Man’s Best Friends And Best Helpers

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - By Jim Kennedy, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Hawai‘i Fi-Do Ser­vice Dogs

Hawai‘i Fi-Do Ser­vice Dogs raises, trains and pro­vides — at no cost — qual­ity, le­git­i­mate ser­vice dogs for peo­ple here in Hawai‘i with dis­abil­i­ties other than blind­ness.

Our typ­i­cal client has se­ri­ous back, mus­cle con­trol and/or bal­ance is­sues, and our dogs are taught to help them in so many ways. Our dogs pro­vide them with a and in­de­pen­dence.

Since our be­gin­ning in ex­panded to meet more of the grow­ing de­mand for our dogs. To­day, we try to av­er­age about 15 dogs in train­ing at any point in time, and Fi-Do has a goal to grad­u­ate be­tween six and eight dogs a year. We are proud that about half of our dogs are go­ing to vet­er­ans.

It usu­ally takes at least two years to train one of our dogs. They are also so­cial­ized along the way to get them ready for just about any kind of pub­lic en­vi­ron­ment sit­u­a­tion they may en­counter in the fu­ture.

The l ast six months of train­ing are then fo­cused on teach­ing the dogs to per­form very spe­cific tasks that will pro­vide mean­ing­ful as­sis- tance to their fu­ture part­ners.

To ac­com­plish all of this, Fi-Do is very for­tu­nate to puppy-rais­ers, and four train­ers who work with them, to get our dogs just per­fect. We have worked very hard to earn and main­tain ac­cred­i­ta­tion by As­sis­tance Dogs In­ter­na­tional, the only O‘ahu-based ser­vice dog or­ga­ni­za­tion to do so.

A very im­por­tant fac­tor in our abil­ity to grow is the gen­er­ous sup­port we re­ceive from our com­mu­nity. In­di­vid­ual and busi­ness con­tri­bu­tions are crit­i­cal, as is grant fund­ing. Our big an­nual Din­ing With Dogs fundrais­ing din­ner and auc­tion also helps con- trib­ute to our over­all mon­e­tary needs.

This year’s Din­ing With Dogs will be on Fri­day, Oct. 22, at Honolulu Coun­try Club. We have some very ex­cit­ing auc­tion items, but would wel­come a few more nice things. (Auc­tion item donors will be listed in the pro­gram.)

If you would like to at­tend, do­nate auc­tion items, or learn more about be­com­ing a vol­un­teer puppy raiser, please

Our dogs lit­er­ally change the lives of their part­ners! We hope to see many of you Oct. our sup­port­ers! Hawaii char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions may send re­quests for space in ei­ther Proof Pos­i­tive or the free ad­ver­tise­ment be­low to bmoss­man@mid­

Hawai‘i Fi-Do Ser­vice Dogs helps those with dis­abil­i­ties other than blind­ness. To fund its mis­sion, the non­profit presents Din­ing With Dogs Oct. 22 at Honolulu Coun­try Club.

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