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In the Presence of a Service Dog | UnwrappingPanic
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The DOGgone Truth. . .   Do you ever wonder what people are saying about you? I mean your close friends. Are they always 100% truthful? You’d like to think so. Personally, I can’t be around people or call anyone a true friend if I don’t think they are. But...
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In the Presence of a Service Dog

“Oh My God he’s so cute”- “Look Madge it’s a Seeing Eye Dog”- Those are just some of the things I hear as I walk thru a public place with my Service Dog Milo.  It’s been quite an education getting used to having him with me. And some of the things I hear and see people do would fill up a book I’m sure. I have to say 85% of the time we get nothing but kindness from the public, but it saddens me when the other 15% don’t behave well.   So from a handler of  a Service Dog I thought I would try to educate the public a little. Not all Service Dogs are “Seeing Eye Dogs”.    Service dogs  are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be trained for many different purposes.  They can...
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Milo the Service Dog from PawsforPanic

“Oh My God he’s so cute”- “Look Madge it’s a Seeing Eye Dog”-

Those are just some of the things I hear as I walk thru a public place with my Service Dog Milo.  It’s been quite an education getting used to having him with me. And some of the things I hear and see people do would fill up a book I’m sure. I have to say 85% of the time we get nothing but kindness from the public, but it saddens me when the other 15% don’t behave well.   So from a handler of  a Service Dog I thought I would try to educate the public a little.

Not all Service Dogs are “Seeing Eye Dogs”.    Service dogs  are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be trained for many different purposes.  They can be Guide Dogs-  guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, MOBILITY ASSIST DOGS who do great work with wheelchair bound people, SEIZURE ALERT DOGS alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, Psychiatric Service Dogs may remind a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications,  or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, and there there are dogs trained to assist people who are having severe Panic Attacks|Agoraphobia help get them out of their homes and back into normal day life.  There are numerous ways a dog can be trained to Service their humans.   The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

What is most important for the public to know is that when you see a dog with a Service Vest on, this is a highly trained animal who is doing a most important job for it’s human.  While you may want to run and hug them- the dog not the human- please don’t. ASK FIRST.  And don’t sneak up behind a person with a Service Dog where they can’t see or hear you – approach from the front.   Interact with the human first- then ask if you can pet the dog. Don’t whistle at the dog , that distracts them from the important work they are trying to do.  And please don’t let your kids go running up to them. Make it a teachable moment where you introduce your child the wonderful world of working dogs and the important role they play.  Just because someone doesn’t outwardly “look” like they need a service dog- doesn’t mean they don’t.

Our Service Dogs don’t have to wear vests that say Service Dog- but we put them on to make them easily identifiable.  Our Service Dogs are allowed to go anywhere we go. ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE. So of you are a host in a store, hotel, restaurant, beach club, country club, movie theater, broadway theater or anywhere else welcome us in.

But most of all know that if you are in the presence  of these loving caring hard workinghighly trained dogs- you are watching something priceless. Be kind, and let it make you smile!

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