Dogs for the Deaf CEO Blake Matray, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1990, with hearing dog Abby.

Dogs for the Deaf CEO Blake Matray with hearing dog Abby.

This Week’s Subjects

● Outstanding new Marcie Davis podcast interview with Dogs for the Deaf CEO Blake Matray, something I’d like to see from all the service dog organization CEOs and a lot more often – you could use this one as the model.

Blake is a United States Air Force Academy Class of 1990 graduate, and he represents Dogs for the Deaf, the assistance dog community, Assistance Dogs International accredited organizations, the Academy, and the Air Force very well.

Lots of great stuff there, and just as important, what isn’t there. I contrast Blake’s great interview with another service dog organization CEO’s recent statement that theirs is the largest organization in the United States when it isn’t. Honor, trust, integrity, reputation are all we have, and we don’t ever want to lose that.

● Assistance Dogs International announcement about post-traumatic stress service dog trainer standards. Great to see, and long overdue. I talk about the need to instill a greater sense of urgency in the assistance dog community and significantly improve our responsiveness.

● PAWS Act followup. WUSA news story about the VA Mental Health Mobility Service Dog Benefit Pilot program I mentioned previously and said that we’d never heard how many of the 100 slots had been filled. This story is the first time I’ve seen those numbers mentioned: 11 veterans approved, 57 applications under review.

Lots more about all those subjects in my latest podcast.