In this Issue: 
President's Message 
Canadian service dogs watched a live musical as part of their training
The Holidays and Our Pets
This is Where We Will Be...

President's Message:
Dear Clients and Friends,

I love this time of year. It is the time when we focus on gratitude. We should have Thanksgiving every month - I just read an interesting article about the benefits of Gratitude.  Not only does it make those around us happier, but it can lead to greater physical and mental health, it reduces stress, it helps you sleep better, and of course improves relationships.

This article features some improvements in the world of disabilities that are heart-warming and certainly encouraging. And of course, what would the holidays be without Dogs!  Those of you who know me know I'm often surrounded by dogs and puppies. I asked Jake Guell, who is our trainer extraordinaire with Tails for Life to share some tips for the holidays  for those of us who are dog lovers. I'm so grateful that we have been able to see some pups graduate into their homes this year and make a difference in more lives!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. If you are able, please remember to reach out to others who not might be so blessed.  I am so thankful for our clients, my business associates, my family and friends. You make my life whole. 

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
Warmest regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert,
Founder & President

Justin Pierce fought long and hard for a seat in this gleaming downtown office building.

Pierce, who has Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, laid out the numbers: 328 applications, 135 rejection letters and 14 interviews, resulting finally - after almost five years - in his first professional job offer, as part of a technology team at the Chicago office of EY, a professional services firm formerly known as Ernst & Young.

"It was like winning the lottery or finally getting your Cinderella story happy ending," said Pierce, 31.

The unemployment rate is estimated at 66 percent or more for people with autism - a developmental disability that affects communication and social interaction - but thanks to a new program at EY, Pierce and 14 of his Chicago co-workers are beating the odds. Click here to read more...

Study on Language Development in Young Adults with Fragile X Syndrome
Sponsored by The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Do you have a son or daughter with Fragile X syndrome in high school?

Help us learn more about how certain abilities, experiences, and biology affect language abilities in adulthood for both males and females with fragile X syndrome.

Canadian service dogs watched a live musical as part of their training
By Scottie Andrew, CNN

When the cast of a Canadian production of "Billy Elliot: The Musical" took their final bow after a recent show, the audience didn't make a single sound -- not even a woof.

A polite crowd of about a dozen  future service dogs attended an August performance at Ontario's Stratford Festival as part of their training. While a silent curtain call might disappoint actors, the dogs' spellbound stillness is a great sign for their future handlers.

The event was part of a two-year training program by K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, head trainer Laura MacKenzie told CNN. The  future service dogs have toured zoos, subways and crowded fairs to acclimate them to the unfamiliar lights and sounds, rapid movements and bustling crowds they might encounter with their handler, she said.   Click here to read more.

The Holidays and Our Pets
By Jake Guell, CPDT, Tails for Life,

The weather is changing and the holidays will soon be upon us. Our attention will quickly turn toward the preparation of holiday food, decorations and shopping for presents for our loved ones.

What does this mean for our furry little friends and how can we make it safe for them during this exciting time of year? In this article we will cover what may occur and how to prevent these issues during the holiday season.

Our dogs love routine and receiving our undivided attention. It can be challenging this time of year to maintain a routine. And changes in our routines and a lack of attention to our pets can lead to 

 changes in their behavior. When the weather turns colder we tend to exercise our dogs less and less.   With more pent up energy many behavior problems tend to come to fruition during the colder months

 There also are new and exciting objects Fido can get into as we decorate for the holidays. New décor 
 can be irresistible to Fido and it is important to make sure these objects are out of reach. Christmas
 trees, ornaments, extension cords, decorative lights, snow globes, scented candles, poinsettias (poisonous
 to dogs) and holiday treats are all new things Fido may want to explore.

 It is important to work on or refresh "leave-it" training before putting out your holiday cheer. The best
 way to decorate is to put Fido in another room during that time. If Fido does not see you moving and
 touching new objects (decorations), the items will interest him less. After you have finished decorating,
 let Fido out of his room and keep a close watch on him for the first couple of days. Doing it this way
 should cause the new décor to become boring background objects for your dog. Remember to keep
 plenty of toys and chew toys out so your dog will direct his focus on those items rather than your

 This is also a popular time for visitors to our homes. It is important to be a support system for your
 companion. Many guests arriving at one time can be stressful for your dog. Many dogs enjoy guests
 coming to the house but they can become stressed when guests stay for long periods of time. It is
 important to take Fido out for a short walk to unwind during your guests' stay or put Fido in a separate
 room for some down time. This will help prevent Fido from becoming over stimulated especially when
 your guests include children.

 To keep Fido and your guests safe this holiday season instruct your guests how to act around the dog. It
 is important to teach your guests what Fido can and cannot have. We all know our guests love to spoil
 our pets with food and new toys. It is very important to establish boundaries for our guests. Every family
 has different rules but the most important thing is to help Fido be as stress-free as possible. Training in
 advance will help Fido understand the rules and stressors that come with this time of year.

 Our guests are sometimes not limited to the two-legged kind. Some guests may bring their dogs when
 they visit your house. It is important all four-legged friends meet each other outside before rushing into
 the house. This will help prevent over stimulation and chaos at the door.

 Remember to pick up all of your pet's prized possessions before furry friends visit to prevent resource
 guarding. Some objects may include: favorite toys, bones and food. Encourage your guests to exercise
 their dog before arriving at your home. Calm four-legged guests will provide a more relaxing atmosphere
 for your own pet.

 With a little time and planning this holiday season can be successful for both you and your pet. Exercise
 and mental stimulation can help alleviate a lot of stress for Fido while all the new changes occur. If you
 have concerns about your pet's stress this holiday season consult with your veterinarian or seek a
 professional trainer for help.

 Tails for Life's mission is to empower children with disabilities to increase their independence and
 enhance their quality of life. They are dedicated to training service dogs to service the needs of
 children with medical and/or psychological disabilities. 

 During this holiday season, Tails for Life is hoping to reach 5 children who are in need of a service dog.
 To help make a difference in a child's life, click to view the Tails for Life Holiday Fundraiser form and
 donate today.

This is Where We Will Be...

Upcoming Speeches/Conferences/Events for 2020:

Jan 21      Charting The Journey
               Palatine, IL

Jan 30      Retiring For 3 Workshop
               Wheaton, IL

Apr 6       Charting The Journey
               Barrington, IL

Apr 14    Charting The Journey
               Plainfield, IL

               Hoffman Estates, IL

Apr 21    Charting The Journey
               Kimberly, WI

For more information on these  click here!
Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved.