Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs aren’t the only dogs in the world who do amazing, life-changing work, but they are one of the few types of working dogs clearly defined and protected by United States federal law. Too many people don’t understand the differences between many types of working dogs, though, and it’s time to clear up some of the confusion.
Service Dogs enhance their human partner’s lives in so many ways. Sometimes, these special dogs even save their human’s life through complex and highly trained task work.
If Service Dogs could speak, what would they share with you? Well, while that question is impossible to answer (at least at this time!), we’d like to think that we’ve hit the main points on the top things Service Dogs would want you to know.
Many people have a vague sense of awareness that Service Dogs "help" their person and that they're allowed to be in public, but there's a lot more to Service Dog handlers and teams than meets the eye. To help fill in the holes, here are the top 10 things Service Dog handlers want every member of the public to know and understand.
They guide, listen, balance, lead and love. They provide friendship and independence, freedom and peace of mind. They live to serve their handler to the fullest extent of their capability, be it through retrieving dropped items, offering physical support to an unsteady handler or alerting a Deaf or hard of hearing handler to important events.
Before partnering with a Service Dog, there are several important points to consider. While thousands of individuals with a disability benefit greatly from partnering with a Service Dog, it’s not the solution for everyone. If you or a loved one is considering full-time Service Dog partnership, please ask yourself the following 5 questions before making a final decision.
When you have a Service Dog by your side 24 hours a day, you have to accept that you will never be invisible again. Everywhere you go, all eyes will be on you chances are someone will have something to say about the furry partner at your side. Your days of anonymity are gone — and this can be very stressful for many individuals.
What happens if you die? Who will take care of your pet or Service Dog? Nobody wants to think about their own death. Creating a plan for your animals can make the transition easier on your animals and those around you. Do you have a plan in case you become physically unable to care for them — or worse?
London-based Hanwell Pet Store has created an infographic titled, “10 things you probably didn’t know about dogs.” (But since you’re reading Anything Pawsable, you likely already know these things and more!)
Although many people know that you are not supposed to pet Service Dogs when they are working, few understand the reasoning behind this rule. Even fewer people realize that you should not DISTRACT an assistance dog in ANY WAY.