September is national service dog awareness month. You’ve probably seen service dogs from time to time out in the community. Service dogs are trained from birth to help those with disabilities navigate everyday life. “If someone’s at the door, the stove the microwave the telephone, just that sense of security at night. And then other dogs pull wheelchairs. they turn off and on light switches,” Sandy Globa explains.
Globa and her husband are “Puppy Raiser Volunteers” through the Canine Companions for Independence program. They work with dogs from the time they are just a few weeks old until they are about a year and a half old before they are sent to the next level in the process. Not all dogs who go through training graduate. In fact, the success rate for these dogs is about 50 percent, proving just how intense this training really is.
Both trainers and working dog owners say it is important to not disturb a dog that is actively working without permission from their owner.
Globa says “Anytime you see a dog in a vest of any kind or any color that you should never be a distraction to that dog and try to pet it or call it’s name.”