If my mom needed help, there are a few ways that I could beckon someone to help her. Do you know what beckon means? It is when you encourage someone to come closer or follow.
I could either do this when we are out in public. Or when we are at home. So, depending on where we are, I would use the appropriate way to beckon for that help.
One of the things my puppy raiser taught me was to speak. And this was further solidified when I was in professional training. When I’m asked to “speak,” I bark. I have a loud bark. So, if I were to bark, it would surely get the attention of a nearby person!
As you know, a service dog should be quiet and well behaved in public. In many ways, we should be invisible. Which means our presence isn’t distracting in any way.
So, if my mom and I are in a public place, and she needed help, she could ask me to speak. This would be unusual behavior for me in a public setting. Which would cause a person to look and see that my mom was in distress. And needed their help.
When we are at home, I could speak if my mom needed help from my dad. Although this could also cause some confusion.
My mom and I sometimes play games where she asks me to speak. So if we were playing and I barked my dad wouldn’t always know if he were needed.
So my mom came up with a couple of other options for us to use if she needed help while we are at home.
For one of these ways, she tells me “go get dad” and I know to go find him. Once there, I look at him and then start to walk away. But go right back to him. And then start away again.
When he sees me doing this behavior he knows my mom needs help. And follows me!
But my mom wanted another option in case my dad was dozing. Or if he were in a part of the house that I couldn’t get to easily.
So my mom ordered a special doorbell that has a small push plate on it. When pushed it chimes or plays another selected tone. We have it set to play a short segment of a Disney tune!
Pebble Smart Doggie Doorbell
When my mom says “help” I run right over and push that button! We can be in the kitchen or bedroom or bathroom. And I can even do it if my mom is in bed and needs help!
The only downside we have found is that it only works in the house. My mom was hoping she could put a receiver in the kennel so she could beckon for help if she needed it while my dad was out there working.
She is continuing to look for another option that will work for this situation. And hopefully, in time she will find one.
I practice all of these different ways so that I’m ready in case my mom needs help. But so far that hasn’t happened. Which my mom is grateful for. She would rather just practice with me instead of actually needing help!