Creek Speak October 2017 - Page 16

As you would expect, having a dog at school brings a lot of attention. Overall, Jackie does not mind it. She is willing to answer questions about her happy pup. She does not focus on the attention, rather the service she is providing to help other people. Samwise is well behaved and does not cause many classroom disruptions. Many people do want to pet Samwise and Jackie shared how there have been instances where people did not even ask, they just reached out to pet him. The only time service dogs can be pet or played with is when they are not working. Their service vest comes off and their trainer gives them a command before they are free to play and interact with people. The fascinating thing is that no matter how playful they are, the moment the vest is back on, they are calm and focused. The question Jackie gets asked the most is, “Is it hard to give the dog up?” Jackie explained that although it is difficult to give the dog up, the most rewarding thing about the whole process is handing him to the person he has been trained to help.

Hopefully you now know a little more about Samwise and Jackie, and the amazing work they are doing in our school. The most important thing to remember is that Samwise is doing his job. Even though petting him is almost irresistible, you should be courteous to his service and ask Jackie’s permission before interacting with him.