Honoring Service Dogs

It’s International Assistance Dog Week. According to the IADW website, the week was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. The goals are to:

  • Recognize and honor assistance dogs
  • Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
  • Honor puppy raisers and trainers
  • Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities

Click here for a full list of IADW events this week and weekend across the world.

Snuggling with pups from Canine Companions for Independence

I recently had the pleasure of holding a litter of 12 six week old puppies from Canine Companions for Independence, the largest assistance dog organization in the world. CCI provides highly-trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. Their website states: “The most advanced technology capable of transforming the lives of people with disabilities has a cold nose and a warm heart!”

My friend, Lisa Walker, is a breeder caretaker for CCI. All four paws up to Lisa and her family for helping bring these beautiful service dog puppies into the world.

I received an email from a friend this week who has been eagerly waiting to hear whether he was approved for an assistance dog from CCI. I had tears in my eyes as I read that he passed the application process and is now on their waiting list. I can hardly wait to see how much freedom his new dog will give him.

Sanchez (pictured above as a puppy) and Gina are both career change dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a former volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs, I have a soft place in my heart for all the service dogs who are hard at work and who just delight in a job well done. Four paws up to all of them.

Do you have a service dog or personally know any? How have they affected your life and of others you know? Thanks for sharing your story in a comment below.

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85 comments

Lisa Spector
Lisa Spector3 years ago

Thanks for all the comments.
@Deborah D. - Keep up the great work. Great to "meet" another volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog organization.

@JjT - Good suggestion. There actually is a test called the "Canine Good Citizenship Test", created by AKC. A passing dog is awarded a certificate, but unfortunately it doesn't grant the dog any special privileges, even though I've often thought it should.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia3 years ago

Awesome

Jj Thompson
Jj Thompson3 years ago

I have a service dog. A fantastic thing, learning to communicate so well with an animal. I wish there were a mid category for well trained dogs (and their people) that doesn't require them to be a 'service' dog, just recognized as well behaved, and to be given more access rights to places because of it, thus encouraging people to do the little bit of learning it takes to reach that level of having a well behaved animal (& people handling them).

For example we could say animals (& their person) who have the good-behavior certificate can run without leash in parks where a leash is otherwise required.

Any thoughts on that idea?

Loretta P.
Loretta P.3 years ago

4 paws up to all service dogs, their handlers and trainers. Great article.

Loretta P.
Loretta P.3 years ago

4 paws up to all service dogs, their handlers and trainers. Great article.

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn3 years ago

A dog is a man's best friend, protector, and healer. Yes, I agree with Daria, pull them out of those shelters and train them and see what a reward they can become and be to the ungrateful mankind.

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn3 years ago

A dog is a man's best friend, protector, and healer. Yes, I agree with Daria, pull them out of those shelters and train them and see what a reward they can become and be.

Christine C.
Christine C.3 years ago

Thanks

Christine C.
Christine C.3 years ago

Thanks

Emily Drew
Emily Drew3 years ago

thank you