Helping people with disabilities to better experience the world through partnership with a service dog .
INSIDE: Puppies! page 3
echoes of ekko page 6
angel tree page 7
Cabell’s Column Is it Time?
I see a lot of puppies in my line of work – it is one of the great perks of the job. I like to pick them up, inhale their puppy smell, and kiss them on the top of their heads. But then I look them in the eyes, one puppy after another, searching their depths vainly for a sign of Bella’s warm, sassy spark. I know that means I am not ready. Even I know it is not right to burden a puppy with the ghost of another dog. I am very grateful for our rescue dog, Huck. Bella helped raise him. He is, of course, his own dog with his own character and place in the household, and he brings his own brand of joy to my life. He has helped. I think I’ve stopped looking for Bella in other dogs’ eyes. Lately, I have started to wonder if it is time for another puppy. I am still not sure. Writing this is making me teary-eyed again, which is probably a bad sign. I do know this: when the time is right, I will open my heart to another little puppy. I will do it knowing full well that my heart will break again. I will do it anyway, because it is worth the heartache to be friends with a good dog. by Cabell Youell Executive Director
I t’s been over a year and a half since Bella, the first Saint Francis Staff Dog, died. We were together from the moment I held her as an eight- week-old puppy just entering the Saint Francis Puppy Program until I cradled her as the life drained from her 11-year old cancer-riddled body. She went with me everywhere. I discovered in the weeks and months after she died how much I relied on the comforting weight of her bright brown eyes watching me. I found out how often during the day I dropped my hand absentmindedly to find her soft fur beneath my palm. I realized that I slept in a particular position at night so she could settle into her favorite spot on the bed - and that she was the reason my feet were warm for over a decade.
T hey are round and soft with liquid eyes and that distinctive warm puppy smell. They are somehow wiggly, cuddly and funny all at once. They burst into the Saint Francis building with puppy joy and frolic straight into our hearts. They are the Puppies. We cannot do what we do without puppies. Where do these furry balls of sweetness come from? They come from many places, some of them surprising. Our first source of puppies is breeders . Although we mostly have retrievers in our program, we have had success with a variety of breeds including Shelties, German Shorthaired Pointers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Standard Poodles and others as well as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. One of the most recent additions to our program is an Irish Water Spaniel. The breeders that work with us are a very special group of individuals. They strive to produce the best puppies by doing extensive research and planning long before a breeding takes place. The dogs in their breeding pools are screened for genetic disorders and have the health clearances recommended for their particular breed. The breeders seek to produce dogs that have good temperaments, are structurally sound, and will be solid, happy working dogs. They are a dedicated group of people
that not only care for the welfare and preservation of their chosen breed but also support the mission of Saint Francis. Once born, the puppies will be weighed and identified. Their weights will be monitored and recorded daily. As the puppies grow, the breeder will start to introduce the puppies to the world of humans. Puppies are handled regularly, given structured games, and introduced to many things and people so that they are prepared for their new lives. They will visit their veterinarian for a check-up and vaccinations before leaving for their new homes. Many breeders will go through this intensive, expensive process and then donate a puppy to Saint Francis. It is a generous act – both financially and emotionally – to entrust a beloved puppy to our program. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. As we further the work the mother and breeder began, we stay in touch with our breeders, updating them on the puppy’s progress. Our next source is the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Breeding Cooperative . This is a surprising discovery for many people because it is a unique system. ADI Accredited programs like Saint Francis may join a network of other accredited assistance dog programs across the United States and Canada to share breeding stock.
Dogs are evaluated and tested for physical and behavioral fitness. Temperament tests, health evaluations, and genetics are consulted when breeding decisions are made. A service dog at a Pennsylvania program may be bred with a guide dog from a school in Florida. The resulting litter may be whelped with a service dog program in Kansas. The puppies are distributed to member organizations according to a complicated algorithm that takes into account the program’s participation in the creation of the litter as well as other factors. The advantage of the Cooperative is that the dogs are bred from assistance dog stock and are evaluated using a common language and system of testing across all the participating programs. It also ensures diversity in a program’s incoming puppy class, since it is possible to receive puppies from different parents that are similar in age. Our third source of dogs is shelters and rescue organizations. While we would love to flood our program with puppies in need of homes, it takes a special dog to be a service dog. We screen puppies from rescues and shelters to see whether they have developed fears that will
haunt them or health issues that will trouble them in adulthood. Those dogs are not prepared for the work of a service dog and asking to them to serve in that role would be unfair and unkind. Another non-profit organization - Diamonds in the Rough www.diamondsintheruffvirginia. org - combs shelters and rescues to look for dogs that may fit the bill and enjoy the life of a service dog. When they find one, we add them happily to the ranks and they are often the kindest and funniest of them all. Wherever our puppies come from, they are the heart and soul of Saint Francis. Full of equal parts promise and mischief, they are the building blocks of all that we do. Without the generosity of breeders, the community of the ABC Breeding Cooperative, and the organizations scouting for dogs in shelters, we would be unable to do our job of changing the lives of people with disabilities. These little puppies have big shoes to fill. And we treasure every single one of them.
Paws and PossAbilities
Thank You We appreciate the support from our Paws and PossAbilities sponsors! Presented by:
A T T H E W I L L I A M S B U R G W I N E R Y
AES Consulting Engineers
Select Medical in partnership with Riverside Rehabilitation Institute Towne Bank The Hourigan Group Spain Commercial TLC Team, LLC The Jacobs Group Friends of Saint Francis
An Evening of Friendly Competition, Delicious Food, & Libations
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Tidewater Tails Echoes of Ekko
O n September 21st the Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital in Newport News held a memorial ceremony to dedicate a small rock garden in Ekko’s memory. Ekko was their Saint Francis Facility Dog that passed away unexpectedly this fall. Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital sits directly on the water overlooking the bay; the garden next to the hospital is a lovely green space often used by patients and staff. Wendy Bunting, the Director of Rehabilitation, gathered a small crowd to offer a few stories about Ekko: she spoke of Ekko as a family member, as well as a “colleague”. Her children were there, and recalled their favorite Ekko stories. (They were only 4 and 6 when Ekko joined their family!) Several therapists told stories of working with Ekko, and what they witnessed first-hand about the human- animal bond. Their knowledge of animal-assisted therapy was greatly enhanced by their experience with Ekko. They saw miracles happen
that they directly attributed to Ekko. Wendy also reported that, by her calculations, Ekko assisted more than 4,000 patients in her work! The most touching part for me was when a gentleman in a wheelchair who has had multiple stays at Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital spoke. He choked back tears as he expressed clearly and passionately the difference Ekko made in his recoveries. She pushed him to do things he did not want to do, and she brightened his days greatly. He then turned to me and asked me to directly thank each and every person involved in Ekko’s training. It was a sweet and gentle ceremony to say good bye to a co-worker, miracle worker, friend, and family member. A dog remembered for her huge heart and impish personality. From everyone at Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital: Thank you for all do to help make life-changing dogs like Ekko a reality for so many.
by Carol Downey Saint Francis Board Member and Advisory Council Chairperson
Angel Tree SAINT FRANCIS SERVICE DOGS’
Angel Tree You can make holiday wishes come true by donating
toys and treats to puppies and dogs in training.
November 16th - December 31st! The Saint Francis Angel Tree is located at Tanglewood Mall at the entrance by A.C. Moore and Five Guys. You can also find more information on how to participate in the Angel Tree on the Saint Francis Facebook page.
You can also find out what our puppies are wishing for at the Saint Francis Service Dogs Wish List on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/36JC8CLW19XK2 Saint Francis may redistribute gifts to ensure that all dogs and puppies in the program enjoy treats and toys during the Holiday
Memorials May - September, 2018
Annie Fran Young Aurora Deborah Duerk Lee P. Baker John and Matilda Bradshaw Baron Sandi Adkins Stephen Robert Bogusky III John and Matilda Bradshaw Bonnie, Joshie Bear, and Diane Heim Mike Boozer Earlene Davis Anne Burton Cindy Danieley Cassie Matilda Bradshaw and Athena the Cat
Freddy Denise and Warren Carey Gabe Linda Ives Gracie Jo Ann Lampros Betty Grandusky Lyle and Libby Anderson Harmon Alice Dugger Gordon F. Heim Diane Heim Jack Gary and Jennifer Koogler Jackie and Jack Charlotte Bennett Jacky and Emma Humes and Barbara Franklin Jazmine, Corey, and Diamond Jan Barnett Frances Kemper Jim and Erma Miller Lacey and Hudson Shannon Shaffer-Kartesz Amy Lauth Lucy Burke Mr. Joseph O. Logan III John and Matilda Bradshaw Belle Lovell Linda McGuire Mac Sally and Sam Craver Max Carlis and Sharon Carroll Mille Margaret Lemon Molly Sandy Light
Molly Doctors and Staff of Roanoke Animal Hospital
Lance Moore Kathryn Figg Niles Jeff Puckett
Optimist Prime Ray and Nancy Cunningham Ginny Pace Kendall and Tom Ruscher Grace Patricia Parks Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO at Virginia Tech Penny Jan and Robyn Barnett Ruth Bard Petkofsky Sherry and Richard Chriss Pax Jim and Jean Maas Quigley and Hank Kathy Morck Patty Revels and Zeus Anonymous Rebecca Lee Richards Margaret Holland Gary Reynolds Jan and Robyn Wright Riley
friends at RAC Steven Chante Doris Day
Whit and Kathleen Coxe Kathleen Coxe Koomen Anita Cronin Bill Nash and Lisa Faist Daisy Denise and Warren Carey
Jeff and Katie Highfill Rusty, Chelsie, and Pepper Clifford Murray Frank Sheddler Nicole Laroche Simon and Gatsby Niki Voudren Michael Stanley Dr. Courtney Wiegard
Claudia Dembinski Mr. and Mrs. Colyn Howard
Mike and Jenny Dennis Phil and Betsy Dennis Duke Robin Anderson Eddie and Midas Mark and Kathy Baske Young
Memorials May - September, 2018
Stir Fry Earlene Davis Stitch Susan Humphries Suki Joanne Hawley L.E. and Pat Sweeney Kendall and Tom Ruscher The Hardworking Staff/Volunteers/ Trainers/Raisers Carol and Greg Waters Toby Kemp and Kathy Savage David Tyree Dr. Courtney Wiegard Donald Wilson Walker Eileen Lam Nala, Sierra, Dudley, Tiger, Amelia, Bailey, and Tubby Dr. Shelby Costello Etta, Kira, Lucky, Tracy, Cody, Carly, Bailey, Isabella, Molly, Diana, Dauphin, Bailey, General Mack, Torq, Ebony, Abba, Stinka, Rosie, Durga, Rusty, Mutt, Precious, Jack, Jake, Honey, Lucy, Gracie, Sam, Apollo, Lily, Juju, Mindi, Haley, Nova, Cheech, Libby Lu, Polly, Bert, and Cricket Dr. Lara Hertweck Molly, Drake, Chocka, Buddy, Hoss, Rosie, Molly, Annie, Charlie, Socks, Happy, Suzie, Blackie, O’Kee, Suki, Sadie, Millie, and Prissy Dr. Derek O’Dell George Terry Jo Ann Terry
Lucy, Dewey, Ringo, Eddie, Chevy, Jewels, Bailey, Toby, Muffin, Chloe, Wilhelmina, O’Kee, Daisy, Amelia, Emmitt, JR, Mollye, Taz, Mouse, Brodie, Millie, Sergei, Becky, Gracie, Max, Merlin, Baxter, Sasha, Heidi, Ellie, Mia, Kirby, Shadow, Nicky, Sammie, Izzy, Sally, Sadie, Basil, Petie, Loki, Mindi, and Dante Dr. Courtney Wiegard Charlie Karin Banks Joann Bedsaul Jennifer Crozier Mary Dunker Karen McLaurin Tammy Miller Carol Reedy Stephanie Williams Jim Dawson Benny and Cathy Brann Geneva Dawson Bill and Judy Eldred Helen Haynie Drake Tom and Mimi Butler Emily Keyser Willy Feazelle Allstate Insurance Co./ ABO/ATSC Dana Decker Rob Essington Stephanie Graham
Garland and Angie Frye Robert and Anna Frye Roxie Goodwin Erik Brady
Emily Paine Carter Caroline Velasquez Bear Lee Barbara Dickinson
The Doctors and Staff of Roanoke Animal Hospital Deborah Duerk Niki Voudren Sally and David Worland Opal Reed Don and Becky Darnell Gary Dulaney Marlene Dulaney
Barbara Reed Rhonda Reed Jo Ann Terry Rex Deborah Duerk Niki Voudren Sampson Earlene Davis Kris Sorensen Mrs. Shama Singh Ray and Nancy Cunningham Niki Voudren Brenda Sullivan
Dr. and Mrs. William Kagey Michael and Joan Kellett Lake City HS Class of 1964 Spirit White Sue Abercrombie Dr. and Mrs. Max Glass Thomas and Elizabeth Leggett Carol Majors Lester and Elizabeth Payne Jane Bray White Daisy Young Barbara Freund Richard and Pat Knopka John Scott McAllister Kathy Morck Vicki and Clarence Rout
Dena Greenway Lawanda Harvey Jorge Hernandez Tony Joyce Michele Nikkel Melissa Rodocker Roxanne Roeben Karen Vest Niki Voudren Cody Frye
Donna Akers Lisa Barnette
Honorariums May - September, 2018
Koda Jessica Stein Whitney and Rob Maddox Niki Voudren Clay and Michael Morrissett Evelyn Turner Alyssa, Elli, and William Otto John and Helgard Legg Simon and Rascal Barbara Honeycutt Walker and Katie and Ryan Read Ken and Barb Long Elfleda Ring The Trust Company of Virginia Nancy Sisler Rosemary Larsen Donna and William Spencer Tracey Haeseker
Aspen Grove Bed and Breakfast Charlotte McNulty Kagey Jordi Berroteran The Tatum Family Caroway’s Jordan Diane Heim Cave Spring Veterinary Clinic Charlotte McNulty Kagey Sarah Connor Bill and Else Knott Courtney
Bobbie Jean Kaylor Mrs. Agnes Cowan Alice Dugger Sally and Sam Craver Pat and David Nash Carol Downey The Clock Family Jim and Linda Eaton
Nan Strader Niki Voudren
Donna Akers John Ellmore Helen and Basil Owens Jean Goad Pete Mr. and Mrs. Bob Herskovitz Karen Wendorf Honeycomb Carroll LaHaye Michelle Karim Helen Carty Angelika Kayte Mary Frances Donnelly Scott Kitts and Wes McCune Suzette Turner Connie Kniseley Ryan Read
Cindy Vickers and Sandy Dr. and Mrs. Edward White Jane White Sue Abercrombie Karen and Tom Whitt Dorothy Dodson Dr. Courtney Wiegard Kimber Pennington Clay Morrissett Wade and Jane Frazier Margaret Lemon Cecily and Bill Orlando Bill and Mary Ellen Stokes Sarah Rubush and Cairo Tom and Mimi Butler Jean Davis Emily Keyser
A special thank you to the Giving Back Society for their generous support of Saint Francis Service Dogs.
Thank you to the Roanoke Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta for their generous support through the Annual Doggy Fashion Show to benefit Saint Francis Service Dogs.
SAINT FRANCIS SERVICE DOGS WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR MONTHLY DONORS FOR THEIR GENEROSITY: Chris Brown Mr. William Corey and Ms. Kathy Umbdenstock Lee Cox Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Crist Carole Edwards and Jacqueline Werb Mr. and Mrs. David Fretwell Cathie Havrilesky Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hornick Jane Kuznicki Janet Mills
Mr. and Mrs. David Nickell Mr. and Mrs. Demetrio Perez Cindy Roberts Mr. and Mrs. David Safewright Mr. and Mrs. James Sexton Robin Spicer Mr. and Mrs. Barry Vann
U.S. Postage PAID
P.O. Box 19538
8232 Enon Drive
Roanoke, VA 24019 (540) 342-3647
Saint Francis ServiceDogs Nobody’s going to tell me that my do g doesn’t love me. That’s crazy talk.
Saint Francis Service Dogs is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that raises and trains service dogs for children and adults with disabilities. An envelope is enclosed for your convenience if you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support the mission of Saint Francis Service Dogs.
A financial statement is available upon written request from the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs.