[nagdu] . Re: fidelco guide dogs,----?

Artie. anolden at tampabay.rr.com
Fri Aug 19 03:31:11 UTC 2011

I also said that whatever the turmoil  was, that I did not pay attention to it, as I am not  a Fidelco guide handler.

Until 11 PM tonight in your mesages below, I never heard the name Elliott Russman.      

I wrote:
Well, the original Fidelco yahoo group was disbanded a few months ago,and a new one started by graduates.  There was some turmoil between SOME grads and the administration, but I didn't pay attention to it as I am not a Fidelco handler.  

    The Fidelco grads are wonderful people, and have nothing but praise about their guides.

End Kwote.

And, after I sent that note, president Marion, I found your email mesage, which was all news to me;  I didn't know anything about an administrator lurking on the original Fidelco list, nor that someone's harness had been taken away -- as you or someone here had describe.  When the topic  in the subject field pertained to that matter, whatever it was, I hit my Delete key.

    Princess Linda and I have friends in the Fidelco family of guide dog handlers.  Apparently there was no restriction that would prevent us from joining  that list.  If I recall, we were invited to join.  I did, but Princess did not, as it was a high traffic list.  

    When the original list was shut down, whoever set up the new one merely moved the members over.

    Princess Linda is in Pensacola for five days to attend her HS reunion.  She is going to visit her dear friend of three dozen years, a Fidelco handler.

    I'm going to Hospice on Saturday to do my usual as a volunteer, and looks like I'll have   a whole lotta NAGTDU mesages to read on Sunday, a day off.

    Artie and GDF Golden guide dog JJ by the Gulf, 
    west central Florida.
    Dusty's Light Will  Shine Forever!
    and sweet Charcoal, who has received her Beautiful
    Angel Wings, her Loving Memory lives on in our hearts.
From: "Tracy Carcione" 
August 18, 2011 2:58 PM

Actually, Artie said that the Fidelco graduates he knows have nothing but praise for their guides.  It is perfectly possible to get a great guide dog from a school with which you have some disagreements, even serious disagreements.  And I have seen schools where the instructors treat the students with greater respect than some of the admin.  I'm not saying it's right, but it certainly does happen.

> Artie,
>     On the one hand, you say there is turmoil between some of the
> consumers and Fidelco. On the other hand, you say that there is nothing but praise
> from the consumers. It cannot be both ways! Which is it?
>     The reality of the situation is that there was a Fidelco consumers group
> that operated as a Yahoo Group for several years. The agreement was that the
> staff of Fidelco would not subscribe to the group, allowing them to discuss
> issues freely and without retribution. When eliot Russman became the Executive Director, he subscribed to the group in violation of the original agreement. He lurked on the group, not letting subscribers know he was reading their messages. As the result of his presence, some of the
> consumers had negative experiences. One consumer mentioned that her current guide
> dog
> and her previous guide dog got into a scrap and, when she attempted to
> break
> it up, was accidentally bitten by one of them. A few days later, a trainer
> showed up at her door unannounced and repossessed her harness.
>     When the article I wrote appeared in the Braille Monitor, Fidelco
> consumers began discussing it on the list, relating some of their concerns
> about how that particular consumer was treated and relating their own
> stories of similar mistreatment. Shortly thereafter, Eliot Russman sent a
> message to the moderator stating that use of the Fidelco name was a
> violation of trademark and the list was to be shut down. Interestingly,
> until consumers began expressing their concerns about the administration,
> there was no problem with the list. It was a great way for Mr. Russman to
> keep tabs on consumers. When the consumers began questioning the
> administration, the list - of which Eliot Russman was a part - suddenly
> became a trademark infringement.
>     As I stated in my previous message, Mr. Russman engages in bullying
> behavior that borders on unethical. Such an organization presents serious
> concerns for those of us whose business is the protection of consumers.
> The
> best protection we can offer is to discourage consumers from using their
> services until they can demonstrate to us that they will take the > necessary
> stepts to treat us with dignity.
> fraternally yours,
Marion Gwizdala

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