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Open Doors - Winter 2011

  • SSD Jasmine II Goes To School

    Jasmine with children on bus

    SSD Jasmine II is a facility dog at Mt. Morris Central School in western New York. Her handler is Gina Battaglia, LCSW-R, School Social Worker. Jasmine primarily works in a BOCES classroom (BOCES is the equivalent of Pennsylvania's Intermediate Units, providing services for students with special needs). Here are a few of Gina's stories:


  • Message from the Director

    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.


  • Gideon's Corner


    Again it has been a long time. For you new readers, I am SSD Gideon, a 9 year old black lab who is a demo /therapy /interview dog. I live with Nancy and Robert and generally spend a significant amount of the workday hanging out. I love chasing tennis balls and hiking and snuggling on the sofa and under the covers on a cold night.


  • Phillip the Hero

    Young girl and Phillip

    Kaitlyn and SSD Phillip have been having a “fabulous time” all around town ever since their placement, according to Kaitlyn's parents, Catherine and Tom. They've been able to go places and do things that they try each year but haven't ever been able to do as a whole family in the past. Kaitlyn also has a younger sister, McKenzie. They went through team training in October, and have been able to enjoy the holiday season in a whole new way. While you may have seen them on the news as they fight for access to allow Phillip to attend school daily with Kaitlyn, many wonderful events have taken place in the meantime.


  • Changing Lives—Building A Relationship

    We changed each other's lives really…

    This is the story of a Labrador retriever whose owner had died and who had “kind of” been left on her own. No one wanted her. She was overweight, alone, sad and ill. There was a person out there who was underweight, alone, sad, and also ill. Because of a stroke of fate, for which they both always would be grateful, these two ended up together.


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