This post was sponsored by Milk-Bone® as part of a Two-Post Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Earlier this week the girls and I had the opportunity to learn about diabetic alert service dogs. We met Oreo, a diabetic alert service dog in training. During the presentation we learned what it takes to be a service dog, and how we should act around service dogs we meet in public.
For the most part, the information presented was about how service dogs do their job. It was great information, but a presentation like this has a hard time showing the bigger picture of just how big of an impact service dogs make on the people they work with.
20th Anniversary with Canine Assistants
Milk-Bone takes a cue from both their dogs and these amazing service dogs by doing more.
This year, Milk-Bone is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary with Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs to children and adults with physical disabilities and special needs. This is the kind of training we were learning about this week.
Over the years Canine Assistants, with the help of Milk-Bone, has helped many amazing families. To celebrate their milestone anniversary together, Milk-Bone created a video to introduce you to some of the dogs and pet parents who have been helped, and how these dogs do so much more than just share space with us. Hearing their stories really brings the story full circle for me.
Every Dog Provides Service
Our dog, Glory, will never be a service dog. She’s too reactive toward other dogs, which is something a service dog can’t be. They need to stay focused on their person to make sure they don’t miss a need to alert.
We’re okay that Glory isn’t a service dog though, she still has her own job, and like all other dogs, she’s a lot more than meets the eye.
Glory doesn’t just sit next to us on the couch while we’re having family movie night, she snuggles in, gets comfortable, and enjoys her time with us as much as we enjoy having her. Glory doesn’t just eat her meals, she waits until everyone in the house is safe and sound before she digs in. Going on a walk is another thing Glory doesn’t just do, she takes us on an adventure!
One of the more important things Glory does, even though she’s not a service dog, is offer up love, attention, and a whole lot of snuggles to my great-niece, who has autism. At first my niece didn’t like Glory because Glory gets pretty excited when visitors arrive. Over several meetings the two have become good friends. When the family spends the night, Glory makes sure everyone is safe in bed before she’ll settle down. When they come over for a visit, Glory plays with my niece and ensures laughter will fill the house.
Glory may not be a trained service dog, but she definitely does her part to do more.
How You Can Help Service Dogs
Service dogs do amazing things for the humans in their life, and it’s up to everyone to make sure they can do those amazing things well, not just the trainers, not just their owners, but everyone. Even you. Here are a few tips to remember when you see a service dog of any kind out working in public.
- Remember, service dogs can go anywhere people can go by federal law. You can recognize them by the service vest they wear. Often the vest will indicate what kind of service dog they are.
- Service dogs can be any breed of dog. Different temperaments are better for different jobs, so don’t assume a dog can’t be a service dog just because of it’s breed or size.
- If you see a service dog, don’t go over and pet the dog or talk to it. When the dog is out they are working and need to stay focused on their job. For example, a diabetic alert dog uses his sense of smell to catch the scent of rising or dropping blood glucose levels. If distracted, he might miss alerting his human about whatever trigger they are trained for.
- Also remember that not everyone with a service dog wants to talk about the dog. In some cases they might want to talk, but are in a hurry to run an errand. It’s also possible the person just doesn’t want to talk about it. It’s not their job to educate everyone on their dog or their diagnosis.
- Don’t assume a service dog doesn’t get love or attention because they are working. These dogs build strong relationships with their family. They get a lot of love, care and respect.
Keep these tips in mind when you meet a service dog and remember the amount of life these dogs are giving to their humans. Your dog probably does the same thing for you, just in a different way.
Dogs truly are mans best friend, although my cat probably disagrees with that.
In what way does your dog do more for you?