It has been a very long while since we have had a new blog post so here is a little update on some of the happenings at SDA! My apologies if it appears choppy, I just have SO much I want to share with you!
Volunteer Day was beyond successful. It was so great to have 50-60 people on campus all willing to work and better our campus and facilities for the service dogs. Fences got stained, cabins got painted, dogs got walked, trees got trimmed, cupboards were put in, we cut a hole in the side of our building (on purpose of course, we put a new window in!), and in the end we all got fed by the wonderful Davenport Lions Club. A HUGE thank you to our Board Members who could join us and of course to all the dedicated volunteers who come year after year and put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears! Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed!
Every Hero has a Story: North Dakota Library Association Summer Reading Program
As school activities are winding down for the year and the summer fun begins, so does the North Dakota Library Association’s (NDLA) summer reading program! The theme this year is Every Hero has a Story and Service Dogs for America has been listed as one of the available presentations. We are so thankful to the NDLA for the opportunity to be listed for this great program.
So far we have quite a few library presentations booked and it seems like the spots are filling up more and more each day! To reserve a spot or to just find out more about our organization and what kinds of presentations we offer call Annie at 701-685-5003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to travel around the state and visit some libraries this summer!
It seems like on any given day we have a client on campus training with their new life partner. What a great feeling that is! Each day new preliminary and full applications come in, references go out, schedules are made, and we LOVE it! To see all the hard work pay off when our clients finally get to campus and meet their service dog is an indescribable feeling. It’s worth every single paper cut I get (it happens more than it probably should at my age)!
Keep checking our Facebook for new updates on our clients, past and present, as they are all really great about keeping us updated on their lives.
I know I have talked about this in the past, but it’s something that I feel is important enough to keep coming back to. So many of our service dogs in training are rescue dogs or dogs that have been “donated” by their owners. They turn out to be some of the best service dogs we have. Not to take away from the puppies and dogs that we breed on campus, but rescue dogs truly know what it is like to have a second chance at life.
Not all of our dogs are the typical lab breeds either. Evie and Fiona are Rough Collie/Irish Wolf Hound Mixes and they are beautiful, loving, and intelligent beyond words. Big Charlie is a Portuguese Water Dog/Giant Schnauzer Mix with beautiful black hair and the cheesiest smile you will ever see on a dog. Denali is a Lab/Husky Mix who was donated because her family was moving and they couldn’t bring her with and she knows how to cheer anyone up. These are just a few examples of the rescue dogs we currently have that will no doubt make a huge impact on someone’s life one day. I am so proud of our rescue dogs and huge credit is due to our training staff who work tirelessly to restore the trust and love in these animals that is sometimes lost when they are shuffled from family to family, shelter to shelter, or just abandoned on the side of the road.
….I’m getting emotional now so I have to stop, but I hope you can see my point!
Diabetic Alert Breath Samples
We were recently featured in the Jamestown Sun in regards to our diabetic alert dog program and volunteer breath sample program that we are developing. Since our appearance in the paper we have so many calls from interested people who want to help. I am so happy to report that we now have a growing group of breath sample volunteers for the program.
Can you say perfect timing? It’s a great time to begin getting more samples because our English Cocker Spaniels, (Jazzy, Missy, Reese, and Charlie) turned one in January and now is the time to start the specialized training for them. They already have the scenting down, now the trainers have to teach them how to alert when they pick up on the low blood sugars.
Well, that is all I will write for now. It has been so busy here at Service Dogs for America, I am glad I was able to get a few minutes to share an update on things with you all!
As always, thank you for your continuous support of our organization, the dogs we train, and the individuals we serve. We truly could not do what we do without you!