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Open Doors - Winter 2011

Message from the Director

Hello everyone,

Welcome to a new year and a long awaited newsletter.

I am writing this today filled with hope and promise for the future. Traditionally each new year we all set new priorities, make promises for positive change, and resolve to become better. Today I want to tell you about the future of SSD and how you can help us to become what we need to be to sustain and improve.

SSD is many facets that come together to place amazing dogs who become part of wonderful partnerships that give greater independence. To do this SSD needs great dogs, caring, creative and well trained staff, extraordinary volunteers and money to facilitate it all.

Puppy looks at camera

Our goals for this next year are:

  • Increase the number of dogs in our breeding program by bringing in potential pups from ADI programs and qualified kennels
  • Increase the number of pups in our puppy raising program.
  • Add an apprenticeship program which will ensure that SSD has individuals with the needed knowledge to work and contribute to SSD
  • Add an additional staff person
  • Recruit more dedicated volunteers to help in all areas, especially puppy raising and training
  • To become better fundraisers to ensure a steady, substantial income to enable us to hire more staff, possibly increase current salaries, purchase appropriate puppies and put SSD in a stronger position into the future.

What we do this year has significant impact on the years in front of us. It takes 18 months from birth to advanced training so each puppy born this year is partnered in 2013. It takes 2 years to train a trainer. We are laying a new foundation every year.

Of course SSD is built upon the wisdom, actions and strengths of the past but each year we essentially build a new future.

For me, thinking this way is very intimidating. There never is a time to relax and slide by because what we do today determines the success of our tomorrow.


Bring us new people, interest them in our story, encourage them to become volunteers, learn the great SSD saga and become part of us. Volunteers and donors, staff and dogs make a strong foundation. Help us build for the future.

I hope to hear from all of you.


Nancy Fierer

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