Page 1

Fidos Speaks Read more online at Vol. 18 No. 1 An information exchange serving clients, supporters and volunteers of Fidos For Freedom, Inc. Winter 2009/2010

Assistance Dogs International 2009 Trainer’s Conference

Inside this issue: 2 3 3 4 5 6 7

Classes Drop-in Puppy Class Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. “open to the public”; contact for more information Drop-in “for fun” Agility Class Wednesdays: 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Flyball Fridays: 7:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m

Upcoming Events Tux and Tail Gala Saturday, April 10, 2010

Laurel Racetrack in the Carriage Room Route #198, Laurel MD It is the vision of this organization to improve the quality of life and provide companionship to the residents of our local community through specially trained Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs.

ctober 4, 2009, Sherri Sirotkin, Colleen Doman and I, along with Assistance-Dog-In-Training, Ruby, arrived at the Aspen Lodge, in Estes Park, Colorado, to attend the 2009 ADI Trainer’s Conference. Sister Pauline Quinn OP also attended the conference, sharing our cabin, along with her Service Dog, Reni. At 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 5, approximately eighty trainers from various Assistance Dog International programs were welcomed by the Executive Director of Freedom Service Dogs, the host program for the conference. The agenda for this conference was packed with speakers providing information on subjects and training techniques to benefit all the attendees. At 8:15 a.m. our first speaker began and we were off and running. Topics during the first day included evaluating clients that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Service Dogs for Autism presented by Dr. Temple Grandin; Training Service Dogs for Autism, including specific tasks to assist clients with autism. By 5:00 p.m. our minds were spinning with all the information we had been given during the day. After dinner, we viewed a video on Courtroom Facility Programs that are training dogs to assist in helping children and adults who, as victims, must testify prior to and in court proceedings. The dog provides comfort and support for the victim during their testimony. At 7:30 p.m. we had several games for the dogs in attendance to enjoy (along with their companions)! Ruby, the Assistance-Dog-In-Training I brought to the conference, came in second in one of those games. After the games were over we did some networking with other trainers from various programs and then it was off to bed - for Fidos Speaks

round two of the conference was to begin at 8:00 a.m. the next morning. For the first two hours of day two we attended four different break-out sessions. The topics included teaching the dog bracing, bed-time tasks that dogs can do to assist their partner, in-training dog evaluation and counter-balancing. We all agreed that we came away from this session with new ideas to share with our fellow trainers at Fidos. We then had a presentation on Nutrition for the Canine Athlete present-

Courtesy Ann Dunn


An Assistance Dog and Therapy Dog Training Organization Reflections on Fidos Joseph Richey Hospice CFC Kickoff Wolf Park Auntie Lauren Back to School Service Dog to Service Dog

By Ann Dunn

Sherri Sirotkin, Colleen Doman, Sr Pauline Quinn OP, & Ann Dunn in the Aspen Lodge at the ADI Trainer’s Conference in Estes Park, CO.

ed by a veterinarian. After lunch, we listened to topics and demonstrations on emergency tasks, and helping with dressing and undressing. By the end of day two, we had a folder full of information to take back to Fidos to share with our fellow trainers. Attending the Trainer’s Conference provides each program’s attendees an opportunity to discuss the challenges and successes that we face in working to produce Assistance Dogs that are the best they can be to help their partners. Providing Independence 1987 - 2010

Notes from the Board Reflections on Fidos Past, Fidos Present, & Fidos Future

Vol. 18 No. 1

Fidos For Freedom, Inc. (Fidos) is a non-profit organization engaged in the training of Hearing Dogs and Service Dogs to assist persons with disabilities and providing Therapy Dog visits to area healthcare facilities. Fidos also participates in public education demonstrations and government programs to aid persons with disabilities. For more information, contact: Fidos For Freedom, Inc P.O. Box 5508 Laurel, Maryland 20726 Phone: (410) 880-4178 (301) 490-4005 Fax: (301) 490-9061 MD Relay: (800) 201-7165 Web site: E-mail: Executive Director: Joe Swetnam Office Manager: Barbara DiSimone Director of Training: Pat Jarvis Director of Client Services: Sandy Ball Director of Volunteer Services: Laurie Hardy Director of Development: Frances Williams Director of Community Education: Sharon Tucker Newsletter Editor: Kim Blankenship Newsletter Staff: Andrea Barrett, Tracy Bowman, Andrew Chaloupka, Fran Crull, Katrin Daly, Cydney Delia, Barbara DiSimione, Colleen Doman, Ann Dunn, Pam Loeb, Denise Portis, Sherri Sirotkin Newsletter Designer: Sarah L.G. Breeden Staff Photographers: Jim Fenn, Bryan Sirotkin, Andy Weisburger Bookkeeper: Anne Weldon Board of Directors: President: Sherri Sirotkin Secretary: Pamela Loeb Treasurer: Jane Harford Board Members: Tracy Bowman Judy Cannon Darrell (Bear) Hummer Rebecca Sosa Copyright 2010 Fidos For Freedom, Inc. Material in this publication may not be reprinted or reused in any way without express permission from the Board of Directors. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request by contacting Fidos For Freedom, Inc. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401 for the cost of copying and postage. Fidos For Freedom would like to thank all those involved at DigiLink, 840 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304-4606, for their contributions in making this newsletter possible.

Page 2

By Sherri G. Sirotkin, President


or those of you that have been involved help to give her more independence and a with Fidos for a long time, (more than better sense of security when she is home 5 or 6 years), I am sure you have no- and her family is not. ticed the many changes that have occurred In the future you may see us placing dogs in our programs, particularly with regard to in courthouses to work with children who the Therapy Dog Program. The number of have been victims of abuse, or you may see us therapy teams has grown, the number of sites training dogs to work with returning veterans we visit has grown, and the locations of our needing assistance with Post Traumatic Stress visits have expanded. Where we used to have Disorder (PTSD), or dogs that work with chilvisits primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, you can now see Fidos in the Annapolis area, Baltimore City and some Baltimore County locations. This is a reflection of the change in demographics of our volunteer base. There have also been changes in the Assistance Dog Program. When I started volunteering with Fidos, we only accepted pure bred dogs from known breeders, so we would know the Sherri Sirotkin & Carol Davis, Director of Training for parentage and health hisPaws’itive Teams, enjoying dinner at the Conference tory. Now, although we still use mostly pure bred dogs, we also use dogs from shelters and rescues. dren with autism and their families. Each of From the shelters and rescues we have got- these “jobs” require special and different temten good, solid dogs that love their work and peraments and skills from our dogs. we have saved some lives in the process. We are still committed to training dogs to Now, there are more new things happen- be Service Dogs for the mobility impaired, ing. Two years ago, at the first Board of or Hearing Assistance Dogs for those that Directors off-site retreat, the board discussed are deaf or hard of hearing, but in the future the need to expand our client base and in- the dogs will have more career options at Ficrease our services to stay abreast of the in- dos. These are exciting changes and expand dustry, or risk becoming obsolete. Moving our ability to help these special dogs use their outside of our comfort zone can be a scary skills. Stay tuned as we continue to grow. proposition for a volunteer based organizaThank you for all you do for Fidos For tion with limited resources for puppy raisers Freedom. We couldn’t do it without you! and trainers. However, after much research and consideration our training department is Upcoming Events carefully embarking on new adventures. We have just placed our first Skilled ComAnnual Golf Tournament panion Dog; a dog that has all the skills of Monday, May 17, 2010 a Service Dog, but will not go out in public. Glen Dale Golf Club This dog will work in the home with a client 11501 Old Prospect Hill Road whose medical condition does not allow her Glen Dale, MD 20769 to go out of the house very often, and will Fidos Speaks

Winter 2009/2010

Photo by Ann Dunn

Fidos Speaks

A Look at Joseph Richey Hospice: The Two Halves of a Therapy Dog Team


By Cydney Delia

Courtesy Andy Weisburger

s I opened the cheerily. Through each door we entered, ful yellow door so that and with each broken silence, my dog Tela and I could faces softened, eyes gleamed, and enter the house, stillness spilled conversations started. out onto the hot Baltimore sideJoseph Richey is a visit unlike walk. I tightened my grip on her others I have made. With usually leash—a sign to settle down— less than ten people taking visits, and came into the foyer with the there is time to slow down, time to decorum I thought appropriate notice—maybe a book, or a crossfor a house with a chapel in place word, or a picture of the presiof a living room. No other therdent—and time to begin a conapy-dog teams in sight, we hesiversation. I have the opportunity tantly made our way to the very to learn about the people that Tela large, serious looking man work- From left to right: Andy Weisburger & Jordan, Sally Fuller & Bogie, and I are visiting, their histories, ing at the front desk. As we ap- Susan Weisburger & Mackie, Kelly Fleshman & Coty, Julie Wu & and their interests. On this visit, I Diesel, Catherine Angelo & Sydney, Debbie Taylor & Nickolas. proached, his straight eyebrows am more than a person attached to the women so that they could pet her. A arched kindly, and he informed the end of my dog’s leash; I am the us, “You must be with the other dogs. few of the dogs showed off their tricks, human half of my Therapy Dog team. They just went upstairs to the second and then we paired off; Andy and his Joseph Richey Hospice (www.jofloor.” With Tela pulling slightly against dog Jordan, and Tela and I, approached is located in the the restraint of her leash, we made our the door of our first visit. heart of Baltimore at 838 North Eutaw Carefully approaching so not to wake Street, across from Maryland General Hosway to the elevator. Just as the doors opened and we anyone, we looked and knocked and pital. The organization provides hospice found the other teams, two nurses qui- asked, “Would you like to visit with the care to those who might not otherwise be etly rounded the corner of the hallway. dogs?” Mr. Lowry* was the first person I able to afford it, and it is working toward They instantly brightened and smiled: met at Joseph Richey Hospice. He wasn’t opening the first hospice for children on “Oh, aren’t they good dogs! The patients so sure about petting the dogs, but he the east coast of the US. If you are interin rooms 1, 4, 7, 11 and 12 want to visit did want to see their tricks—Jordan of- ested in joining this visit, sign up in Volgiswith the dogs. The man in room 4 loves fered his paw and Tela rolled over. And tics, and please don’t hesitate to contact me dogs. They’re just so good!” I eased up Mr. Lowry wanted to talk. So we talked with any questions: *Name changed on the leash and let Tela move closer to about the last election and about his fam-

CFC Kickoff t is Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) kickoff season again. This is a payroll deduction program for federal employees, where they have a choice of nearly 4,000 charities to donate to. Fidos has been fortunate to be invited to various kickoff events, where we have an opportunity to share our story in person. This particular event was a little unusual, because it came about due to a series of fortunate coincidences. Our volunteer, Christine Van Bemmel, is also a member of Toastmasters. She had done a talk about Fidos for Toastmasters. One of her fellow Toastmasters (Jeremy)

Winter 2009/2010

works for the US Marshals Service, and wanted to invite a dog-related charity to their kickoff. Jeremy remembered Christine’s talk, and asked her if Fidos would come to their event. Christine forwarded his note to me, and off we went! Not many of the employees noticed George and Max and Ben and I at the front of the room, so I asked if we could do a short presentation. They handed me a mic and off we went, sharing the Fidos story. Several employees came up to us at the end to ask about becoming volunteers in various capacities, so it appears a good time was had by all. Fidos Speaks

Photo by Robert Marcovici


By Pam Loeb

Pam Loeb & Ben, George Stephens & Max at US Marshals Office in Crystal City, VA at CFC event.

Page 3

Fidos Trainers Attend Seminar At Wolf Park


Photo Colleen Doman

rom time to time, the Assistance Dog trainers at Fido’s find it necessary to stretch our “training muscles,” and to that end, we occasionally pursue extramural activities. In September 2009, to help us get a greater understanding of our work, Mary Austin, Kim Blankenship, Tracy Bowman, Collen Doman and Christine Van Bemmel traveled to Wolf Park, a nonprofit education and research facility located in Indiana. Wolf Park was established in 1972 by Dr. Erich Klinghammer, whose work has contributed a great deal to a better understanding of wolf pack dynamics and social structures. While at Wolf Park we attended a seminar: “The Elemental Animal: Questions & Answers from the Core of Being” led by Pat Goodmann, Wolf Park’s research associate since 1974 and Suzanne Clothier, a noted author and dog trainer who takes a relationshipbased approach to dog training. During our visit we were encouraged to: respect each animal as a sentient creature, focus on the animal’s world (which senses it prefers, what energizes it, what frightens it), and to consider the impact of our actions and desires on the animals. Suzanne walked us through observations of three dogs to discover their ‘umwelt,’ i.e., to discover what is important and significant in their world, and to interpret their behavior as a guide to their orientation towards their world. During the discussion Kim remarked: “Suzanne’s regard for each dog helped me see each personality independent of human expectation..” Christine echoed: “Suzanne’s ability to

Renki, a five year old wolf at Wolf Park.

Page 4

Photo by Monty Sloan, Wolf Park staff photographer

By Tracy Bowman

Regina Keane, Pete Macek, Melissa Stanton, Ryan Talbot, Carolyn Andrejcak, Peggy Kessanti, Pat Goodmann, Tracy Bowman, Susan Fishbein, Suzanne Clothier with her little friend, Colleen Doman, Karen Wampler, Christine Van Bemmel, Mary Austin, Leslie Marlin, Beth Line, Laurie Keenan, Jennifer Rockenbaugh, Dee Wilusz, Kim Blankenship, Chris Albert Carnes, Malte Roessner.

modulate body posture and to detect nuances is phenomenal. She helped me see more than I normally would have.” Ms. Goodman’s lecture was followed by guidance on wolf behavior drawn from her decades of research (see Goodmann, P.A., E. Klinghammer, and J. Willard. 2002. Wolf Ethogram (Ethology Series, No. 3). Eckhard H. Hess Institute of Ethology: Battle Ground, IN). After detailed instructions, we were ready to apply, what we had learned about dog and wolf behavior through up-close personal observations of the wolves, to working with our dogs. Wolf Park has developed a method to hand-rear wolf pups so their normal flight instinct is eliminated, and at the same time, they are trained to tolerate the presence of people. But make no mistake–these wolves are not dogs. On the other hand, dogs have evolved alongside humans and have developed a wide range of behaviors to skillfully interact with our species. We entered the seven acre wolf enclosure with varying levels of unease and met Wolfgang, Wotan, Ruedi, and Renki. “Wolves test new people to figure out where they fit into the pack,” Tracy confides. “They were not aggressive, but the absence of a typical dog greeting was unsettling, especially when paired with an almost clinical groin sniff! We were warned this would happen, and to Fidos Speaks

set boundaries by moving them off this activity.” Christine adds: “Staff kept an eye on wolves and people, distracting the wolves when they got overly interested in one person over another.” Colleen said of the experience: “How different they are from the dog packs we live with! The wolves had no particular interest in our wants, and often used people in the enclosure to influence pack politics.” Mary concurs: “Watching wolf body language was the same, yet different than watching dogs. Wolves are capable of a whole range of emotions, and indeed, conflicting emotions, but it seemed clearer and purer than it does in a typical group of dogs.” Tracy recalled a specific instance: “The most subordinate wolf decided to lie at my feet. Immediately, it became a resource, and the more dominant wolves rushed over to argue about their right to it. I decided that this particular ‘resource’ needed to be out of the equation!” Kim added: “Initially, I felt anxious with the quick, short breathing, but I practiced the techniques Suzanne described, and consciously relaxed my muscles and slowed my breath rate. Wolves and humans – we are both animals, and a lot can be discerned from the physical manifestation of just these biological processes.” Back outside the enclosure, our seminar continued. Suzanne led an exercise continued on following page Winter 2009/2010

Auntie Lauren


By Fran Crull

Photo by Jim Fenn

idos’ annual Calendar Sales Days bring us more than just often the first “caller” that many of the new TD teams see, and funds, they bring in new volunteers as well. In 2004 they she has a knack for making everyone feel welcome and wanted. brought us one of the hardest working volunteers that Lena: You boys are wrong! I am Auntie Lauren’s favorite we have—Lauren Duff. dog and Auntie Lauren is my best friend. I may be a newcomer Pippin: Hey, you’re talking about my favorite “auntie” in the to the scene, but I am the one who did all of the leg work trainwhole world—Auntie Lauren. Auntie Lauren is my best friend ing her in treat protocols! I’m the one that convinced her to and I am her favorite dog! She is very perceptive. Not only does keep giving me treats until I ‘learned’ to take them gently. That she know that I am the bestest dog in the took a lot of concentration on my part! world, she knows the sad truth that I just It’s probably her years of teaching exdon’t get enough petting at home. Best of perience that have taught her how to use all she knows just where to scratch my neck humor to keep the handlers focused and and just the right amount of extra treats inventive games to keep their dogs interthat I need to stave off hunger pangs. ested. Lauren’s contributions help mold Lauren first heard about Fidos at a calenraw handler/dog twosomes into well-oiled dar sales booth at Giant Food. Like many Therapy Dog teams. of us, she couldn’t walk past the booth Pippin: Hah. She’s just there to see ME! without stopping to pet the dogs. Soon she She’s made a date with me once a week, was learning about Fidos’ Therapy and Asjust to make sure that my needs are met. sistance Dog teams. Even though she didn’t She has cleverly arranged for my primary have a dog at the time, Lauren signed up assistant to rendezvous with her after my and started working. second afternoon nap on Wednesdays. Max: And I’m the one you can thank! In an organization that is hallmarked by exAfter all, I’m the one that introduced her to traordinary volunteer effort, Lauren has been Fidos. I batted my golden eyes at her at a a standout. She’s made a significant personal Lauren & Lena. calendar sales day and she fell in love. She commitment by taking on time-consuming joined Fidos just to see more of me! My sorjobs like party planning, rewarding us with a rowful eyes told her that there were dogs in need of extra treats festive Halloween Party and the new Winter Solstice celebration. and pets and maybe some new bones. Mmmm. I know that she Her people skills have contributed to Fidos in many ways—from decided to volunteer with Fidos just to right these wrongs. I am staffing information booths, to participating in dog evaluations, to her favorite dog! I’m the one that she brings extra treats to. assisting in the Handler’s Training Class. Soon after she came on board, Lauren adopted a beautiful Max: No, no she’s not coming to help people, she’s comAmerican Bull Dog named Milo. Milo was practically raised ing to give me more treats. That’s why she leads the parade at Fidos as they learned the ropes together. They became an every week. She swoops in and makes our mommies dance in active Therapy Dog team. In time, they took their turn selling a circle. Then we get pets, praise and when the dance was really calendars and recruiting new volunteers. good, we get treats. Sometimes Auntie Lauren even sprinkles Milo: Let’s face it guys, I’m her favorite dog and I always will treats on the ground for us. be. Even though I live with nephew Andy now, I’m the one she Lauren’s outstanding and ongoing efforts provide a much-needtravels the farthest to see. We did the best visits ever. Everyone ed service to the Fidos’ community. She’s an excellent example of came out to see me! just how important each volunteer is to our organization. Remembering the anxieties of new Therapy Dog teams, LauLena: Those treats are mine! All mine! ren makes a special effort to smooth the way for them. She is Lauren helps all of us do what we do, better. continued from previous page

designed to improve our diagnostic and analytical skills by simulating a telephonic client consult on dog behavior. Suzanne emphasized the necessity of building an accurate mental picture (‘movie in your head’) so you can offer effective solutions to problem behavior. Christine observed: “This exercise was fascinating – both teams constructed a ‘story’ about a Winter 2009/2010

dog and client….while those stories were rich and on the emotional side, we often missed the things that we would have seen if a camera was telling the story.” Admittedly, we gained the ‘wow factor’ of having met and touched wolves, but how has it impacted us as trainers? “Asking our therapy/assistance dogs how it is for them is crucial,” observes Mary. “We require them to do things that aren’t natural for them, and we must look to Fidos Speaks

improve their situation.” Colleen said: “I need to read my dog’s body language to better respond to her perceived reality. Also, I need to wait for behavior instead of creating it, patience isn’t a virtue, it’s a requirement.” Kim sumed it up: “It is essential to honor the answers I receive, and believe that the animal’s actions reflect the truth of its reality, in order to be certain our work together will respect the animal.” Page 5

Back to School


By Chloe, Fidos For Freedom Hearing Assistance Dog

Photo by Kathleen Burns

enise and I were shopping at tor comes in to say hello. I just love the to alert to in order to be the “school Wal-mart and I heard her say, Director, and she loves me! She and I are bell” for her classes. She sets it 5 min“I need Post-It notes so let’s go good friends because Denise was already utes before the bell rings so that she has down this school supply aisle, Chloe.” her friend. Sometimes Denise takes my time for last minute announcements. It was really crowded with harried em- vest off so that I can say hello to the Di- When it goes off, I let her know that ployees putting out school supplies. One rector. it has started beeping by going to the employee was up on a ladder retrieving After Denise finishes her work in the timer and then going to her with a great things from a box up above. He dropped office we usually go take a walk if it is deal of enthusiasm! I’m pretty enthusia 12-pack of pencils. Denise didn’t hear nice. There are woods all around the astic about everything! it hit the floor of course, Denise will say, “What is it, so I stopped to pick it up Chloe?” to bring to her. She looked This is my cue to take her down and saw me and said, to the timer that is going off. “Good girl, Chloe.” I pick She praises me like crazy and up things that she drops I feel needed. She doesn’t and bring them to her a lot. want her students to be late I have heard her keys fall for the next class, and since twice in the parking lot! they don’t want to go to AlTwo employees stepped gebra they might just stay all over with their eyes big and afternoon if Denise didn’t their mouths open. know that time was up! “Wow,” said one woman. At the end of the day De“Can we have her?” said nise is really tired. She drops another man. things more often so I have Denise just smiled and to really pay attention. I even handed them the pencils. help her roll up my pink mat She kept shopping; after all, so that she doesn’t have to we were after Post-It notes! reach as far for it. Her MeChloe & Denise, amid enthusiastic members of Chloe’s fan club. Denise talks to me all the niere’s disease makes it hard time because I’m an importo go all the way to the floor. tant part of her life. She asked me if I campus, so sometimes I spy a bunny or On August 31st, we had our annual realized that school was getting ready to a deer. Denise says this is my recess time. “Back to School Night”. I met all of start. I had no idea! I was so excited to I’m not sure what that means, but I really Denise’s new students in her Level One hear that, I started to wag my tail so that have a lot of fun on our twenty minute class. Some of them weren’t sure what she would understand how thrilled I am! walks! to make of me, but Denise explained evI just love school! I get so excited when class is getting erything. I can tell there are some “dog Denise works part-time as a high ready to start! I can always tell because people” in the group. Maybe they will school teacher at Chieftain Institute in we start walking towards the classrooms come and say hello to me during my reMontgomery County. I just love to go in the trailer behind the main building. cess! to school! There are human puppies Students walk down the handicap ramp I also met with Denise’s Level Three everywhere, in all shapes and sizes! De- and Denise and I stand to the side to students. I have known them for two nise gets there a little early so that she let them pass. I wag my tail at them and whole years, and this is my third year can make copies in the office. This is they all say hello to me. They know they with them. I was really excited to see the most boring part of my school day. I can’t pet me, but I am totally OK with familiar faces and they were really glad have to sit quietly out of the way unless friendly “hello’s!” After they pass by, to see me too! We took a class picture. Denise drops her pen or a paper slides Denise and I head into the building to Denise likes to take pictures. She always off her stack. I have learned how to pick her classroom. Denise always spreads says, “Say cheese!” up papers without tearing them. This was out my pink mat so that I know where I’ve never found cheese ANYWHERE really hard at first because I kept step- my place is. If she drops a dry erase when she says this! ping on the edge of the paper when I marker or eraser I am right there to I’m so glad school has started back! tried to pick it up. I give Denise dropped pick it up for her. She drops her pencil Denise couldn’t teach if I wasn’t with papers with ZERO tears now! I’m pretty a great deal too, but I don’t mind be- her, and she is a really great teacher! I’m proud of myself because papers lay very cause this is part of my job. Denise sets glad she can continue doing what she flat on tile floors! Sometimes the Direc- a kitchen timer that I have been trained loves because I’m her Assistance Dog! Page 6

Fidos Speaks

Winter 2009/2010

Service Dog to Service Dog – More Things They Won’t Teach You

We Need Puppy Raisers!

Ready to Roll!

humans happy and helping them out in a pinch. If you are asking yourself - “what’s in it for me” - the quick answer is FOOD. Yep, some people like to express their appreciation for our good deeds with a click and a treat. If you pace yourself, you can get lots of treats for doing the trick and getting a click. Unlike retrievers, (they just can’t help themselves), some of us other breeds or blended breeds can hold out, give them the “huh? I don’t get it?” face and get lots more treats. It’s a beautiful thing and everyone is happy. The weird part about it is at some point you will realize there is no more food, but you still feel really happy about what you have done and can’t wait to help them again.

During the first year of training, a Puppy Raiser attends weekly classes at the Fidos Training Center to learn how to teach the puppy good household manners and socialize the puppy to people and its environment. (A Fidos Sponsor pays for the care of the puppy during this period.) The puppy stays in the Puppy Raiser’s home for about one year prior to entering the next phase of its training. If you would like more information about being a Puppy Raiser, please contact Fidos by sending an e-mail to: Champ pics Oct 2008 - Donated by Sundaze Kennels - Photo taken by Joanne Wilson

Fetching for the non-Retriever: The last time we were able to communicate I shared with you that unless you are a dog with retriever in your breed name, fetching is not the end all most fantabulous, bestest thing in the world to do. Even though there is no logical reason to pick up something that doesn’t taste good, isn’t rotten, squeaks or is chewable. Here’s how to understand it or at the very least work the system so you get lots of the really good treats. Let’s face it, we all fetch. How many times have you been in the mood for a few good, fast dog laps around the house, or you’ve been out in the yard, ran the perimeter, gathered all the new news your nose needs to know and you’re still bored. This is when every one of us reaches for our favorite dry crusty ball or gutted squeak toy and we begin the “ya know ya wanna throw this” dance in front of a soon-to-be-willing audience. We all like this, and it’s fun. Then there is the fetch (or retrieve) that they want us to do for them. Not as much fun … or is it? The retrievers seem to think so. They all can’t be wrong. Yes, there is the satisfaction of making

Photo by Kim Blankenship

By Patti

Need an Assistance Dog or Know Someone Who Does?

Photo by Ann Dunn

Applicants for an Assistance Dog must meet the following requirements: • Live within a 75-mile radius of Laurel, MD • Be at least 18 years of age • Be able to physically, financially and emotionally meet the needs of one of these very special dogs • Provide the dog with ample opportunity to perform the skills it has been trained to do

Winter 2009/2010

To request an application or for more information, call or e-mail: Voice: (410) 880-4178, MD Relay: (800) 201-7165 E-mail:

Fidos Speaks

Page 7

P.O. Box 5508 Laurel, MD 20726


An Assistance Dog and Therapy Dog Training Organization The mission of Fidos For Freedom, Inc. is to increase the quality of life of people living in the BaltimoreWashington Metropolitan Community through the use of specially trained Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs.


Fidos is an Assistance Dogs International Accredited Facility

Maryland State employees in the Maryland Charity Campaign (MCC) Maryland Charity Campaign: MCC # 2605 United Way Write-in: “Fidos For Freedom, Inc.�

Photo by Andrea Barrett







Fidos For Freedom, Inc., is proud to be an accredited voting member of Assistance Dogs International. Please remember to designate Fidos For Freedom, Inc., in your workplace giving campaign. NCE Federal workers in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) TA D IS Combined Federal Campaign: CFC # 41908 O


If the symbols ## appear on your mailing label, this is your last issue. Please contact Fidos to continue this service.

Fidos Speaks Vol. 18 No. 1 Winter 2009/2010  

An information exchange serving clients, supporters and volunteers of Fidos For Freedom, Inc.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you