FidelcoNews Spring 2020

Photo of some staff members in front of a Fidelco tent

A supporting role in changing lives.

On any day of the week at Fidelco, dedicated “behind the scenes” staff members can be found deeply invested in the business of changing lives. The culture of Fidelco is for staff to fully participate in all we do. Walk down the hall at either one of Fidelco’s campuses—in Bloomfield or in Wilton— and pass…

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Photo of Volunteer Linda Gilley and Ocean

Volunteering to make a difference.

Volunteers are critical to the success of nonprofit organizations, and particularly to organizations like ours that rely on volunteers to fulfill our mission. Fidelco is fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers who support nearly every aspect of our work. Whether providing administrative or event support, or raising and socializing future guide dogs, Fidelco simply could…

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Photo of Linda W. and Kora

A remarkable and wonderful journey: Client letter to Fidelco.

Dear Fidelco Family, My journey over the last 55 years has been both remarkable and wonderful. It started in 1965 when I received my first guide dog. In 1983, when I was ready to get my third dog, a friend told me about Fidelco. I knew I wanted another German Shepherd which could not be…

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Map showing Fidelco Guide Dog placements

Covering a lot of ground together.

Since 1960, more than 1,500 Fidelco guide dog teams have journeyed through life together. Our clients often tell us how profoundly their guide dogs have impacted their lives. But the mark they leave on all they encounter is equally powerful. We are privileged to witness their triumphs and challenges. Many of our clients return for…

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Fidelco black and tan dog head tilt

Home away from home.

Fidelco’s kennel, affectionately known as “Hotel Fidelco,” is a warm and welcoming place for dogs-intraining. Fidelco puppies, raised in the loving homes of volunteer Puppy Raisers, return to Fidelco twice— at 6 months and again at 12 months—before coming back for formal training. This gradual kennel transition makes it much easier for our dogs to…

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Vintage images of Fidelco Guide Dogs

Fidelco: Always moving forward.

1960s In the 1960s, the Kamans were breeding German Shepherds in their home kennel, placing them with Puppy Raisers, and then donating them to other guide dog schools for training. At that time, “force-based” methods (known as traditional methods) were the most common way for trainers to encourage dogs to perform. Very little, if any,…

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Puppy Raising 101

WHO Anyone can apply to become a Volunteer Puppy Raiser. Applicants complete an online application, agree to a background check, attend our “Insights” orientation class, and receive a home visit by a member of our puppy raising staff. WHAT Give a puppy a loving home. While raising a pup, you and the pup attend Saturday…

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VetMed Team examining Fidelco dog

Caring is our calling.

The day begins early for Fidelco’s Vet-Med staff, and remains fast-paced throughout, while the three-member team performs medical procedures that keep our dogs healthy. This cohesive, committed team provides the highest quality of patient care every day. A member of Fidelco’s development department had the opportunity to “shadow” the team during a typical day. The…

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Dame Feeding Pups

Where the journey begins.

When asked about the new line of German Shepherd dogs that would become Fidelco’s breed stock, Robbie Kaman said: “There was an unmistakable, intangible character to these dogs from herding lines. Their dedication to the job, and willingness to work with and for their handler were their high points.” These traits that Robbie identified more…

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Brad S and Gizzy with American Flag Backdrop

Brad S.

Lt. Brad S. was blinded while serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer with a Naval SEAL Team in Afghanistan. After he lost his vision, Brad shares, “I was hungry for the opportunity to prove this idea that I’m not a victim. I wanted to show I’m not suffering, I’m adapting. I’m struggling a…

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