A Message to Students, Parents and Graduates
Each year we have the privilege of graduating a new class, and this presents a wonderful opportunity for all of us at the FSDS to pause and recognize the efforts of all. This year, we note that all of the teens training dogs for someone in need are young women.
To the parents of our student trainers – we wish to thank you for your support and your willingness to allow your daughter to participate in our training program. Thank you for accepting a SDIT into your home and allowing them to be a part of your family over the past 18 months. Thank you for feeding, sheltering and loving our dogs. Thank you for driving your daughters back and forth to classes each week, and to field trips and FSDS sponsored public events. Thank you for your unwavering support of our mission.
To our graduating recipients – please accept this gift of a certified SD along with our thanks for your services and sacrifices to our community. To our military and first responders, how can we ever truly thank you enough for sacrificing your lives for our sake? The gift of a certified service dog is all we can offer, and we remain eternally grateful to you. For those who have earned their dogs through our Pawsitive Community Program, it is our hope that this opportunity for you to serve your community has sparked a fire inside of each of you, prompting you to continue to serve the community in the years to come.
To our graduating student trainers – words can not express just how proud we are of each of you. You represent not only the hopes and dreams of those who are the recipients of your kindness today, but the hopes and dreams for the future of our community as well. You stand as role models and inspirations to all youths in our nation. As you continue your journey in life take this advice with you:
- Work as hard as you can as long as you can, do as much as you can for as many as you can.
- Be certain of who you are and what you stand for, then STAND for what is right!
- Be kind, fair and honest in all dealings.
- Become good at what you do; but remember that being a good person while you are doing it is even more important.
- Always treat others as if they are your own family; treat others as you would want to be treated.
- Get involved; choose to be part of a solution rather than part of a problem.
- Remember that what you do becomes who you are; take pride in all you do.
Know that in your short lives, you have already done more good for the world than many adults will do in a lifetime. Your hard work has left a permanent and positive mark in the world, and this is only the start of many wonderful things to come.
Sending your beloved dog to their recipient to begin their working life will be as difficult for you as it will be for your parents to send you off to college and out into the working world one day. Remember that you are forever connected and just as one day you will come home to visit your parents, visits with your dog are also possible. Maintain a close relationship with your recipients and learn from what they have to teach you about what it means to serve.
To each of you: you are an amazing and unique person and great things are in store for you. We love you.
Beginner Class – this class is putting the finishing touches on CGC testing and we are anticipating good news in the near future. After many months of hard work, this hard working class will be promoted to the advanced class during the graduation ceremony. Awards for accomplishments to date will be presented. Kudos to all.
Advanced Class – this class will take their final certification test just prior to graduation later this month. Congratulations on all for a job well done.
Kudos to our four teams who attended the Graduation Party sponsored by CR Bard employees: Sharon Richter and SDIT Nala, Amanda Van Asdall, Sam Webb and SDIT “Doug”, Brianna Espinosa,Tim Smith and SDIT “Zazu”, and Abigail Van Asdall and SDIT Oliver.
The much anticipated graduation event will be held on July 29th at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North. Advanced ticket purchase is required as we must know in advance how many attendees to expect so that we may inform the caterer. If you are unable to attend but would like to purchase a ticket to be used as a complimentary ticket for our military veterans and wounded first responders, this will be greatly appreciated. Please contact our Event Planner for further information. Tickets are NOT available for purchase at the door.
- Starting time: The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. sharp
- Doors Open: 9 a.m. for silent auction viewing and bidding
- Ending Time: 1:30 p.m.
A catered lunch will be provided.
SILENT AUCTION – this year for the first time we will have a silent auction, and thanks to the generosity of many individuals and businesses here in the community we have some amazing items up for auction. Please note that cash will not be accepted, nor will we be able to process credit or debit card payments. Please bring a check with you for the purposes of payment.
Many thanks to the generosity of the community we are excited to announce an impressive array of items for bidding, including: a family four pack for Phoenix Zoo with gift store items, Golf Foursome Certificate from Orange Tree Golf Club in Scottsdale, (2) admission passes to the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden, a one year membership to the Senita Club of the Desert Botanical Garden, a very large autographed poster of Shaquille O’Neal, custom beaded dog collars with matching leads – perfect to reward the canine graduate on your list, jewelry and more.
Once again this year Donna Rossi from Channel 5 will be on hand to Emcee our event. Her kindness and caring over the years is gratefully appreciated. Donna has a heart for those who have served, and has served as a wonderful inspiration to our youth trainers. We are looking forward to her participation.
Our keynote speaker for this year is Dr. Margaret Brown, an accomplished research scientist, military veteran, VA physician, world traveler and humanitarian. As the wife of a SD handler, she is a staunch advocate for those with SDs in our community. We are privileged and humbled to have Dr. Brown as our keynote speaker this year.
The heat is on in many parts of the nation, and in particular for the desert southwest. June saw record breaking temperatures as high as 120 degrees. Yes, we do have three temperature settings here in AZ – hot, scorching and VOLCANIC! This past month was certainly volcanic! It is important to remember that dogs are susceptible to heat stroke, and care must be taken to protect your furry friends. Some safety tips for the heat include:
- walk your dog early in the morning only
- always have plenty of cold water on hand for them to drink
- do not leave your dog outdoors
- make certain that you have thermal working booties for your dog to prevent them from sustaining burns to the pads of their paws from hot pavement
It is a good rule of thumb that when you consider going outdoors, remove your shoe or sandal and place your own foot on the pavement. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog and you must put booties on your dog.
Be safe, have a happy July 4th.
With Sincere Thanks
We wish to thank the following individuals and groups for their generous donations during the month of June:
- Valerie Schluter
- CR Bard Foundation
- John Van Vleet
- Glenda Wilson
- Kristen Nedoba
- The employees of CR Bard, Inc.
We note with great appreciation that not only did the CR Bard Foundation award a generous grant, but the employees of CR Bard also sponsored a graduation party for our teams, providing an impressive array of gifts to help transition the service dogs from their trainers to the new recipients.
July 7 – July 8: AZ Families for Home Education (AFHE) Conference, Phoenix Convention center, South Bldg, 33 S. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ ; the FSDS will be on hand at booth #1209 to invite youths and families to participate in our youth training program.
July 29: Graduation 2017; 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix No., 10220 N Metro Pkwy E, Phoenix, AZ
Enjoy some photos of our teams at work during the month of June! When not actively engaged in training exercises, the dogs enjoy time relaxing with their families, riding the light rail and attending college classes.