September is National Service Dog Month! It is an annual event that takes place every September. So I decided that sharing my thoughts about this event would be a good way to start the month. I am including some fun resources, too!
National Service Dog Month is a time to focus on the amazing dogs who give independence to their disabled partners. And raise awareness for the many ways they can make a difference.
As you know, I am a service dog who performs tasks for my mom. Because of her physical disability and limitations, she needs my help with most of her activities of daily living. The tasks I perform make her life easier.
But there are other types of service dogs, too. Do you know some of the different ways dogs can help their partners? I will share a few of the ones I am most familiar with.
Dogs can be trained to guide a blind or visually impaired person. They can be trained to alert to sounds for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. As well as assisting those with cognitive disabilities.
Dogs can also alert to changes in blood sugar, for a person who has diabetes. And even be trained to alert their partner to acute medical episodes.
I agree that September is a good time for celebrating and showing appreciation for the extraordinary work a service dog does for their partner. But I also think it is a good time to remind or help educate people about good service dog etiquette.
The front and back sides of my postcard we give out to help people learn more about service dogs!
You may remember that I wrote a post on service dog etiquette not too long ago. If you want a refresher or more info on etiquette, check out my post… Proper etiquette when encountering a service dog!
I will share a few things here, even though I know you, my readers, are top-notch with knowing how to interact with a service dog. Although we all can benefit from reminders now and then!
I know it is hard for you to resist interacting with me. And other working dogs you may encounter. But when you see me, I am working and doing a job for my mom. I need to stay focused on my mom so that I will always know what she needs.
So this means no talking to me or distracting me in any way. Don’t call out my name or try to tell me things to do. That is my mom’s job!
If you want to, you can talk with my mom. And even ask if you can shake hands with me. If we have time we will stop and chat. And I will wave or shake hands with you.
I love to wave!
Please don’t try to feed me. Or offer me any type of food, even dog biscuits. I get breakfast and dinner, along with plenty of treats and occasional biscuits. So I don’t need anything extra from you. Although it is thoughtful of you to ask.
Another thing you shouldn’t do is run away from me or scream. If you are fearful of dogs, please know that I am friendly and will not hurt you. My mom and I will be respectful. If you want, we will stay still while you get a comfortable distance away from us.
Now for some fun! My organization, Canine Companions, created some quizzes in honor of Service Dog Month. I thought you might enjoy checking them out.
One is: Test your service dog knowledge! And the other is: What type of working dog are you? Have fun!
National Service Dog Month brings awareness to the many ways dogs give independence to their partners. A service dog is life-changing for those who need their assistance.
I feel honored to have a whole month to celebrate the job I do for my mom. Although I think my mom would say we celebrate every day! She is grateful for the companionship and independence I give her. She often tells me that I make an ordinary day extraordinary!
How to interact with a service dog!