So you just got a new dog! Whether he is 3 months or 3 years, you may be hearing tons of advice about the benefits of crate training your dog.
As dog professionals, we highly encourage owners of all pups (regardless of breed or age) to crate train their new family member. The benefits include (and are not limited to): aiding in potty-training, creating calm and balanced energy inside your home, instilling appropriate boundaries in the house, and setting the dog up for success by reducing their ability to participate in destructive or nuisance behaviors. After training is thoroughly complete, he will be comfortable in a crate and genuinely enjoy spending time there. Even if you don’t mind the potty-training and puppy-chewing struggle of having a new dog without a using the crate as a tool, you can never predict an emergency; if your dog ever has to travel, spend time at the vet, or be crated for any reason (like their safety), it is beneficial to you both if he already feels comfortable there.
So, now that you’re on board, the real question presents itself: how do you do it?
Here are some tips for introducing your dog to the crate while forming positive associations which will help him feel happy and comfortable inside it (without adding any extra stress or anxiety):
Make sure your crate is the correct size for your dog. He should be able to stand and turn around comfortably. It is just as important that the crate is also not too-big. If you have a puppy that will grow, get a crate divider. This will allow you to buy a large crate and section off smaller pieces as your puppy grows (that way you don’t have to keep buying crates!)
Keep the crate in the “hub of the house” this way he doesn’t feel as though he is being banished when he is in his crate. Dogs are social animals, they want to be near us. Use that to your advantage and put the crate where he can still see/hear the family.
Introduce the crate slowly. Leave the door open and play with your dog, occasionally throwing a fun toy or high-value treat into the crate. Let him explore the crate on his own, don’t force him in. You can start throwing the treats into the back of the crate so he wants to go in and retrieve them. Do not try closing him in, leave the door open during these exercises.
Feed your dog in his crate. Place the food bowl towards the back of the crate so he has to go all the way in to eat. You can also scatter-feed him in here (meaning you scatter the food directly on the crate floor) this will help encourage him not to go potty in his crate. Dogs do not want to go potty where they eat or sleep.
When your dog is starting to show that he is more comfortable in his crate (going in on his own, laying down, or playing in there without guidance) you can start closing the door. Hide treats in the back of the crate for him to “find” later.
These little tricks will help you get your puppy loving his crate in no time!
At this point, your pup is ready to start getting more adjusted to time in his crate with the door shut. Slowly increase the time and make sure to praise! If he does great relaxing in his crate during dinner, let him out after with lots of praise! Don’t wait until he is making a fuss and losing his patience to let him out!
Getting your dog used to the crate when he is alone will be a little bit different, as he won’t have the comfort of being able to hear and smell his family close by. As with every other stage, start in small intervals. While he is happily playing or relaxing in his crate, leave the room for short periods of time. As he gets more and more used to it, extend the time in which you are gone.
It is vital for you to keep your puppy busy when he is in his crate! Chewing, barking, and other destructive behaviors often stem from boredom! Don’t keep too many toys in the crate, rather switch out a few favorites. Make sure these toys are age/breed/size appropriate for your pup! Mental “puzzle” games are great to have in the crate, things that make your dog work for food without having to move around too much.
Also, remember that for most puppies and younger dogs (and even older dogs if you are still working on potty training) they are still learning to hold their bladder and they will need breaks throughout the day. If you’re working and need your pup to be in their crate for 8-10 hours at a time, you will need a friend/dog walker/or pet sitter to come by to let your puppy out for a potty break and some play time!
It is also important to remember to always mentally and physically exercise your dog prior to crating him for longer periods of time. A long walk and brief training session will help with this! Keep in mind, we can rarely out-work our dogs physically, so having them think and work their brains before going in the crate will put them in a more relaxed and calm state than just a quick walk around the block.
As with any training, keep in mind that if at any point during these steps your dog seems stressed, back up a few steps and start again!
Does Specialty Dog Training believe in and engage in giving back…ABSOLUTELY!
In the business world, the idea of corporate social responsibility is proving to be a growing trend. There are many reasons for this; not only does corporate giving reflect the values of the organization in question, but it has also been shown to increase employee morale and even job satisfaction! When employees feel that they are standing behind a brand that shares their values and positively impacts their community, they are more motivated workers and tend to feel more personally invested in the organization. The term, organizational culture comes to mind. This concept focuses on the idea that regardless of how great an organizations business strategy is, without a coinciding culture in place, that strategy simply cannot succeed. Even the best strategy will fail if the culture surrounding it is not in line with the values it expresses; even on a corporate level, it is vital to keep your actions in line with your mission in order to gain and keep the support of your employees and customers.
Shelter to Soldier has been blessed with many generous corporate sponsors in the years since we started our organization. First, our Founding Partner, Specialty Dog Training, which has used large portions of its profits to start and support Shelter to Soldier while we were building awareness in the community. Specialty Dog Training’s trainers volunteer time to work with our pups and they are a huge part of how we got started; without Specialty Dog Training, Shelter to Soldier would simply not be able to give back to the community the way we have. Goodsell & Company is our other founding partner. One of the principles at Goodsell, Krys Holc, is a Co-Founder and Treasurer of STS. Krys and her accounting firm donate time, expertise, the use of their office and they make direct contributions to the charity. Having a pro-bono accounting firm support STS is an amazing blessing.
“Building a brand isn’t just about making money or personal achievement, it is also about utilizing that brand to give back and do good in the world…paying it forward.” -Graham Bloem, Specialty Dog Training CEO and Training Director as well as Founder of Shelter to Soldier.
Along with our Founding Partner, we also have many Red Star Sponsors we want to point out and thank for their unwavering generosity and support of the Shelter to Soldier mission. These are businesses in our community that take their dedication to social responsibility very seriously and have become corporate sponsors of our program. These Red Star Sponsors include: Schubach Aviation, Ranch & Coast Magazine, Griffin Funding, Integriv, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Plato Pet Treats, West Palms Event Management, Nine10 Photobooth, Paw Paradise, Northrop Grumman, Fine Magazine, Pay It Forward Processing, Canine Caviar, Petco Foundation, The Thursday Club Juniors and Unite Professional Salon System.
This holiday season, our wish is that more organizations around the world will cultivate an environment of social responsibility and utilize their influence through corporate giving to give back to their communities in authentic, genuine ways.
Dog owner’s considering professional dog training with us are faced with two main training options: private dog training lessons or doggie boot camp. We have created this breakdown explaining the difference between the two, as well as the general structure and benefits of our boot camp programs.
Private lessons are great for those who just got a puppy and want help creating structure, expectations, and boundaries in your home. They are also effective for those looking to build a basic obedience foundation and to learn more about communicating with their pup. The biggest factor we always want anyone considering private lessons to understand, is that YOU are the trainer. Our professional trainers are there to help teach and guide you (and ensure you are doing things correctly) but we are teaching you how to train your dog. These lessons are generally held once a week for about an hour; the success of each lesson depends entirely on how consistently you are working with your pup in the time between those lessons. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to practicing, you will end up repeating the same lesson over and over. Though lessons are a lesser financial investment up front, they are a much more significant time investment for you and your family. It is important to us to make this clear to our clients, even though lessons cost less at the time of purchase, if you are unable to follow-through and do your “homework” each week you will not see the results you were hoping for. Private dog training sessions can be an amazing training tool and can accomplish a lot with your pup, that being said, we always encourage anyone struggling with this decision to honestly evaluate the time and energy they have to devote to the training process.
This is where in-board dog training/ dog boot camps come in; with a boot camp program your pup comes and lives at our training facility for a period of time (varies depending on the dog’s age, behavioral issues, and training goals), getting constant attention, playtime and structure from our dog professionals. The structure of each of our in-kennel training programs is custom designed for you and your dog; after learning about your dog’s behavior and your specific needs, we create a training outline that will ensure they are on track to accomplish the goals you have set by the time they go home. Each of our pups sleeps in a private climate-controlled dog run (with AC and heat available as needed); we like to keep music or TV on in the background to help give the pups some familiar background noises and block out ambient noise. Our dogs are happy and tired come day end from a full day of learning and playing…rest assured, they are ready for bed in their room when the time comes.
Aside from plenty of free play time in one of our five training yards (supervised group play for our dog-friendly pups, and one-on-one play with our team for our independent ones), each of our training dogs will work with their trainer multiple times a day. It is important to us to always end any training sessions on a positive note, meaning we take a break when your pup is being successful on the task at hand. If we are working on a command and it takes 20 minutes for that dog to understand and complete the task, then they will get a rest or play break to refocus their mind before moving forward.
We include two private lessons with each of our boot camp programs in order to ensure their training success transfers over to their home-environment smoothly and to answer any questions you may have following their training. Essentially, with an in-board training program, we are training your pup for you, sending home a trained dog and utilizing those two private lessons to ensure you and your family understand how to continue reinforcement to create results that will last a lifetime.
The overall biggest benefit to our boot camp programs is that your dog is being handled 24/7 by dog professionals, who know and understand dog behavior. They are not only working during their training sessions, but their new boundaries and expectations are consistently reinforced. Our staff has the knowledge to work your pup through any difficult behavioral issues and establish global obedience (meaning your dog will learn to respond to a command at all times, regardless of their environment or the distractions in front of them.) This gives you a real-life, practical working relationship with your dog, where he will respond to you consistently (and not just when it works for him.)
Call us today and we can evaluate your dog and your dog training goals via a free phone consultation or an in-person evaluation if needed and give our professional recommendation for their training needs so you can weigh your options and make the decision that works best for you and your family.
Click the icons below, they will take you to our website where you can find more information about our training programs and their costs as well as to our client testimonials and various review sites. We encourage all of our potential clients to read our reviews to see other’s experiences with our professional trainers!
Every year, the Del Mar International Horse Show and the San Diego Union-Tribune hosts the crowd-pleasing Charity Woof Cup and for the last few years we have had the honor of being one of the 6 local charity beneficiaries of this fun and exciting event.
This event consists of six teams competing to raise needed funds and awareness for six different charities. The 6 dog agility teams are matched with 6 Grand Prix riders and their horses to compete for the Charity Woof Up. These competitors battle the clock to complete a relay course of agility (for the dogs) and jumps (for the horses.) The group that has their entire team finish the course the fastest is the winner!
It is always so much fun to see the crowd in an up-roar, on their feet and full of support and enthusiasm all in the name of charity! It is a great event to be a part of and even spectators have a great time!
This year the team running for Shelter to Soldier was made up of dog and handler team, Rev & Nancy Brook, and horse and Grand Prix Rider, Anwin & Mandy Porter. They did a phenomenal job and placed second! Big thanks to our team sponsor, Doggy’Poo by UNITE!
It is so nice to see the love and passion on so many faces and we are honored to continue to be invited to participate and assist in the Charity Woof Cup Classic.
Special thank you to Stacy Winkler for putting together the dog agility teams, bringing the dog agility equipment and a huge thanks to all of the dogs and handlers that participated!! Everyone did such a great job and it was all for great charitable work. Thank you to all of the STS volunteers that went above and beyond to make this happen!
Click the icons below to read local coverage of this event:
Click the picture below to watch the full video of the event, including commentary!
Last Friday, October 21st, was the night of Shelter to Soldier’s 4th Annual Benefit. Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the beautiful Del Mar Arena VIP room overlooking the Del Mar International Horse Show Charity Class; it is one of our most exciting events of the year! This year hosted a 1920’s theme including live jazz music courtesy of Alli & The Cats, delicious food, drinks, and costumes! We were expecting a big (and festive) turnout this year and we were not disappointed!
A big thank you to the many donors involved in this event: Farrell Family Foundation, Toast Catering, Isabelle Briens French Pastry Café, Venissimo Cheese, Cupcakes Squared, and Nine10 Photobooth, Equestrian Artist Lauren Salas, West Palms Events Management, and many more!
A special thank you to the Irene Valenti Foundation and Griffin Funding. Each donated $12,000 to our cause; which is the amount it costs to “sponsor” a new dog into our program. This is the third dog sponsored by Griffin Funding and we continue to be amazed at their generosity and desire to give back to their veteran community! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see these new pups enter our program and follow their training.
We want to thank you all for participating and making our 4th Annual Benefit such a huge success; events like these are the reason we continue to be able to add dogs to our program and make a dent in our always-growing veteran wait list. There is simply never a shortage of dogs or veterans who truly need our help.
Some photos from the night can be found below, and on our Facebook page. Everyone came decked out in their best 1920’s fashion and we all had such a great time while working towards a mission that is so close to our hearts.
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So you just brought home a new puppy; man is he CUTE, and just SO fluffy!
It is easy to be wrapped up in loving the new-parenthood of a fur-baby, but some things just can’t be ignored for long.
Like the puddles he keeps leaving on your rug, and that one spot near the door he won’t stop using as his personal toilet.
Let us help.
As one of the most common questions we get from clients with a new puppy, we wanted to make a quick and easy breakdown of some potty training tricks to help you start off on the right foot with your newest member of the family.
Your little bundle of fluff should never be left unattended in an area he could get into trouble! We would never leave our 6-month old baby alone to roam the house, that would be unsafe and a disaster! Yet people do it with brand new puppies all the time! Set them up for success.
Crate train! Even if you don’t think you will use it forever, it is better to have a pup that feels comfortable and safe in a crate even if they rarely use one. Think of traveling, emergencies, or time at the vet! Those things don’t need to be any more stressful and they certainly don’t have to be if we can form positive associations early. Crate training helps immensely when it comes to potty-training. Dogs naturally don’t want to go to the bathroom in the same area they eat and sleep in. Thus having them in a crate when left alone will not only help you teach them where and when to go potty (as well as indicate when they need to go), but it will also use their natural instincts to help encourage them to hold it (learning to hold it instead of going immediately is a vital step in puppy potty-training.)
Keep the crate free of any absorbent materials (this includes beds, blankets, and plush toys.) I know it is so hard to not leave your new puppy with these comfort items, but if you stick it out just through the initial potty-training stages it will be a smoother and quicker process. As we mentioned above, dogs naturally don’t want to go potty where they eat and sleep, but if they can on a towel the absorbs it in one corner and lay in the other, untouched, they will continue to do it (for this reason it is just as important to have an appropriately sized crate.) Leave him with a suitable chew toy instead, that way he can play without having something that will encourage him to use his crate as a bathroom.
Playtime! Anytime you take your puppy from his crate he should immediately go outside. If he goes potty he can come inside to play (this play should absolutely be supervised but it will serve as an immediate reward and a connection will be made to potty outside equals free time and play inside). Depending on age, breed and size of your pup, he should go out again about 30 minutes to 1 hour after his last successful outing. General rule of thumb is that a dog can hold it 1 hour for every month of their life up to 10 hours (we recommend no more than 8). Larger breed dogs have larger bladders and can often “hold it” longer. If your puppy has still not gone to the bathroom after the time outside, place him back in the crate and try again in 1-2 hours. His reward for going potty outside is playtime inside, he should not get to play inside before going potty (the chances of him then going inside are much higher.) Continue this cycle until it is time to put him back in his crate. If you are busy doing things (like working on the computer or folding laundry) and you can’t keep a close eye on him but don’t want to leave him in the crate, use a leash! Put a leash on your pup to make sure he doesn’t wonder off and get into trouble, while still allowing him some freedom to play and be near you.
Gradually extend the amount of “free time” your puppy gets after successful potty breaks. Example: At 10 weeks old, we allow him about 30 minutes to 1 hour before trying again. Provided all is going well and you are succeeding, then at 12 weeks you would extend this free time to 1-1.5 hours. All still going well…at 14 weeks extend to 1.5-2 hours and so on. This is teaching your puppy that with some responsibility and good manners in the home, he gets to hang out longer and longer. Eventually, you will have your house pet you always wanted without potty accidents, chewing and inconsistencies.
Take him on “walks” in the house. Put the leash on and guide him into to new rooms, don’t let him sniff or fixate too long in any one area (as a general rule, this is a sign he might decide to go to the bathroom. This alters of course with dogs that are bred to sniff, like hounds. Either way, it is best to play it safe because the best way to potty train is to not have accidents!) These guided walks will help him get acclimated to each new room while understanding the boundaries (no chewing shoes, going potty under the bed, etc.)
These basic fundamentals will help you potty-train your new puppy in no time! Stick to a routine and he will quickly understand when and where he needs to go, as well as how to tell you it’s time!
Whether buying, selling or remodeling, consider lifestyle needs of furry family members
By Jamie Gold | 3:37 p.m.Nov. 27, 2015
Are you one of the 68 percent of Americans with a pet? Maybe you’re among the growing number of animal lovers who have more than one. More than just pets, our four-legged, feathered or finned friends have truly become part of the family. That means that their needs also come into play when buying a house or remodeling the one you have. It also means that your new or redone residence can truly be a dream home for all of its inhabitants.
Selling a home with a pet
“All my homebuyer clients in the last five years have had a pet or pets except for one,” says Kimberly Dotseth, broker and owner of San Diego-based Blend Real Estate. “And, every pet person I work with wants nice, comfort indoors: Comfortable rooms, good lighting, an open kitchen area and not too many stairs. Pets like single-story homes, too.”
They also like having their own spaces for viewing the outdoors, sleeping and eating. “Think about cats, for example,” Dotseth notes. “They really love to look out windows. So for homeowners, make that a priority. Give them a perch or window to call their own.”
On the exterior of a home, Dotseth says, fenced yards are a must. “Sellers, you will be made to pay for the absence of a backyard fence in some way. You’ll get a reduced price or hear about fencing later when repairs are requested.” Between the two is the pet door. “Most pet doors I see in homes for sale are really old or simply gross,” the broker notes. “A brand new pet door is a huge selling point. Spend $100 on a new door, have it installed, and get every penny back in the sale.”
Buying a home with a pet
Home builders are also seeing that adding nice new pet features is very appealing to prospective homebuyers, 70 percent of whom have animals. This includes local as well as national builders, and community amenities like dog parks as well as individual property details.
“Davidson Communities has been demonstrating pet features in its model homes for years as a way to connect with the way people live,” says the Del Mar company’s vice president of sales and marketing, Cathie McGill. “We believe model homes should inspire innovation and creativity, which we extend to include features for the family pets, as well.”
“The model homes at Arterro at La Costa in Carlsbad demonstrate a couple of dog amenities; the most significant being the ‘dog house’ in the upstairs bonus room, which functions as secured space for a dog that would otherwise need a crate or kennel.” Another community’s home had a well-equipped dog shower. “When we were selling Arista at The Crosby, we had a lot of interest in the dog shower, which was presented as an easy problem solver: How to clean the dog without messing up your new home.”
Remodeling a home
Pet needs come up often in remodeling plans. In fact, it was one of the top 10 trends identified in the 2015 National Kitchen & Bath Association’s designer survey. Your pet will often, (though not ideally, according to some experts) eat in the same room you do, so their needs are increasingly factored into a kitchen remodel. Some essential points to consider:
• Where can the pet bowls be situated so that they’re not sliding across the floor and tripping humans and, optimally, in a non-kitchen space (e.g., laundry room);
• At what height should the pet bowls be installed to avoid neck strain for larger breeds, as they’re often built into an island base or cabinet pull-out;
• Where should the pet’s food be stored, so that it’s easy to access for humans but not animals or pests.
Other remodeling plans are impacted, too, by your pet’s needs. Where should its many non-food supplies — like leash, collar, waste bags, flea powder and medicines — be stored so that they’re convenient for where they’ll be used? Organizers are increasingly available and popular for these purposes. The key is planning them into your project so that the space and budget are available.
Bath time is no easier for four-legged babies than it is for human ones. Some homeowners, like Davidson’s buyers, have special pet baths or showers, depending on the animal’s size and temperament. Again, the key is factoring in the space and plumbing needs early when working on a remodeling project. How simple or elaborate your pet’s shower or bath will be is up to you, but ignoring their bathing needs is no more practical than ignoring your own or your children’s.
Making new dog at home
Graham Bloem, long-time trainer and owner of San Diego-based Specialty Dog Training, is one of the professionals who recommends against dogs eating in the kitchen. “Not only is the kitchen unsafe for dogs with cooking utensils and stove-top items, but it also is the source of human food in the home, which makes it more difficult for the dog to focus on the task given. Dogs should have their own space away from other dogs and people to enjoy their daily meals. They can eat in their crate or similar safe space, or in a designated room in the home.” Your laundry or mud room could be a good spot for feeding, as it will likely have easy-clean, moisture-friendly floors for spilled food or water.
Bloem recommends having at least one in-home training session to discuss important pieces of house manners and elements that set your dog up to succeed. “This includes picking a safe, quiet and comfortable location for regular feedings, a location for the dog bed(s) — we recommend that each common room have one — a crate, if crate training, and boundaries where the dog(s) should be supervised or unsupervised. The most common locations recommended for the dog bed will be high-traffic areas such as a family room, so that the dog feels as though he or she is a part of the pack.”
Bloem also trains rescue dogs to become service animals for veterans through his nonprofit Shelter to Soldier. “Service animal and non-service animal home setup is typically similar,” he notes. “The only thing that may differ is that the service dog will often need to be close to its owner while sleeping in order to assist them if necessary.” If you’re adding a service dog to your household, planning for a dog bed near yours could be a helpful part of your acclimation process.
“It is important to remember that dogs explore with their noses and mouths, and by setting them up to succeed, there will be more opportunity to reward positive behaviors. In the long run, this will make your dog a more enjoyable companion and family member,” Bloem advises. They will also be far better roommates!
Gold is a San Diego-based, NKBA-certified, independent kitchen and bath designer and the author of “New Kitchen Ideas That Work” (Taunton Press).
BIGGS HARLEY-DAVIDSON HOSTS CELEBRITY MOTORCYCLE RIDE TO BENEFIT SHELTER TO SOLDIER
Biggs Harley-Davidson located at 1040 Los Vallecitos Blvd., Suite #113 in San Marcos, CA, will host a celebrity ride on Saturday, August 29, 2015, beginning at 9:00 am to benefit Shelter to Soldier, a San Diego-based 501c3 non-profit organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to become certified psychiatric service companions for post 9/11 U.S. combat veterans suffering from PTSD and/or TBI (www.sheltertosoldier.org). Radio personality Clint August from 101.5 KGB Classic Rock, Dr. Ken Druck, author and organizational consultant along with Sam Hay from the Oceanside Police Canine Officers’ Association will lead the ride starting at 11:00 from Biggs Harley-Davidson along a coastal route. Motorcycle riders can sign up to participate for a $10 donation in person at 1040 Los Vallecitos Blvd. San Marcos, CA or by calling (760) 481-7300. The event is free and open to the public, who can participate in a variety of fundraising activities throughout the day.
Festivities will begin with a hot waffle bar breakfast at 9:00 am followed by a celebrity meet-and-greet at 10:45 am, prior to the ride beginning at 11:00 am. Opportunity drawing tickets will be available for sale beginning at 11:00 am and a silent auction goes lives for bidding including a tool kit from Cornwell Tools and autographed professional sports memorabilia. At 12:00 noon, a barbeque lunch will be served while the Casey Hensley Band performs, followed by a canine unit show at 1:15 pm by the Oceanside Police Department. Shopping experiences at the Vendor Village will be open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, featuring Harley-Davidson logo products; all proceeds will benefit Shelter to Soldier.
Every day on average, twenty-two (22) U.S. veterans and one (1) active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs) and every 11 seconds an animal is euthanized in the U.S. In the past year alone, the number of diagnosed cases of PTSD in the military jumped 50% and this represents cases that have been diagnosed. Studies estimate that one in every fivemilitary personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD. The services Shelter to Soldier provides for free to veterans and animals rescued from shelters fulfills the mission of this 501 c3 organization by “Saving Lives, Two at a Time”. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 855-CUS-TMK9 (855-287-8659) for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.
“Biggs Harley-Davidson Hosts Celebrity Ride to Benefit Shelter to Soldier on August 29th ”.
Wow! What a pleasure and blessing to be able to see the story of one of our veteran/service dog teams featured in the July/August issue of Yoga Digest. The article is a 4 page spread and shares information about our mission at Shelter to Soldier, a recent success story and some powerful quotes from veteran recipient Vic Martin and his wife Kacy Martin. Huge thank you’s to Vic, Kacy, Jenn Bodnar for writing this amazing article and to Maxine Chapman (Founder of BuddhiBox Yoga Subscription Box) for helping connect the dots and make this happen. It is so important for people to understand a few things about our mission and the massive impact an article like this has.
Every day, 22 veterans and 1 active duty service member are lost to suicide…every year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized in our nation. This story is about 2 lives we helped save through our program, and by sharing their story we will save many more. The message that is being spread in a national publication like this magazine is this: Hope for many other veterans feeling as though there isn’t any left, hope for the spouse and family of a veteran who also feels there is no where else to turn, and hope for the dogs that are lost, confused, scared, homeless and voiceless.
Shelter to Soldier is still a young and small charity and while we aren’t even scraping the surface when it comes to helping veterans in the masses and saving tens of thousand of dogs directly, we understand the immense value of each and every life, 2-legged and 4-legged. Shelter to Soldier will continue to grow and help others but we understand that we can’t do it alone. We are so thankful that Yoga Digest has shared our story on this platform, so that we may touch the lives of so many more individuals who are seeking support in the face of adversity.
Please, take the time to purchase this issue online or by hard copy on a newsstand near you, or purchase the yearly subscription of Yoga Digest to receive motivation to be your best self. You will get to read the entire article about Shelter to Soldier, Vic Martin and his service dog Kira (Kira the Service Dog) as well as many other great pieces that Yoga Digest offers for families in this issue. We can’t continue our mission without the kindness of people sharing it, and in this case Jenn Bodnar and Yoga Digest did that for us. They too can’t continue to help organizations like us if we don’t support them.