Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Running of the Chihuahuas

It has been a very hectic week for the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy! On Friday, Jerry and Eddie visited Lookout Mountain Elementary and performed disability awareness presentations for the entire school. They were able to tell all the kids THANK YOU for donating the most items to Goodwill during Smile Week! On Monday, Eddie met the Hamilton County Superintendent Dr. Scales and the Student Advisory Council, and again, it gave us an opportunity to thank them for their TREMENDOUS effort to raise the money last year to sponsor a service dog. On Wednesday, Jerry ran over to the Running of the Chihuahuas after our volunteer course at Unum. Unfortunately, we missed the races with over 100 dogs participating, but Jerry did meet some wonderful new friends! What an AWESOME week!

Monday, April 26, 2010

8-week-old Eddie did his first school visit

Imagine 8-week-old service puppy Eddie and 60 first-graders...that was our morning! We were very proud of Eddie, who performed in his first disability awareness education program today at Birchwood Elementary. Eddie showed off some basic obedience commands and helped to teach the first grade about people with disabilities and service dogs. Eddie got to see a big gym for the first time and loved seeing all the kids!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Have dinner with spokesdog Jerry on Sat, May 1st

Please join the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy on Saturday, May 1st at 8:30 p.m. at Mudpie Restaurant (12 Frazier Ave Chattanooga 423-267-9043 and have dinner with our spokesdog Jerry. GADA will also hold a $1 raffle ticket sale to support our new service-dog-in-training 7-week-old Eddie. The prize giveaways begin at 10:00 p.m. and include many gift cards such as $50 Crystyal Dawn Photography, $35 Goodwill stores, $12 Chattanooga Cupcakes, $10 Belk, $10 gas card, $10 i-tunes just to name a few....
For more information, please e-mail Ramona Nichols at Thank you for helping to make life more independent for people with disabilities.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eddie met his Unum family this morning

Eddie spent the morning at the Unum Chattanooga campus. He met some of his wonderful volunteers, who participate in the Dog at Your Desk program, and he got to see what an office environment is all about. It was a wonderful morning!

Eddie came home!

Our newest service puppy is named Eddie (after Goodwill founder Edgar Helms). We picked him up on Monday morning, and he is absolutely adorable! This is a picture of Eddie upon his homecoming with his new Daddy and Goodwill volunteer Tim. We are very excited to begin this exciting adventure with a wonderful baby boy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

We tested a wonderful litter of Golden puppies today belonging to Robin Bowen of Prism Goldens and chose a gorgeous and smart male puppy to join the program on Monday! We cannot wait to bring him home and begin his journey to become a lifelong canine partner!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Special thanks to Pisa Pizza and Owner Scott Courter and special thanks to Amanda Wojtalik-Courter, DVM for hosting and sponsoring Pisa Pizza and Pups, which was held on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. It was a wonderful evening with forty participants and their pets! $561 was raised to support the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy! Thank you to everyone who came out and made a difference to our cause!
We would also like to thank Eileen Fogo and Ken DeFoors for donating parking during the event!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We started our first volunteer trainer course!

GADA is so proud to begin its first volunteer trainer course! We are partnering with Unum to provide instructional classes for Unum employees, who are receiving dog behavioral lectures and learning how to train Jerry and Hamilton! Thank you UNUM for your incredible support! Jerry and Hamilton had a blast!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pisa Pizza and Pups Tues April 13th 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

PLEASE join us this Tuesday, April 13th 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Pisa Pizza 551 River St Chattanooga to support our service dogs! $10 includes 2 slices of pizza and soda. All proceeds benefit the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy! It will be great weather, so bring your pet for dining on the patio and surrounding outside areas! Please RSVP to

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hamilton worked at the front desk today

4-month-old Hamilton helped at the Chattanooga Goodwill front desk today! Check out this video of Hammy practicing basic obedience in the office
Thank you to our front desk staffer Taryn Wilson for assisting in Hamilton's instruction!

Check out this feature on our sister program!

Check out this article and video done by the Chattanooga Times Free Press on our co-workers at Chattanooga Goodwill, who direct the GoodGuides Mentoring Program. ALL kinds of great work happening at Goodwill to make a difference in our community!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hamilton finished his puppy shots

We want to send a HUGE thank you to Dr. Amanda of Chattanooga Vet Center ( for taking such wonderful care of Hamilton, who received his final puppy vaccinations! Its a great milestone and relief to get through those initial exams / shots! Hammy is VERY healthy and learning all of his service dog commands quickly!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hamilton at Unum Insurance in Chattanooga

We would like to thank Unum Insurance Company in Chattanooga for their tremendous support of the Chattanooga Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy! Not only do they provide much-needed funding to make our service dogs possible, but they also provide valuable training and socialization opportunities. 4-month-old Hamilton visits every Wednesday to learn how to behave in an office environment, and this is a critical part of his socialization regime! Thank you Unum for making a difference!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our Sister program was on News Channel 9

Congratulations to our co-workers at Chattanooga Goodwill in the HELPs department for their tremendous efforts to send FREE medical equipment to Haiti. The Health Equipment Link Program or HELPs collects, cleans, and refurbishes durable medical equipment that is donated to Goodwill such as walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, and hospital beds. These items are provided FREE of charge to people in the community who are unable to purchase these nececssities for themselves.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Check out this video of 4-month-old Hamilton

Watch service puppy Hamilton open a drawer, a skill that will dramatically increase the independence of a person with a disability! If you subscribe to the Chattanooga Goodwill channel, you will be automatically notified when new videos are uploaded!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome to the GADA blog

Thank you so much for your interest in service dogs! Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, Inc. is very proud to begin the training of three assistance dogs in 2010. We hope that you will share in the growth, development, and activities of our dogs on the two-year journey to prepare for a life of service.

For more information, please visit the Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, Inc. web site at, or e-mail: