Potent Paige

Today is the 2 year anniversary of Paige Widener working at Spike’s K9 fund. Paige is a very potent young lady. She handles our social media strategy and helps us communicate our accomplishments and needs and capabilities as an organization, to our supporters and potential recipients. She also helps us spend our advertising $ more efficiently. Her work has helped us save a significant amount of capitol while simultaneously driving better online store sales and community engagement. I don’t want to praise her too much, because I want to keep her with us! Paige, thank you so very much for blessing us with your poise, smarts, and significant work ethic. Happy Spike’s anniversary! 🙏🏼


Asset

Today I returned from New Haven CT. where I moved out of my apartment because all of the classes at Yale are now being done online. I was pretty sad about the whole thing initially and then I remembered from my time in the military that I really have so little control over the things that go on around me. In fact, the only thing I can control is how I react to those things. I am very enthusiastic to be back in class with my fellow students and to discuss the great books together. It will be different online, but it will still be great to see them and my professors and we will all do our best to make it work. I need to concentrate on being an asset to those around me. If I can keep that focus, things will be good.

It is the same thing with Spike’s K9 Fund. We have some big plans for the upcoming months and we will have to sort them out and do our best to coordinate those events with everyone’s safety in mind. It is frustrating because we know so little about how things will go and we have to plan for the worst-case in order to protect those among us who are most susceptible to the nastiness of covid-19. Here is a link that was sent to me by the smart people at Yale regarding the virus. There are some very good links on that page.

We have received quite a few donations to help the working Dogs and we are amazed and grateful at how generous people have been during this time of uncertainty. I will be doing a few videos here and there and if you have any questions you’d like me to answer or details you’d like me to address regarding Spike’s K9 Fund, send us a message and I will try to answer them for you. Send an email here: spikesk9fund@gmail.com

Mostly, I wish you and your families and loved ones, health and peace during this tough time of uncertainty. I know from experience in gunfights and many periods of uncertainty in combat, that the team who cares for one another and keeps their focus when things are difficult, is almost always successful. We consider you our “Spike’s Pack” and we are grateful for you and want the best for you and yours.

Be well, be kind, and be an asset.


The Women

Today is International Women’s Day. At Spike’s K9 Fund, the women dominate. We have three women who collectively do the lions share of the work to keep us running. Here is a recent (unauthorized, I’ll pay later) photo from one of our weekly meetings.

Emily, the Director of Operations (center), keeps the wheels on the bus. Annemarie (your right) a full-time Police K9 Officer, works part-time as our communications asset. Paige Widener (your left) is our exceptional social media pro. We have two women on our Board; Cathy Duncan and Kim Wheeler, and have both been with us from the beginning. Their poise and professionalism have helped guide our organization to the place we are today.

At Yale, where I am a freshman, I’m taught by women and I go to classes where the women outnumber the men. After spending time in many parts of the world where women are not allowed or encouraged to go to school, it warms my heart to see those classes.

Finally, we have quite a few women volunteers who passionately help us execute our mission in advocating for the K9’s. They help us in raising $, fitting K9’s for protective equipment, talking to members of their community and helping us build K9 obstacle courses. Without those passionate women, we could not operate.

The more that women influence our world, the better it will get.

Happy “International Women’s Day”


Connecticut

The last few days have been spent doing speeches in the New Haven and Stony Creek area of Connecticut. We met quite a few people and we were able to make some connections and sell some books and swag. Additionally, we have shared the message taught to me by the people who set me on this trajectory. It is important to me that I remember how I got here. How is that? I got here because my friends and complete strangers stepped in and helped me out when I had essentially given up. It makes me happy when we have the opportunity to share that story and even more happy when it provides an opportunity for us to help some of the K9’s that protect our communities.

I hope you have a good week and I hope if there are any of you reading this that are struggling, that you reach out for help. Sometimes things seem hopeless, but feelings are temporary and you never know where the future will take you. 10 years ago I was in a whole different world. If you have someone in your life who is struggling, step up and help them. You don’t have to be a mental health professional, you just have to show that you care and that you are there.

“Never underestimate your ability to affect the trajectory of another human life, especially in their most vulnerable moments.”


Serious “Ask”

One of the struggles we have here at Spike’s K9 Fund is trying to convince Law Enforcement Agencies to protect their K9’s. We have advertised a fair amount on Social Media. We have cold-called various agencies in the US and it really comes down to getting in touch with the “right person” at a department. We don’t have the manpower or the budget to visit every department that uses K9’s to support their work in the communities that they serve. I am asking our followers to help us by contacting their local law enforcement agencies and that hasn’t gone particularly well because when people make contact with someone from the department, they are smiled at and head nodded and then never contacted. We have tried to understand the present culture we are in, where law enforcement units are plastered with negative press and are therefore suspect of any type of outreach because they are worried about the “liability” for the department. When I say liability, I mean the type of public opinion liability that they experience on a daily basis. We at Spike’s K9 Fund can’t really help with any public relations issues, we are here to advocate for and protect the K9’s who serve our communities.

We are familiar with all of the bureaucratic hoops that we occasionally have to “jump through” to satisfy municipal administrators and we get that there are “procedures in place” for accepting donations to a Police Department, but there has to be a way to streamline the process.

If any of you read this and happen to be a senior law enforcement officer or public official, could you please send us an email at spikesk9fund@gmail.com and give us a few tips? We really need to crack the code on this.

We are serious about protecting EVERY K9 that serves our nation in every community where they are used.

We need some help figuring out a better way to navigate the cumbersome and often problematic system that stands in the way of doing the right thing for these K9’s that we ask so much of.

Thank you in advance.


Relentless

MWD Misa

We have to be relentless. The Dogs we advocate for and protect, they are relentless. It is important for us to attempt to match their incredible K9 drive with human hard work and never-ending commitment. The Working Dogs who protect our communities and our nation don’t have a “union” or “OSHA” or any “Lobbyists” to represent them. It’s up to us, and other organizations like ours, to do our best to protect and care for these amazing Dogs.

There are roughly 25,000 working K9’s in the US and the US military. We’ve helped a small percentage of them and we need your help to get to the rest. Please share our website and Facebook page. Please familiarize yourself with our three campaigns. Please talk to your local law enforcement and let them know we are here and we can help provide their K9’s with ballistic protection and heat alarms and if needed, we can assist with medical expenses.

We need your help to accomplish this mission of ours. Please reach out to us if you need some help starting a fundraiser or if you need printed materials to distribute at your place of business or in your community.

Our email address is: spikesk9fund@gmail.com

Have a great week!


Repeat Assists

if you look at our social media accounts today, you will be re-introduced to K9 Gabe. Gabe is a search and rescue Dog in Texas, and he is a great example of what we call a “repeat customer.” Our supporters helped Gabe with some equipment, and now, again because of our supporters, we are helping him cover some significant medical issues.

Here is a photo of Gabe:

a screen-shot from my personal twitter account

It is always exciting for us to share the numbers of the K9’s we’ve helped, but that number doesn’t really tell the WHOLE story. Many of the Dogs that have been helped by our supporters have been helped more than once by their generosity.

Please keep this in mind when you reflect on the specific numbers of K9’s that your generosity has helped.

We are extremely proud of our accomplishment of helping over 1016 K9’s, and some of those more than once. We know that we can do this only because of your generosity and the love you share for these amazing animals who do so much for us by helping to protect our nation and the communities in it.

As a conclusion, I’m going to type in the “ASK” again. We need your help in several ways:

1-pass the word and share our mission and story

2-donate to one of our campaigns

3-purchase a table or tickets to our big formal NYC Fundraiser which will take place on 17 May 2020 at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Thanks and have a great week.


Politics, partisanship, and Dogs

I hope the title hooked you. I hope you were ready to read this and see if this post fits into whatever version of America you feel like best represents your political beliefs.

Sorry to disappoint, this has nothing to do and everything to do with politics.

Regardless of what happens in the impeachment hearing in the US Senate, or the primaries in Iowa, there are still working Dogs out patrolling the communities of our nation in order to help keep us safe. Regardless of what your favorite news channel is telling you about your most detested or most liked political celebrity, working Dogs are out serving with the US Military in all of the places they are needed. Those Dogs don’t care what your or my political affiliation is, they care about their humans and their pack and their jobs.

It is Spike’s K9 Fund’s mission to help those Dogs in all of the things we ask of them. We are here to advocate for those working Dogs and we appreciate your help.

So while the airwaves and interwebs are pulsing with hot-buttered political froth for your ingestion, take a moment and think about the Dogs and people who are keeping the “wheels on the bus” of our nation.

They deserve our support and generosity. They aren’t democrats or republicans. They are Dogs and they are a gift to us and our communities.

Business time.

Get SOME!

Well, we are off to a great start!

We’ve helped 19 K9’s so far this year at a total investment of over $37,000.00

Thank you Spike’s Pack! Because of you, we are off to a good start but our goals are very high. We need your support! We need you to do a couple of very specific things to help us help these amazing K9’s.

1- Share our mission with your friends and families and social media contacts.

2- Help us find K9’s to help and donors who are keen to support our mission.

We are a small organization and we have some great volunteers, but not enough to get our mission out to all who can help us succeed.

Mina wants you to know that she’s out there working hard as well.

Help the Hairmissiles!

Have a great week and don’t forget about the big event in NYC in May!


2020 Goal

After some deliberation, Emily, Annemarie, and Paige (I call them the “Furies” from my reading last semester) decided that we need to seriously up our game this year.

Thus, our official goal for 2020 is to help 500 K9’s.

This is a big jump, but we most certainly have it in us to make it happen. I feel confident because of the responses we receive on the regular from our “Spike’s Pack.”

Another reason I’m confident about our goal is this:

CWD Caras

This was one of the first Dogs we helped. His name was Caras and he was a DOD contract working dog (CWD) who served 9 straight years in Afghanistan. He went through several handlers who went home, but he stayed in Afghanistan and when he came home, he had a spinal injury and needed help. We were just getting started and didn’t have much in the way of funds, but we clawed and scratched and worked and we were able to help him. It taught me that having our hearts solidly invested in something is the only real way to be effective.

My life was saved by working Dogs. Many of my buddies were saved as well. Many first responders go home to their families at night because of these amazing animals. Many lost children and elderly humans survive being lost in the woods at night, in the cold, because a Dog found them.

We must protect and care for these Dogs. We want to be their advocate. Their voice. We want to be there during and after their working lives.

Please step up your game and help us reach our goal. We will need a lot of help. We will need people to share our mission on social media and talk to their local law enforcement folks and let them know we are out here for them.

We need help identifying the true search and rescue K9 teams out there that need assistance.

If you can make a small or large donation, that is how we accomplish our mission, so thanks in advance. Shop our store, put a sticker on your car, let people know what we have done and what we aim to do.

Every single Dog that goes to work in, and for our nation, needs to be outfitted for success, safety, and efficiency. They deserve medical care and kindness throughout their lives.

Help us help them.

#spikespack