Long Time No Bark!

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

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 client.services@servicedogsforamerica.org.

We can’t wait to travel around the state and visit some libraries this summer!

Placements

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.

Rescue Dogs

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!

–Annie

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Long Time No Bark!

  1. kalim says:

    I am wondering if service dogs of America require their service dogs to marked or labeled in anyway. I have been noticing more and more dogs coming into restaurants and grocery stores. I am by no means condemning service dogs being allowed anywhere their owners need to go. I own a business and have seen first hand the valuable service they provide to their owners. I am talking about pets coming into an eating establishment and their owners saying that they are service dogs. My question is if service dogs are required to wear a patch or be identified. I will look forward to your response. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your great question! Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), individuals are not required to have their service animal in a vest. Our organization is accredited through an institution called Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and according to their standards, our clients are required to have their dogs in a vest at all times when the dog is working. We also provide our clients with certification cards, which is not required under ADA but is required under our accreditation through ADI. Unfortunately, the ADA law was set up in a way to protect those individuals who had a genuine need for a service dog, but like most laws and systems, it ends up getting abused by those individuals who don’t have a genuine need; they just want to be able to bring their pets out in public with them.
      There also aren’t many things businesses can do to protect themselves from this neglect of the law, which is why we are always trying to raise awareness of what a service dog should look like and how they should act in the public setting.

      Sincerely,

      Annie
      SDA Staff

  2. Carl m joseph says:

    I was looking for help when my wife said ” What about a service dog” I was in a life crisis. With lots of help I made it through again.
    What I want to say is thank you for being here, I know I have a need and know I can no longer go it alone, I lost my dog to a car and miss him so much, he was my best friend we were always together his love for me was so unbelievable I would have a spell and he was there if I tried to ignore him he would be in my lap licking me, he slept at my feet on the bed he was always at my side
    I am hopeing that this is the place for me to get a new best friend and help
    Thanks again for being here

Service Dogs for America reserves the right to moderate all comments.