"Good News" Magazine Sept. '17 PP issue to publish online - Page 11

September is National Service Dog Month National Service Dog Month was first established by actor and animal advocate Dick Van Patten in 2008, after what he called "a life-changing visit" to a Guide Dog facility in California. The trip inspired him to spearhead a fundraiser that would benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country. That one event grew into an annual celebration that recognizes and honors all assistance animals. Most people are familiar with seeing-eye and guide dogs, but there are well over a dozen different kinds of service animals, including Allergy Alert, Autism Assistance, Medical Response, Seizure Alert, Diabetic, Hearing, and Psychiatric Service Dogs. Dogs who serve in the Military have recently been added to the Service Dog Designation. And service animals can include cats, bunnies, horses, even pot-bellied pigs! Most are dogs, however, and a few of the more common breeds used as service dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds. Any dog can be trained to be one, though, if they have the proper temperament and physical capability to do what their owner requires. So let's tip our hat, especially this month, to acknowledge these extraordinary animals who dedicate, sometimes even risk, their lives, to serve, protect, and help their humans have a better one! - FAQ's About Service Dogs - Q: What kind of tasks can service dogs perform? A: Service dogs can be taught a multitude of tasks to help their owner, including, but not limited to, turning lights on and off, opening and closing doors, pushing or pulling wheelchairs, licking a person having a seizure to help bring them out of it (with tactile stimulation), alerting a diabetic to dangerous shifts in blood sugar, waking a person with PTSD from a nightmare, bracing an unsteady handler, and retrieving dropped items. Q: Are service dogs required to wear gear that identifies them as such? A: Despite popular belief, service dogs in this country do not have to wear identifying gear. Vests, harnesses, and jackets are very commonly worn to avoid situations such as people petting the dogs or handlers not being let into particular businesses, but there is no law requiring the dogs to do so. They are also not required to have any paperwork, such as doc- umentation, registration, or certification. A service dog's handler does not have to provide proof of his or her dog's status. Q: If dogs don't have gear or paperwork, how do you kno rbBw2vVVR6W'f6RFs6W'f6RFw2&RW7VǒfW'FVFf&RvFFV"WG7FFr&Vf"B'fW2G&rbV6W'FvWfW"Bw2&W7BF77VRFW&RvVVR6W'f6RFrB&W7BvF&W"WFVWGFR&VV&W"BF6&ƗFW2&Pf6&RBBw2BƗFRFRV&W2f7BVvǒFW'26ǒ&R6VBGvVW7F2FFWFW&֖R66W2Ч6&ƗGF'W6W76W2$2FR&WV&VB&V6W6RbF6&ƗG"B%vBv&"F622FRFr&VVG&V@FW&f&"FBVW7FFW"w2VF67F'"Fv62&RVRvVBFvvW&RvFFV"6W'f6RFw37GVǒVvǒ6W'f6RFw2F( BfRV&Ɩ266W72&vG2FV"FW"vW7BfRF6&ƗG&FW F&R'FW&VBvF6W'f6RFr2FR&vBF66W72( 6W2bV&Ɩ266FF( vFFV"6W'f6RFrFPFffW&V6R2FRW'62FRRvF&vG2BFRFrvRFRW'62FR&vBFB&RF67&֖FVBv7@&V6W6RFWfR6W'f6RFrfrRFW2BWFF6ǒw&BFW"66W72F6W2vW&RV&W'2`FRV&Ɩ2&V( BvVB6VFr&fFRW6W6fR6V'26W'F&V2b2V&V2B&VgVvW2vW&RFRF~( 0&W6V6R6VB6W6RFvW""7G&W72FFR&W6FVB2B6W2vW&RVR6&RW6VFVBƖR'F7V 7F&25R$B&Fw&V2WF27FW&R&&F&W2"f7F'f'2vB2FR&W"WFVWGFRvVV6VFW&r6W'f6RFsvRFVFrf"WBfW'26W'f6RFw26VBB&R&6VBffW&VBfBFƶVBF"WGFVBVW72W&֗2Ч626VBf"Bw&FVB'FRF~( 2FW"F7G&7Fr6W'f6RFr6FW&fW&RvFG2f7W2B&ƗGF7@"frFVFǒƖfR6fr7VW2"6G2FB6VB&W7VBFVF&FG2FW"FwB&RffVFV@bFRFW"62RBFFW&7BvF2"W"Fr2FWfR"FFBFwBVVBFfW'62bPfRW"vWBvFRVWBBF7F6Rg&FR6W'f6RFrF&RFR6fR6FRw6FfVǒWG26WFV&W