New Directions in 2016

Message from the President

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2016 »   

Happy New Year!

Close-up photo of President and CEO Sue Daniels smiling and wearing a red dress

At this time of year many of us think about making changes, either as a reaction to something (such as post-holiday weight gain!) or as a proactive decision to take a “new direction.” Regardless of the reason, making changes is important if you want to improve. As Ben Franklin once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished!”

It is just as important for organizations to evolve. So, what are Leader Dog’s new directions for 2016? Proactively, we look forward to completing phases two and three of our new Canine Development Center this year. Since the completion of phase one, we have already changed some of our processes and implemented new ways of doing things. For example, the veterinary clinic has new equipment and more space, which enables us to do multiple anesthetic and endoscopy procedures simultaneously. This ability recently benefited one of our dogs-in-training when a routine X-ray exposed an unknown suspicious material in her stomach. In the old clinic, we would stop all activity to bring in the endoscope to remove the material, possibly delaying the procedure by up to an hour. In the new clinic, the dog was immediately taken to the endoscopy room where the foreign material was successfully removed within minutes.

We are also piloting new ways to enrich our dogs’ stay on campus. They have play sessions in new enrichment areas and receive TTouch (circular motion touches) for relaxation. Our puppy intake and housing areas are peaceful, and we’ve noticed the puppies are calmer and less stressed than in the old kennel.

Leader Dog’s three-year strategic plan, which started July 1, 2015, provides direction through key initiatives designed to ensure continuous quality improvement, utilization of technology, financial sustainability, and program growth and expansion. This will help ensure delivery of our mission today and as we move into 2016 and beyond.

As always, thank you so very much for your continued support of Leader Dogs for the Blind. Please enjoy this issue of Update and I hope Ben Franklin and the New Year inspire you to make that change you’ve been thinking about. There’s no time like the present!

Wishing you all the best,

Susan M. Daniels
President and CEO