Message from the Director


First and foremost, a huge thank you to our special group of volunteers for such a great job at the building to prepare the space for the walls to start going up. Thank you Henry Smith, Celia Mopkins, Charlotte Steele, Sebastian Barrientos, and, of course, Jessica Parker for a great effort.

And a heartfelt thank you, too, to our monthly donors and to the Frances and John Wahl Foundation for a grant to support this vital work.

We simply could not help as many people with disabilities as we do if not for your unselfish generosity and encouragement.

I’ve included some picture of the new space in process of being built-out. We can’t wait to invite you all to an open house to see the new facility first-hand when all is completed.

Thank you, again, for your words and expressions of support and encouragement throughout this process. It means more than words can adequately express.

My best!

FSDS Approved for State Tax Credits

This past month, the state has approved the FSDS for tax credits.  This means that you are now eligible to receive up to a $200 tax credit for a donation made to support the mission of the FSDS.  More information to follow.

Classroom News

Keeta & Dani (Recipient Marissa) are continuing to make great progress with skills training for Marissa’s specific needs. Dani has already been able to perform tasks without being asked by Marissa. Marissa has completed her didactic course and is now going to be taught canine CPR & FA to move forward so we can focus on getting this team ready for their certification test!

Henry & Solomon are getting ready for their final steps towards graduation. Solomon performs his service skills reliably for Henry and it’s terrific seeing him in action! Henry has been a great help to the FSDS with volunteering at our new facility with removing some minor things and we are so grateful for his dedication to the FSDS. This team has completed their canine CPR & FA and we are able to focus on the steps towards their certification test!

DeAnna & Scooby (Recipient Tesia) took their first trip with Tesia handling Scooby right from the start to the airport! This trip was a great experience for exposure to new sights and sounds. Scooby did a great job focusing on Tesia and ignoring distractions. Tesia did a great job with handling Scooby and was confident throughout the entire trip! This team is also about to take their certification test right after they have been taught their canine CPR & FA. Scooby performs his service skills for Tesia without skipping a beat.

Brain & Mando are doing outstanding work with their skills training. This team made their first airport trip as well and Mando did a wonderful job with the new exposure to sights and sounds. Brian did great with handling Mando in this new environment and both were confident throughout the trip. This team is getting ready to take their canine CPR & FA and then we are going to focus on moving towards their certification test   Brian is doing a great job continuing to take Mando to new environments and working on skills training to generalize their skills practice in new environments.

Tina & Socorro are performing wonderfully. Tina is continuing to be hard at work with training Socorro in new environments, but their main focus is having Socorro alert Tina to certain sounds in the home which she has been doing great with. This team is moving closer and closer to certification. During the next month they will complete their canine CPR & FA certification.

Soyini & Coco are working on theirGo get help” command and are making great progress.  Coco is beginning to understand when help is needed absent direct cues. We have now introduced a “get help” item that Coco retrieves and delivers it to the person she is needing to bring back to Soyini. Canine CPR & FA is the next step and this team will also be ready to start working towards taking the certification test!

Yamill & Bailey– Yamill is still hard at work this summer trying to expose Bailey to new environments and doing training tasks in public and at home. Once school starts up again a goal is going to be taking Bailey to school with him. In the meantime, we have set up a meet and greet with a potential new recipient to see if Bailey and this person will be a good match!  This team is also going to be getting their canine CPR & FA training this following month.

John & Simari– While Simari is performing miraculously for John everyday with the Brace command, go get help, and opening and closing cabinets,  a new thing we have moved forward to is teaching Simari how to close doors.  She is really good about opening doors (they have a door lever handle) but now we are teaching her how to close the door. She is making good progress with that so far.  This team will also be taking their canine CPR & FA and getting ready for certification.

Celia & Caroline Caroline have been doing wonderful with performing her service tasks for Celia in public settings.   Caroline is very confident and does what she needs to for Ceila when out and about. A new task that Caroline has been doing well with is the “brace” command.  This command has been needed in certain situations and it’s coming along well. This team is about to take their certification test as soon as they are done with their canine CPR & FA. We are so grateful for Celia for her hard work with helping the FSDS with volunteering at the new facility with some small renovations that needed to be done.

Go Team!

Sending a big shout out to our students and volunteers who pitched in to help out with work at the new facility space this past month.   As you can see, renovations are underway and the new space is shaping up nicely.

  • Henry Smith
  • Celia Mopkins
  • Charlotte Steele
  • Sebastian Barrientos

Your hard work is truly appreciated.

Wellness Tip

This month we remind all of our teams of the importance of providing monthly flea/tick and heartworm prevention medications.  The need for this type of care for your dog is not seasonal, your dog requires protection from vector-borne illness year round.

Fleas can cause troubling skin irritation for your dog.  Multiple flea bites can also lead to anemia (low red cell count).  For a service dog (SD) we must also consider the consequences of fleas for those businesses in our community.  Businesses are required to grant access to SDs.  If you were to enter a business, perhaps one with a carpeted area, a flea infestation can ensue.  Consider the consequences for the business, and the rest of the public who may enter this space.

Ticks can cause severe illness in your dog, most notably Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Transmission of disease typically does not occur until after the tick has been attached to the dog for at least 36 hrs, and it can take up to 5 months for symptoms to manifest.  This can present as limping and enlargement of the lymph nodes.  It can progress to renal failure and even death.

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite, that results from a mosquito bite.  This often presents as cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing.  In severe cases, death can occur.

These diseases are preventable, and prevention is easier than intervention.  We urge all readers to institute a regular schedule of treatments for your dog, and mark these on  your calendar.

Thank you

Our sincere thanks to the following individuals and organizations who have generously donated in the past month:

  • Valeria Schluter
  • The Frances and John Wahl Foundation
  • Greg Wahl

Your support of our mission is greatly appreciated.

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