Spring 2020

Photo of Volunteer Linda Gilley and Ocean

Volunteering to make a difference.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Photo of Linda W. and Kora

A remarkable and wonderful journey: Client letter to Fidelco.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Map showing Fidelco Guide Dog placements

Covering a lot of ground together.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Fidelco black and tan dog head tilt

Home away from home.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Vintage images of Fidelco Guide Dogs

Fidelco: Always moving forward.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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,…

Puppy Raising 101

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

VetMed Team examining Fidelco dog

Caring is our calling.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Dame Feeding Pups

Where the journey begins.

By Keri Stevens | May 22, 2020

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…

Brad S and Gizzy with American Flag Backdrop

Brad S.

By Scott Clouser | May 20, 2020

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…