Puppy Raiser Information Session Coming Soon!
(watch our website & FaceBook page for more details March- April)
Ace's Birthday Wish List
Friends & Family Open House
January 11th 2019
It’s been an exciting time here at DogsInVests these past couple of months. We added a new member to our puppies in training. Cleo joined the DogsInVests family in early December. She is featured in the picture above. Cleo is an adorable female black Labrador Retriever born August 31, 2019. She is very enthusiastic and has a sweet temperament. My favorite thing about Cleo is the way she stares into your eyes when you talk to her. She was placed with puppy raisers Jim and Barb F. She is enjoying her new home and big sister Abbey, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever. Cleo has recently started her puppy classes, the first step in her service dog training. She also visits DogsInVests weekly for training sessions with our trainer Patti. We are all encouraged by Cleo’s early progress.
Ace passed his Canine Good Citizen Class in November. He now is ready for full public access and is in his final steps of training as a service dog. Ace has been perfecting his scent training for blood sugar levels as he will be placed with a client with autism and diabetes. We are extremely proud of Ace’s progress. I can hardly believe Ace has been with us for over a year now and will soon be placed in his important role as a service dog.
Buddy continues to progress well in his training also. Buddy is almost seven months old now and awes us all the time with his trainability and great disposition. It’s always a joy to see him when he makes his weekly training visits to DogsInVests’ facility. Buddy is currently in his first set of Canine Good Citizen classes and is doing great.
On a brief, sad note we lost our 14-year-old Labrador Retriever Homer shortly before Christmas this year. Our love for Homer was a great inspiration for starting DogsInVests and he will continue to live on in our organization’s artwork and logo for many years to come and in our hearts forever. Thanks Homer.
Finally, our year-end campaign for our Puppy Fund did extremely well. Your generosity helped raise over $3600 in just a few weeks. Thank you so much for thinking our organization with your year-end giving. It is greatly appreciated. We have been informed that there is a new litter of puppies available in February for adoption. DogsInVests will be able to purchase two dogs from the litter. We are currently looking for puppy raisers for our new additions. Please see the website for more details and contact us if you are interested in applying.
Looking forward to the challenge and opportunities 2020 will bring. Thank you for your continued support and please share our website and Facebook information with your family and friends this year. Raising awareness about our organization is the key to its success.
Thanks, Michelle Holt
Dog Days of Summer
It’s been a busy summer for DogsInVests. We did an awareness and fundraising campaign to celebrate Ace’s first birthday on May 19th. We raised over $1000 and were able to increase our Facebook followers. Ace was able to try out swimming for the first time earlier this summer. We have found Ace enjoys wading in and monitoring the shoreline for fish. Ace has become a dedicated fisherman and enjoys kayak and boat rides. He is comfortable around the water but prefers fishing to swimming. We have also acclimated him to fireworks, which he enjoyed watching out the window from the safety of the cabin. Smart dog.
DogsInVests has attended a few events recently. This summer DogsInVests helped sponsor the Healthy Community Network of Palmyra first 5K Run and Walk. We enjoyed walking Ace on the course through the community while raising money for a great cause. In early August we attended the Wisconsin State Fair as the featured canine group of the day on August 4th. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness for our organization. We were able to sign up almost 100 people for our newsletter. Ace spent the day meeting and greeting all of the great people attending The Fair. Paul, Ace and our trainer Patti also did two demonstrations during the day. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth. In mid-August we had our next opportunity for our organization with another booth at the Palmyra Car, Truck and Bike show on August 17th. We were grateful to be able to share information about the work we do at DogsInVests at another wonderful community event.
Finally, as the last days of summer pass we are getting ready to look at another puppy in early September to see if he is up to the task of becoming DogsInVests’ second service dog in training. We have some great candidates for puppy raisers but could always use more so please check out our website for more information on how you can help. Please continue to share information about DogsInVests with your family and friends. Visit our website and Facebook page frequently for updates.
Thank you for your support.
Springing Through the Revolving Door
We mark a big milestone at DogsInVests, Inc. with Ace’s first birthday on May 19th. It has been exciting to watch Ace’s development these past six months from puppy to dog. He has been working hard with his training and we continue to expose him to various elements in society that he will have to contend with as a service dog. The most challenging in Ace’s mind so far, the dreaded revolving door. Ace decided to approach this nemesis by taking his body as low to the ground as possible. After some initial apprehension and coaxing he was able to complete the task, albeit very low to the ground. He was quite proud of his accomplishment as were a couple of bystanders. We’ve also exposed him to elevators and escalators. He gains new confidence with each completed task.
Ace is being trained to be paired with a child with autism and Downs Syndrome. Ace and his child have been introduced to begin the bonding process and training. Ace’s child is mainly nonverbal but it was great to see how quickly he learned and began calling Ace’s name to get his attention. We are teaching Ace hand signals to facilitate the communication between the two of them. The child’s face lights up when he is able to complete a task with Ace and gives him a sense of pride and accomplishment. We are also working with the family on training techniques and determining various behaviors that will be helpful for Ace to learn. His biggest role will be to keep his child safe and calm. He will also be there to provide companionship, teach responsibility and empathy and instill confidence in his child. Having a reliable friend and companion also helps a child with autism with social interaction and communication. We all look forward to helping this new bond grow and offering a life changing addition to the family.
We continue our efforts to raise awareness about our organization and the impact it has on a child’s life. I encourage you to like and follow us on Facebook and visit our website for the most current information. Please check out the Shop section of our website for some great items for your furry friends.
Thanks for your support
A Time Of Many Firsts
A lot has happened at DogsInVests since our last newsletter. After a bit of a search, with the help of our trainer Patti, I am happy to announce that we have selected and started training with our first service dog candidate. As we are naming the dogs alphabetically, I am happy to introduce Ace. We adopted Ace in November at the age of six months. Ace is a handsome, energetic, intelligent Labrador Retriever. After some initial testing at the breeder Patti determined Ace had the desirable characteristics, we were looking for in our first trainee. Paul has taken on the training of Ace. He is responsible for his initial socialization and obedience. I’m happy to report that Ace has passed his first series of training classes, the Adult Beginner Class and is ready to move on to the next step. Ace received his training vest a couple weeks ago and so his training will now be taking him out in public a bit more. We’re all looking forward to Ace’s progress. We also have our first patient application and are working with local Autism professionals to assure that Ace is the best fit for this patient. We have some specific training goals to accomplish over the next few months and are looking forward to the challenge and potential results. Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates on Ace’s progress and other doggie developments.
In January we held our first event at our facility in Palmyra. It was a Family and Friends Open House. We were very pleased with the attendance at the event as it was a cold January evening and our location is a bit remote. We had nearly one hundred attendees. It was a wonderful evening and a great opportunity for us to introduce DogsInVests to our family, friends, business associates and members of the community. We received a very positive response from all the attendees. The evening featured food, a raffle and an opportunity to meet Ace. We are so grateful to all who attended to make our first event such a great success.
Please consider helping DogsInvests by spreading the word about our organization by sharing our website and Facebook information. Consider becoming a volunteer or puppy raiser and of course your donations are greatly appreciated. Enjoy the rest of this winter season and stay warm.
A New Adventure
Welcome to the DogsInVests website and our first newsletter. After the sale of a business and facing an empty nest, my husband Paul and I were obviously asking the question, “What’s next?’ Looking back over our journey and the good fortune we have had over our lifetime we concluded that it was time to give something back. So, taking both our business backgrounds and our great attachment and affinity for our 13-year-old Labrador Retriever Homer we decided to start a non-profit organization to train and place service dogs with deserving individuals. Homer by the way is the inspiration for most of the artwork you see on our website, thanks to our daughter Katherine’s creativity. After consulting with our legal and financial advisors, all of whom were very encouraging, we decided to proceed. We purchased a beautiful 12-acre property just outside Palmyra Wisconsin adjacent to the Kettle Moraine Forest and starting planning our facility. In May 2018 we broke ground and Morton Buildings got to work building our 5000 square foot facility. We moved in July 2018 and welcomed our first employee. Megan is a trusted former employee from our business with a fantastic professional background. She serves as our Administrative Director and we are so fortunate to have her with us on this journey. Additionally, this past summer we also added our fourth Board Member Barb F. Barb is a longtime friend and neighbor. Barb has a background in Occupational Therapy and more importantly a great insight on autism. Barb has a 25-year-old son with autism. As Paul and I had originally focused on providing service dogs to individuals with autism, we thought of Barb early on as a potential Board Member. Barb agreed and has joined us as Director of Patient Services. We are truly blessed to have Barb’s knowledge and personal experience to reference as we begin the process of finding the right dog to serve someone’s needs. Barb has also been a great resource for contacts within the Autism community. Most recently, we have added a fifth member to our Board of Directors. Barb S. is a veterinarian and will be filling the role Director of Animal Health and Welfare. Barb is an extremely busy professional with a booming vet practice and we could not be more grateful she accepted our offer. It is wonderful to have someone with her extensive knowledge to assist us in assuring the best scenario for our service dogs. Finally, another exciting addition to the team is Dog Training Specialist Patti. Patti is a certified and highly respected local trainer. Patti will be assisting us in implementing our training programs. We will have a variety of programs including puppy raisers, socialization, obedience and advanced specialized training. Patti has been so enthusiastic and helpful and brings a great wealth of knowledge and experience I know will make a difference with the dogs and eventual owners. Paul has taken on the position of Executive Director. He created an outstanding business plan and is currently looking for DogsInVests first puppy. I’m kind of jealous. I have been tasked with the role of Director of Development so I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t ask for your support. We are currently looking for volunteers in various capacities and of course donations. Please like and share us on Facebook and visit our webpage frequently for updates and upcoming events and fundraisers. It is very much appreciated. Well, I have to say I’m relieved to have completed my first newsletter it was stressing me out a bit but I’m going to go hug my dog now so it’s all good.