When I retired over five years ago, I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer with my dog. I found Fidos For Freedom online and from the first time I walked into the facility, I felt like I'd found a new family. My dog and I love going on Therapy Dog visits. I've often said I don't know who gets the most out of our visits: the dog, the clients we visit or me. People are so thankful that you've taken the time to come to visit them. Over the years I have been asked to accept extra jobs, and I've happily done so. I now work with several Service Dog clients, teach a Therapy Dog class, etc. The volunteers at Fidos are the kindest, most dedicated people I know.
Since I started volunteering with Fidos for Freedom I have been impressed with the dedication of all involved. Therapy dog teams make numerous visits to hospitals, nursing homes, schools for special need students, family support centers. Other volunteers train assistance dogs to help clients live independently more easily. It is amazing to see a hearing dog direct its client to someone calling the client's name. Another service dog can pick up keys and retrieve items for a mobility impaired person. Or another dog provide a comfort zone for a vet with PTSD. Different clients with different needs met by assistance dogs individually trained to meet those needs. Truly an amazing group of volunteers and an amazing organization.
From the moment I met the people at Fidos, I knew this was a place I wanted to volunteer with my dog. I wanted to bring my crazy canine into the Therapy Dog fold because he was made up of love, happiness and hope. My mother died of complications from Alzheimers so I wanted to help out a group composed of others with forms of dementia. I am a vet so I wanted to try and participate in the Wounded Warriors program and visit those at Walter Reed and Andrews. Finally, I love kids. They are our future so if I could visit those in a hospital, my desires would be fulfilled. After a rigorous test and four weeks of additional training, my dog and I are ready to go out and greet the world! This marvelous group of people are committed to providing exceptional service in all areas to handlers, those in need and the dogs they train. I am very proud to be part of Fidos for Freedom and I look forward to many years of service on their behalf.
This partnership of incredibly dedicated volunteers, beautifully trained dogs and very generous donors has created something very special in the Baltimore-Washington corridor -- an organization that serves those across a wide spectrum of needs. Best of all, it does it aty a very minimal expense. This is very impressive organization!
In my three years as a volunteer at Fidos for Freedom, I have had a college-level education in the lives of people with disabilities, service dogs and therapy dogs, and as importantly, in the wonderful people who dedicate their precious time to support this community. That short volunteer time frame has been enough for me to watch a puppy evolve from a fuzzy ball into a fully-functioning service dog to a wheelchair bound client. I've also been moved as an experienced assist dog "transfers" and recovers from the passing of their original client, and begins to beautifully serve a new client. Needless to say, that sort of output from one's volunteer investment warms any heart.
To me, the most fascinating aspect of this organization is that, unlike many similar organizations, Fidos only charges a modest fee to its clients, as opposed to tens of thousands of dollars that some others charge We are able to do this as a result of a very engaged and generous community, and some equally generous breeders.
Being a healthcare professional, I am also impressed with the response of patients to our therapy dogs. As the literature around pets and health continues to expand, the value of this service, wherein we sent teams of therapy dogs to hospitals, nursing homes, college campuses and other situations, increases rapidly. These, too, are all volunteers, dedicated to improving the lives of those in need.
I am honored to be associated with Fidos for Freedom!
I volunteer here and see first hand the wonderful things they do for people that need a service dog. The therapy dog program is wonderful - bringing smiles and love to children and people that are in hospitals, nursing homes,children's hospital especially, is all you need to see to understand how much joy Fido's brings to people.
My dog Lily and I were volunteers at Fidos for years until this year when Lily retired from her therapy dog duties. We participated in the DEAR (Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers) at a local elementary school for 5 years. This was such a wonderful experience for us and for the children we helped get to their grade level in reading.
Fidos is a great organization supporting the community with service dogs and therapy dogs. Please give if you can to support their mission.
I been matched with Lily since 2007.. and We been working together for over 9 years and still happy working together.. She is great Hearing/Service dog! So proud to be in Fido's for Freedom and proud to be a client! Fido's ROCKS!!!!!!!!!
Fidos for freedom always help others with service dogs... I am proud to be a client at Fidos...
Thank you Fidos for help others and etc... ;)
Fidos for Freedom positively changes the lives of persons with disabilities and all of the volunteers who work so hard for the organization. They make a lasting difference!
Wonderful volunteers, great dogs. constant in the community for >25 yrs . Clients treated as part of family and offered support before, during and after placement of assistance dog. Therapy Dogs visit community and love everyone.
Fidos is a wonderful volunteer organization.I have been a volunteer for over 11years and have participated in most of their programs in some roll. The people I have met are genuinely dedicated to their mission and spend countless hours working with dogs, clients and the general public, all to improve someone's life with these special dogs. My favorite comments from audience members after watching a demonstrationn were "the dogs never barked and all got along with each other, and did exactly what you wanted !! Do you drug them??? " Of course NOT, these dogs prove that love and consistant good training make dogs a valued member of the society whether working for a disabled client or cheering a lonely widow in a nursing center.
My husband and I started volunteering for Fidos For Freedom about 6 years ago. We had, to begin with, 2 standard poodles with marvelous temperments that we thought would make great therapy dogs. I also had a dream for my male standard to be able to breed and donate puppies back to Fidos to be trained as service dogs. So far, one of the puppies is almost ready to be matched with a client, 2 are at the Federal prison, and the 2 puppies are with puppy raisers. We remain so thankful to Fidos For Freedom's trainers, puppy raisers, therapy dog program, and all the wonderful dedicated volunteers, who make lives of those they touch so much better.