It’s been a while since I’ve said anything here – there are reasons for that, and I talk about some of those this time around:
● New directions for me. I’m at a crossroads again, looking for something new where I can have a significant positive impact, and that could be in the assistance dog world or somewhere else entirely. I explain why that is, starting with my being fully engaged in the outstanding graduate-level Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.
● Support what you will, but know what you support, and be sure that you’re supporting what you think you’re supporting. Especially when it comes to veterans – not unique to that area, but that’s one that I and others have a lotta sensitivity about, and with good reason. I’ve always said that I don’t expect you to agree with me and it’s not my place to tell you what to support, but you do need to be very clear about just what it is you do support. And that’s gonna take some work on your part – there’s no shortcut.
● Along those same lines, why I can still easily recommend Canine Companions for Independence to someone looking for an assistance dog, but I stopped actively supporting or volunteering with the organization. It’s a combination of major changes at CCI I don’t agree with, the need for them to be more forthcoming and transparent about those changes and in general, and a renewed focus in the traditional assistance dog area on my part.
● The one service dog organization I’m aware of that has publicly stated that it’s reduced its cost per dog, from $40,000+ two years ago to $27,000 this year. All organizations should make that cost number easy to find (they don’t) and, ideally, tell us how they’re reducing that cost or why they can’t.
“1 in 3 Americans Lacks Faith in Charities, Chronicle Poll Finds” Suzanne Perry, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, October 5, 2015 https://www.philanthropy.com/article/1-in-3-Americans-Lacks-Faith/233613
“New PTSD Service and Emotional Support Dog Study Underway” http://www.cci.org/site/apps/
Rory Diamond, K9s for Warriors, Congressional Testimony https://www.c-span.org/video/?408155-1/hearing-service-dogs-veterans-ptsd_blank&start=2865
Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management http://bush.tamu.edu/certificate/cnpm/overview/