by the hotel in July 2017, has proven incredibly popular with guests and staff, many of whom are happily greeted each day by the boisterous Mr Walker. Now, the hotel’s Ambassador has been immortalised as the star of the new title, which looks at the story of how he came to be based at the hotel from his former life as a Guide Dogs Victoria trainee.
Written by Jess Black and illustrated by Sara Acton, the book begins with Mr Walker’s birth and early life with a volunteer puppy raising family prior to him joining the Guide Dogs Victoria training program. It looks at his original path of becoming a working dog and assisting a visually impaired individual as so many others have done since 1957. However, Mr Walker’s overly affectionate and playful nature saw Guide Dogs decide to put him to use as an ambassador animal instead.
Under the care of Park Hyatt Melbourne General Manager, Robert Dawson, Mr Walker’s daily duties include meeting guests as they arrive at the hotel and opportunities for guests to join his carers during his daily walk around the grounds.
As an Ambassador not just for the hotel but also for Guide Dogs Victoria, Mr Walker helps to raise awareness of the Guide Dogs organisation and the role the animals play in helping sight-challenged and others in their daily lives.
Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes said it was a great privilege to be able to work with the Park Hyatt and to give Mr Walker a good home.
“Mr Walker will provide companionship to hotel guests and staff, giving them a home away from home. He will also play an important role in raising awareness about the role Guide Dogs play in the lives of those with blindness or low vision, but also in raising funds for us to breed, raise and train more life changing dogs.”
The 240-room Park Hyatt Melbourne is located in East Melbourne on the city fringes on resort-style grounds with plenty of gardens, elm trees and space for Mr Walker to enjoy.
‘The Tales of Mr Walker’ is being distributed by Penguin Books Australia and is now available.