I had a 20-year United States Air Force career as an airborne linguist and program manager that culminated as an advisor and mentor at the Air Force Academy where I retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. I went on to a second five-year career as an Oracle database professional concentrating in the performance tuning area.
Starting in 2003, I devoted my life to the assistance dog community, with an emphasis on serving military veterans, especially wounded warriors, to include being a past member of the Veterans Task Force, volunteer, and puppy raiser at a major service dog organization. I wrote and did a podcast about assistance dogs on this site for nine years from March 2009 until April 2018.
While service dogs will always be a huge part of my life, honestly, my heart’s just not in it anymore. There are very valid and specific reasons for that, and I’ve addressed those concerns here many times. But I’m really tired of talking about why I’ve become so disillusioned, and think it’s best to just let things go. With that and moving forward in mind, I archived all of the blog and podcast content here in May 2018.
The assistance dog community needs to completely reassess its overall direction and how it does business. 92% of the 41 million people in the US with a disability are over 18 and have physical disabilities according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. On top of that, a new National MS Society study says the number of adults with MS is double what they’d thought – 900,000 versus 400,000. And yet by all appearances the service dog world is going in a different direction.
Just placing more dogs, and raising and spending millions more dollars to do it, is not enough. There’s got to be a more efficient use of finite resources and a much better match between those resources and the need we’re serving. And we’re not gonna get there the way we’re headed now.
As I’ve always said, support what you will – that’s your call. Just be sure you’re very clear on what it is you’re actually supporting.
I recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management with Emphasis in Fundraising and Philanthropy from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and am interested in finding the right place to use all that knowledge and have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
What’s most important to me is building integrity and leadership, and that has to be the core focus of anything I do.
We relocated to Central Texas from Colorado five years ago and live near the geographic center of the state at the intersection of three major US highways with quick and direct access to the vast majority of the population of Texas and the rest of the US as well.