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At long last, construction of our new Puppy Development Center has begun!! We’ve struggled through the process for six long years but good things come to those who wait.

When the project is complete, we’ll have 6 new state-of-the-art birthing suites, plus enough new kennel space to eventually double our capacity. In addition, we’re adding a streetscape and other new training elements so we will be able to do reinforcement training with our clients on campus.

Construction is expected to take 8 months, so plan to attend our Grand Opening sometime in July or August of 2017!

There is an annual event called Sportiada, where over 100 athletes with disabilities compete in sporting events. This year, our CanVelo team convinced the organizers that a tandem bike competition should be included.

CanVelo (which in Hebrew means Yes and No) refers to our sighted volunteers who ride in front and their visually impaired partners who ride on the back of tandem bikes. The club was established to provide our visually impaired clients with a physical and social activity, but the impact has grown far beyond our expectations.

We now have three different riding groups in Israel, plus a Dragon Boat racing team! We are very proud of the relationships that CanVelo has nurtured, and we are finding more people who are visually impaired are joining the group – and learning about guide dogs in the process.

If you are into biking, please join us for a ride the next time you are in Israel!

Students who do not qualify for military service (for a variety of reasons) have the option of serving Israel through National Service. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of one year and we rely on these amazing young people to help us all over campus. They generally rotate through different departments such as the kennels, office, kitchen, etc., work incredibly hard and provide an invaluable service.

When asked what their friends think of what they are doing, Tamar spoke up, “They think we have an easy job, and just play with puppies all day. Nothing can be further from the truth! We have major responsibilities and take our jobs very seriously.” Imbar added, “First and foremost, we must keep the dogs safe which starts with spotless kennels and teaching discipline. A dog can develop bad habits, and we are trained to spot bad behaviors and work with the trainers to make corrections.”

When asked about what was most difficult, Ravid said, “The hardest part for me was telling the dogs apart. In the beginning they all looked alike, but after a while we started to see the differences and now I know every dog by the way they look and act. It is amazing how they each have their own personality.”

Shaked hopes that her mother never comes to the center while she is working. “If she saw how hard I scrub the walls and mop the floors, she’ll expect me to do that at home.”

Lore Brenauer rolled up her sleeve and showed a number tattooed on her forearm. The number was the same one that her Grandfather Meier Buchheim wore as he was marched into the gas chambers at Auschwitz. “In my grandfather’s memory, I give to Israel,” Lore said, “It’s our obligation to support worthy efforts in a place where Jews are welcome!” Lore continues to support many worthy causes that she and her beloved husband Charles Brenauer, z’l discovered over the years.

As an avid animal lover, Lore understands the value of having a four-legged companion. She also believes strongly in training dogs to assist people in need. “When I heard that there was only one guide dog school in Israel, I knew I had to see it for myself,” said Lore. So she made plans to visit with her niece and nephew, and couldn’t believe what she saw. “I have seen Guide Dog schools in the Sates, so I knew what to expect, but I had no idea that this tiny country would have such a wonderful facility. The kennels were immaculate, and everyone I met was just so kind and dedicated. I knew that I would have to add this place to my list.”

Lore made a major decision. She decided to leave a Legacy Gift in her will. “I saw for myself the difference that guide dogs are making in the lives of blind Israelis, and I wanted to make sure that there will always be a place where people can go to get help,” she said. “I give gifts now, but I am excited by the idea that I will still be helping when I am gone.”

Thank you Lore. This is a wonderful and enduring legacy to leave.