Jan 092018

Today we pause for a moment to say thank you to the many law enforcement professionals who work each day to keep us safe.  Just as our military overseas to protect us, our first responders fight a battle here on our streets each day.  We are forever in debt to them for their courage, commitment and unselfish sacrifice made each day on our behalf.  We appreciate all you do.

Jan 062018
Gretel and Shadow

Our sincere thanks to Desert Diamond Casino in the West Valley for their recent generous gift to help us provide a Victim Assistance K9 to the Peoria Police Department.  This gift will provide benefits to thousands of crime victims and officers during the working life of this team.

Visit Desert Diamond Casino on Facebook to learn more about how they are helping programs like ours in the community, and please “Like” their page while you are there.

Jan 012018

Focus for 2018: SD Trainer Academy

As we enter a new year, we turn our attention to a focus area for us in 2018.  Next month will mark the 10th birthday for the FSDS, a milestone worth celebrating.  Over the past 10 years, our program has undergone some improvements, as we continue to carefully gather impact data and use this information to make those improvements needed to better service our population.

During 2008 we were hard at work to lay the foundation for a unique type of program that would couple the provision of education for those interested in attaining SD training skills with the provision of SDs to those in need.  This program was initially piloted in a high school setting, and two years ago we expanded this program to include all interested individuals in the community.  Instead of only allowing enrollment to a small handful of students on one campus, the FSDS now has the ability to open our training to all students and adults in AZ who are able to attend weekly classes.

Having accomplished the above, we immediately turned our attention to expansion of this training to individuals across the U.S.  This goal will be accomplished by expansion our highly successful online didactic training and tapping into the network of qualified SD Evaluators in our Outreach Network, that we have been building since Sept of 2008. This will help us to achieve our mission of placing qualified trainers in rural, remote regions that are currently lacking qualified trainers or programs to meet the demand for service dogs.  Our unique training program fills a gap that has been left by traditional canine obedience training programs in that it teaches individuals to train dogs from early obedience and training up to advanced service dog skills.  It also provides critically needed education and training on an array of disability issues, and helps trainers understand how to meet the learning challenges of those with disabilities.  SD training is not just about training the dog – it is all about training a well-functioning team.

Obstacles2_June_2016Our program permits individuals to achieve success on four trainer levels:

  • Novice
  • Junior
  • Senior
  • Master

Each level has been carefully constructed to offer three comprehensive online courses PLUS a requirement that students complete 75 hours of hands-on training at each level.

As we enter 2018, we focus on enrollment of students and building the academy program.  As we do, we will continue to gather careful data, and use this data to continue to make improvements in our ability to reach out to trainers and teams across the U.S.

For information on how to enroll in our SD Trainer Academy, please submit a request for information with us.

Classroom News

Beginner Class – our new beginners are hard at work on their basic puppy obedience tasks.  This past month Lindsey Carlson and Bentley have made great strides on loose leash walking and focus, while Heather Vedeler and JW have done excellent work on the “touch” command.  Titus Springer and Vader have made great gains in working on good team communication, while Scott and Hamilton have made improvements in working on drive.  Brianna Espinosa and Eastwood have done a stellar job of working on overall basic obedience skills, and no surprises here as this is the second FSDS dog that Brianna is raising for us.

Advanced Class – the advanced class is fine tuning service dog skills.  This past month, the teams all passed the FSDS public appropriateness test which is the final certification test minus the service task stations.  This test is given as a practice run for the ultimate test, and all teams are doing a great job and are right on task.  Special praise this month to Amanda and Abigail Van Asdall.  These sisters are each raising a SD for the FSDS.  Kudos also to Daisy Saenz and Indy for improvements on touch targeting and focus.

Support the FSDS for NO Extra Cost

We ask that all of our readers who shop on Amazon sign up to have a portion of the proceeds from their sales go to support the FSDS.  This is a great way to support us at no additional cost to you.

Sign up here to support the FSDS.

Prayers for a Swift Recovery

IMG_20141226_0001Miriam Peterman is one of the co-founders of the FSDS.  She remains hospitalized at this time, and has asked that I convey her appreciation to all who have been praying for her.  We ask that you continue to hold her and her family in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.


Wellness Tip

It is important to speak with your veterinarian regarding recommendations for “non-core” vaccines.  These are those vaccines that are not required, but may potentially benefit your dog.  As a SD is out and about the community on any given day, it is important that handlers take additional precautions.  Some examples of non-core vaccines that you will want to discuss with your veterinarian include:

  • Bordatella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza
  • Rattlesnake

We also remind all readers to change your dogs toothbrush to a new one on the first day of each month.  Poor dentition can lead to kidney problems and other serious issues.  Make certain that you brush your SDs teeth regularly with an enzymatic toothbrush designed for dogs.

Thank You

Our sincere thank to the following individuals and groups who have generously supported our programs in the past month:

  • Valerie Schluter
  • Armed Forces Support Group Sun City Grand
  • Casino Arizona
  • Brenda and Sam Webb
  • Stu Lofquist
  • Larry Winfrey
  • Barry MacKean
  • Wendy Lawson

Upcoming Events

March 17 – Armed Forces Support Group Sun City Grand Golf Tournament – Details TBA.

Photo Gallery

When not actively training or at work, our dogs relax at home and enjoy celebrating the holidays with their families.

IMG_1870 IMG_187820171226_11443220171226_122047FSDS Class Pics. (1 of 1)FULLER PHOTOTGRAPHY (1 of 5)-2


Dec 012017

FAKE Service Dogs

The issue of fake service dogs in public is one that continues to garner a lot of attention yet very few interventions.  This month we discuss some of the issues behind this troubling public health threat.

It is a disturbing reality that anyone can go online, purchase a generic service dog vest and patches and a fake ID and present in public claiming to be a SD team…and expect to get away with it.  In some cases it may be hard to separate the fakers from the real teams, while in other cases the truth is blatantly obvious yet business owners or managers are afraid of the threat of lawsuit and will back down.  This past month we spotlighted one case, as this represented a good teaching case.  We have removed all names and identifying information of the fake team and organization involved. This is a situation that was experienced by our Exec. Director as she made a difficult, but correct, decision to withdraw from a group she belonged to in order to protect her certified SD.  The case involved a woman who has brought her pet dog in public and has been observed pushing the dog around stores in a baby stroller.  She has stated that the dog is not a SD, but is in fact so destructive that if she leaves it at home it causes significant damages to the home.  She further states that she has learned that if she claims it to be a SD a business must permit entry and she is able to avoid costly damages to her home.

What does the law say?

ADA law provides us with a definition of a SD and also parameters regarding what a business is permitted to ask if a team seeks to gain entrance to their establishment.  A SD is defined as, “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”  So, we see that the law requires the dog to have received training.

The two questions that any business is permitted to ask are:

  • Is this a SD required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

As long as any person states that this is a SD and comes up with any answer to the second question, they are given a free pass to enter a business.  One of the real flaws in this law is that the law does not require professional training, certification or any credible proof that the dog has been trained.  Furthermore, the same law that requires training prohibits businesses from asking questions regarding whether or not the dog was trained.  Even in cases where a person arrives pushing the dog in a baby stroller, they are permitted entrance.  In fact in the case reported, a person can admit on many occasions that the dog is not a SD, and yet if they provide the correct answer when attempting to cross the threshold, businesses must permit entrance.

What can the police do?

If called, traditionally police officers have responded to say that since a business may only ask two questions, they are not permitted to ask for proof of training or certification.  About a year ago, our Director called the AZ Corporation Commission, as all businesses are required to register with the commission n order to conduct business in AZ.  She asked if police departments were regarded as businesses.  The answer was no.  Our concern is that it appears that the law that restricts businesses to these two questions appears to be incorrectly applied to police departments and this is preventing the officers from obtaining the very information that they will need to effectively discharge their duties.

What we believe

It is the position of the FSDS that proper training and certification must be the gold standards.  A system of checks and balances that ensures testing for all dogs who wish to present in public to ensure they are able to work safely will result in elimination of fake SDs from the public space and increased protection for all.  We further believe that future legislation must specifically spell out what police are empowered to do in situations where there is a question of a fake SD team.

Classroom News

Beginner Class – we wish to extend a warm welcome to our new student trainers and recipients:

  • Brianna Espinosa – student trainer now raising her 2nd dog with the FSDS
  • Lindsey Carlson – student trainer
  • Heather Vedeler – student trainer
  • Titus and LeAnna Springer – recipient and parent / team training
  • Catherine Teel – recipient / military family
  • Adam Croner – recipient / military veteran
  • Brian Brown – recipient / military veteran
  • Adam Sierra – recipient / police officer
  • Scott and Christie Sefranka – student trainers

The beginner class has just started and is at work on puppy skills such as potty training, sit, down and stay.  They are off to a fine start and we are delighted to welcome them to the FSDS.

Advanced Class – congratulations are in order to this hard working class for all passing the Canine Good Citizen test this past month.  We are very proud of their accomplishments.  The class is now at work on final practice for the public access test, and has begun the work of advanced service dog task training.


FullSizeRenderPlease join us in congratulating Jessica Parker on her recent promotion to lead instructor in the FSDS SD training program.  Jessica is a graduate of the Animal Behavior College and has been with the FSDS since early 2017. She brings an expertise in animal training along with her great enthusiasm for serving the community and mentoring the next generation of trainers.

Prayers for a Speedy Recovery

IMG_20141226_0001Our thoughts and prayers are with FSDS co-founder Miriam Peterman.  She has been hospitalized since October and faces risky surgery.  Miriam has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to bring services to those in need here in AZ, and this past year was named 2017 Employee of the Year.  We wish her a speedy and uneventful recovery.


Wellness Tip

The holidays are here and it is time for a reminder that those holiday “goodies” that us humans look forward to may be lethal for your dogs.  Some of the leading offenders in terms of toxicity include chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, garlic and onions.  In addition, bones from a turkey or other meat should not be given to your dog, as these can fragment and lodge in the palate, creating significant pain and injury.  Be watchful when baking as well, as rising dough that is swallowed by your dog can continue to rise in the stomach and intestines creating a blockage…and this can require surgical intervention.  Some helpful tips include:

  • make certain that candy dishes or other food items are not placed on a low coffee or end table within reach of your dog
  • supervise your dog at all times around holiday decorations, particularly glass ornaments that can cause intestinal injury if eaten
  • food scraps should be discarded in a trash can with a lid if it is not to be taken outside immediately

Thank You

We wish to express our sincere thanks to the following for their generous program support in the past month:

  • Casino AZ
  • Valerie Schluter
  • David Larance
  • Lauren Kuehner
  • Kayci Cutler
  • Diane C. Stamp

Upcoming Events

Graduation 2018 – Date TBD will take place in Spring of 2018.  Stay tuned for exact time and date.

Photo Gallery

We thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite photos from the past year.

20171014_180514Oliverfuller1fuller2heather1jw1jw2jw3jw4Abigail and OliverDaisy and IndyPoodle Pup2IMG_1361

The Foundation for Service Dog Support

Oliver TPahoy doug abby olliecb3cb2zazu448sd15 sd12sd5DSC_0360DSC_0333 holiday17holiday10

Nov 012017

Victim Assistance Dog

Gretel and ShadowWe are pleased to announce that we will be awarding a Level II Facility Dog to the Peoria Police Department (PD) to assist them in starting a K9 Victim Assistance Program.  This vital service will bring much needed support and relief to crime victims and officers alike.

So- what is a Facility Dog?  This is a question that is often raised as there is much confusion created by conflicting nomenclature.  We often hear terms used such as therapy dog, victim assistance dog, court dog, comfort dog, emotional support animal, service dog, companion dog and more.  In order to eliminate confusion, the FSDS has devised a system of nomenclature that is a bit easier to understand.

Service dogs (SD) are those dogs trained to perform tasks to mitigate the disabilities of the handler.  Only a SD is entitled to public access under ADA law.

Victim assistance or court dogs are trained to perform work within a facility.  We designate three levels, and this is dependent upon the type of training that is needed to ensure that the dog can perform to standards:

  • Level I dogs are trained to work within the confines of a single facility.  Examples of a Level I dog are those dogs assigned to work with a therapist in an office setting, or to work with victims at a particular location.
  • Level II dogs are trained to provides services as above, but are also trained to do call-outs.  Examples of this are dogs that work with police officers and respond to crime scenes to provide on site comfort to victims and officers.
  • Level III dogs are trained to accompany victims into the courtroom to provide comfort during difficult testimonies.

We are providing the Peoria PD with  Level II dog, a purebred male Golden Retriever with a sweet and gentle nature.  He is being trained by a local teen, Amanda Van Asdall, who at just 15 years of age is already raising her 3rd dog with the FSDS.  The handler for the Peoria PD will be Det. Gretel Hopkins.  Det. Hopkins is assigned to the Special Victims Unit, and we believe is the ideal candidate for this job.  She is dedicated to the citizens of Peoria, compassionate, motivated to succeed and has a keen ability to connect with others.  Det. Hopkins is a wonderful addition to our class and we are expecting great success.

Dogs such as this are expensive to train, and the cost is not being passed along to the police department.  Nonetheless, there is always a cost.  If you would like to find out how you, or your local community business or group can get involved in helping us to support this vital program, please contact us directly.  It is our expectation that over the working life of this team, they will bring desperately needed relief and services to thousands of crime victims.  Kudos to the Peoria PD for taking steps to launch this vital and innovative program.

Classroom News

Beginner Class –  the beginner class will officially meet for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 4th.  Stay tuned for information next month.

Advanced Class – the teams have been hard at work this past month, between public events and classroom exercises.  The final teams took their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test this past month and they have all passed.  The CGC test is the first of three skill tests that a team must pass on the road to becoming a certified team.

A Warm Welcome

This  past month we are pleased to welcome two more military veterans to our program.

  • Diana Woodrum is an Army veteran who was stationed in Korea.  She is being awarded a SD in recognition of her service to our nation to assist with various medical needs.
  • Brian Brown is a decorated Navy Veteran and worked as a combat medic embedded with a US Marine unit.  He was wounded in the line of duty and will be awarded a SD to assist with multiple needs.

We are also pleased to welcome one our our STAR student trainers to the SD Trainer Academy:

  • Amanda Van Asdall is currently training her 3rd dog for the FSDS.  She plans to continue training additional dogs.  Amanda is currently working to complete her Level I: Novice Trainer classes.

Impact Statements

In the months that follow, we will be working to follow up with our past recipients to learn more about how their SD has impacted their lives.  Though we work on task training, and the general public as a vague idea that SDs help people, there are always impacts that most would not imagine.  This past week, we were provided with valuable feedback from a past recipient, that underscores the value of a SD and paints a much clearer picture of how the cost to train is justified by the physical and financial benefits to both recipient and society.   This recipient noted some additional benefits that include:

  • Prior to receiving the SD, the recipient was on 7-8 medications for PTSD, she is now off all meds, sparing not only cost for her and her insurance carrier, but eliminating all of the adverse side effects that these meds caused
  • Prior to her SD, she experienced approximately 4-5 costly hospitalizations per year for medical emergencies; since receiving her SD who is able to provide early alert to problems and allow her to intervene in time, she has not had any hospitalizations for medical emergencies
  • Her diabetes was not well controlled and her A1c level was 6.9; it is now 5.1 and her condition is in good control
  • Her blood pressure is under control; prior to her SD she was on 4 different meds, now she takes only one medication
  • Her out of pocket medical bills were running as high as $3,000/year, since receiving her SD there have been no out of pocket expenses
  • Her SD has learned to alert her to migraines, prior to her SD she had no warning and was experiencing migraines resulting in her being confined to bed 2-3 days in a row, her dog now alerts allowing her to take meds early and there have been no more such episodes

We will continue to monitor our recipients.  This really is a wake up call for medical insurance agencies, and it is our belief that if carriers were to provide benefits to assist individuals in receiving their SDs, the cost would far outweigh the expenses.

Wellness Tip

This month we focus on the importance of preventive care for your SD.  So many dogs suffer as a result of problems that are potentially preventable.  We remind all of our readers to pursue prevention, rather than intervention, whenever possible.

Regular inspection of your dog combined with regularly scheduled Vet visits for wellness checks can often detect problems at an early stage, when treatable.  Some routine things you will want to check on your dog include but are not limited to:

  • check paws after exercise or play outdoors to ensure that there are no injuries
  • monitor the weight of your dog to ensure they are not overweight; ensure that your dogs diet is AAFCO approved
  • inspect the mouth to ensure that the gums are a healthy pink color, teeth are not discolored or broken and there are no foul breath odors that may signal disease; brush teeth regularly
  • inspect the coat and skin for evidence of hot spots, dryness, bites, lumps or other problems
  • nail care – if you can hear the nails “clicking” on the floor when your dog walks – it is time for a nail trimming
  • ear care – avoid the use of Q-tips; clean your dogs ears using cotton pad or gauze pad soaked with an ear cleaning solution designed for dogs; check for signs of ticks
  • emotional wellness – never underestimate the importance of quality bonding time to ensure the happiness of your dog
  • Speak with your veterinarian to schedule regular wellness checks and vaccine updates

Thank You

Our sincere thanks to the following for their support of our mission during the month of October:

  • Valerie Schluter
  • Judy Sedich
  • CR Bard Peripheral Vascular
  • Casino Arizona

Upcoming Events

Nov. 1st – Bard Peripheral Vascular (Bard PV) Employee Health & Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Photo Gallery

Enjoy some photos of our teams at the recent G.A.I.N. Event in Peoria.  Our staff and teams were on hand to provide hands on demonstrations on canine first aid and CPR.  Event-goes of all ages took their turn, including one very precious little boy who with a boost from Dad practiced his new skills.

20171014_180234 20171014_180315(0) 20171014_180514 20171014_181622 20171014_182113 20171014_182316  Resized_20171007_105052 Resized_20171007_12122820171014_104320FB_IMG_150795081438220171014_113657

Oct 292017

Please join us in congratulating our advanced class on their recent success with Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Testing.  We are pleased to announce that the entire class has now passed their CGC test, the first of three skill tests on the road to becoming a certified SD.  The final group tested yesterday, and did a super job.   We are so proud of all of our students / teams:

  • Amanda and Shadow (pictured)
  • Abigail and Oliver
  • Zanna and Duke
  • Daisy and Indy
  • Pearl and Adara

We are looking forward to their continued success.

Oct 222017

We all know that service dogs save lives, but at times this takes on a new meaning.  We were recently contacted by a past recipient who shared this uplifting story of how her SD saved her life….and perhaps the lives of others that day as well.

The woman, who chooses to remain anonymous, was visiting family out of town, and decided to explore the new city by taking her SD for a walk.  While walking along a man passed close by…and then without warning turned and punched her in the face, fracturing her cheekbone and knocking her to the ground.  He snatched her purse and ran, confident that he would get away.  What he failed to take into account was a phenomenon known as “intelligent disobedience“.

The FSDS trains our SDs to remain within 2 feet of the handler at all times, quietly allowing the handler to assume team leadership and make decisions.  They are also trained, as in the case of this dog, to retrieve objects for the handler.  Intelligent disobedience is said to occur when a SD behaves outside of normal rules in response to a situation where they perceive that their handler is in danger.  Though witnesses acted quickly and ran to help, the suspect would have easily gotten away as he had a good lead.

The SD acted quickly, running after the suspect and with a flying tackle knocked him to the ground, holding him at bay until the witnesses caught up and were able to restrain the attacker.  The SD then quietly backed up, retrieved the stolen purse and carried it back to his handler!  He remained at her side quietly throughout the police and ambulance response, and her subsequent hospital treatment.

The police noted that this suspect was a known violent felon, and they did indeed locate a gun on him.  They noted that if the SD had not acted quickly, the suspect would have likely gotten away, and attacked others that day, perhaps even shooting and killing someone.  They hailed the SD as a hero.

When they asked the suspect why he had targeted this woman, he reportedly replied “because she is a cripple”.  When asked if he did not notice that she had a large dog with her, he reportedly admitted that he thought SDs were supposed to sit and do nothing.  Lesson learned!

This SD was trained in the FSDS program by local teens.  Though they could not have imagined this at the time that they devoted 18 months of their lives to train the dog, through their hard work and dedication they helped to save the life of this woman and others in the community.  Never underestimate the power of a teen…or a SD.

Oct 202017
Gretel and Shadow

Among the many services that the FSDS provides to the community is the training and certification of facility dogs for agencies that serve crime victims, particularly child victims.  The FSDS is proud to announce that we will be providing a Level II Facility Dog to the Peoria Police Department to work in their new K9 Victim Assistance Program.

The Peoria PD will be awarded a purebred male Golden Retriever named “Shadow”, a sweet and gentle dog.  Shadow’s future handler, Detective Gretel Hopkins, is already hard at work to master all commands and knowledge necessary to build a strong working relationship with Shadow, and a firm knowledge base upon which the police department may grow it’s program.

One of the things that makes this so special is that this dog, who is expected to benefit literally thousands of crime victims and officers over the course of it’s career, is being raised by a local teen in our training program.  Amanda Van Asdall is just 15 years old and this is the third dog that she is training for the FSDS.   Her 12 year old sister, Abigail, is assisting with the training.  This is just another wonderful example of how we strive to empower youths to help change the world for the better.

Shadow, and the officer training, is being provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the police department, however funds are still needed to assist with this vital service.  To find out how you can help, contact us.


Oct 012017

How to Eat an Elephant

This past month I was reminded once again of an old adage…and how our take on this differs from commonly accepted belief.

If you ask most people the question “How do you eat an elephant”, the most common response is likely to be “One bite at a time”.  Here at the FSDS, we have a different philosophy.  We believe that regardless of how slow you go, and how many bites you take, if you attempt to eat an entire elephant two things will happen:

  1. You will have an epic case of indigestion.
  2. The elephant will spoil before you could finish, resulting in waste and depriving others of their part.

In this case, the proverbial elephant is the amount of work that must be done to keep the FSDS running and continue to provide services to meet the growing demands of our community.  Our response to the age old question is:

“The best way to eat an elephant is to invite the entire community to share with you.”

How true this is.  There is much work to be done, and the FSDS is actively looking to recruit the assistance of many here in our community to assist us.  There are many service dog programs that continue to sprout up in our community.  Often however, the costs are too high.   It does no good to continue to build programs that price out those with the greatest need.  If the programs are not financially accessible, then they are of little use.

The FSDS program has worked hard to hold down costs.  Despite the fact that we are nearing our 10th year of service here in AZ, we do not have a dedicated facility.  we have worked to hold down any administrative / overhead expenses, which has permitted us to provide SDs to those with the greatest need.  We provide SDs at no out of pocket cost to wounded military veterans and first responders.  We provide low cost SDs to families with chronically ill children, who due to their overriding medical expenses can not afford a down-payment or even a monthly payment plan to afford a dog from other programs.  For these individuals, the FSDS program has become a court of last resort.  It has become commonplace for us to hear from those accepted into our program that they had all but given up hope of assistance, and that acceptance into our program for them comes after many long and frustrating years of searching.

The FSDS administrators work from home, and we have been blessed with the gift of shared facility space in our community.  This has served to hold down the cost of services.  Though we lack the physical trappings of other organizations that may serve to impress at a first glance, what we have built is a program that truly works and is able to serve the most vulnerable members of our community.

As we near our 10th birthday, we send out an invitation to all to come share this elephant with us.  We need individuals with the following skills:

  • Event planning
  • Graphic design
  • Hands on assistance at events
  • Student trainers for the upcoming class

Our event planner, Mr. Gary Noble is looking to put together a committee to work on events and our upcoming graduation / birthday.  This is our “elephant sharing party” – and you are all cordially invited!  Please contact Gary for information on how you can become a part of our team.

Classroom News

Advanced Class – this past month our advanced class took their AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests.  We are pleased to report that the class performed well.  All of our students have done an outstanding job this past month, but there are just a few who deserve additional mention this month.

Pearl Willis and her SDIT Adara are doing a great job and we have observed that Pearl demonstrates outstanding abilities as a team player and a leader.  The same can be said of Amanda VanAsdall and her SDIT Shadow.  Pearl and Amanda are both young teens with a heart for serving their community and a willingness to extend a hand to others in need.  Recipient Catherine Teel gets four paws up this month for being a diligent and courteous learner.  Catherine keeps wonderful notes, and has been willing to share her own notes with any student who may have been absent.  She is noted to be kind and considerate to others, and has earned the respect of her classmates.  Many thanks to LeAnn Fuller for taking such beautiful photos of our teams and for her willingness to share these photos with others.

Beginner class – the new beginner class is scheduled to begin the first Saturday in November, so stay tuned for further information.  Enjoy the photos of our adorable new puppies in the photo gallery below.

Wellness Tip

IMG_1817Dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin, is a problem that can affect dogs.  Golden retrievers are notoriously susceptible to this condition.  Also known as “hot spots” that can be worsened by the dog picking, biting or licking at the affected area.  This can arise from anything that irritates the skin, such as a bite or minor infection, or constant licking due to stress or boredom.

It is important for all handlers to check their dog for hot spots on a regular basis.  In the event that you should discover a hot spot, consult your veterinarian immediately so that proper treatment can commence without delay.

Halloween Safety

October is here, and the Fall decorating and festivities are officially in full swing.  Halloween can be a scary time for your dog, and it is important for all handlers to be sensitive to the body language and needs of your SD.  Remember the following:

  • spooky or moving displays in stores can be confusing and frightening for your dog; approach slowly and let your dog observe from a distance at first before inching closer
  • keep all candy dishes well out of the reach of your dog, chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins and other sweet treats are toxic to dogs
  • always supervise your dog around any costumes
  • keep home decorations out of reach of your dog; many items, if ingested, can cause intestinal obstruction and result in a need for emergency surgery
  • if you plan to have your SD at your side when answering the door for trick-or-treaters, make certain that they are on a leash; even a well-trained dog can run if frightened

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Thank you

Our sincere thanks to the following for their generous support of our program this past month:

  • Valerie Schluter
  • Shirley Holbert
  • DAV Auxillary

Upcoming Events

October 14th, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.: This fun and family friendly event is designed to promote public safety.  The FSDS will be on hand to provide information on service dogs as well as hands-on demonstrations on first aid and CPR.  The event will be held at the Pioneer Community Park located at 8755 N. 83rd Ave, Peoria AZ.

October 21st, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Western Avenue, Avondale, AZ.  The FSDS will be on hand as a part of the Vetfest activities to provide information on SDs to veterans in need.

Photo Gallery

Enjoy some photos of our teams in training!  Many thanks to LeAnn Fuller for granting the FSDS permission to use these lovely photos.

Abigail and Oliver Daisy and Indy Duke FB Advertizing (1 of 36) FB Advertizing (21 of 36) Indy Oliver

Sep 202017
Poodle Pup2

The FSDS has openings available for individuals interested in acquiring SD training skills to participate in our upcoming Nov. 2017 class.  Eligible candidates must:

  • be able to house and care for their SDIT during the 18 month training program
  • have transportation to and from classes
  • be willing to commit to the entire 18 month training program, and this includes summer session
  • be mature and responsible
  • have a genuine desire to serve your community
  • have no criminal record
  • be preferably age 15 or older, but will accept slightly younger if mature for age

Teens and adults are eligible to apply.  Students learn everything from basic obedience instruction up to and including advanced SD training skills, nutrition, grooming as well as canine FA and CPR certification.  Interested individuals may download an application packet from our website.