Service dogs have the capacity to amaze us with their intelligence, devotion, focus and abilities. We’ve all seen stories of service dogs performing heroic feats to save lives. We’ve watched them in public providing support and alerts to handlers in need. They help their humans walk, retrieve needed objects, assist first responders with their efforts and use their noses to detect illness and oncoming health problems.
Today we honor 5 of these incredible service dogs, sharing videos of them in action, doing what they do best for the human in their lives.
1. Diabetic Alert Dog
As the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, for those living with diabetes, having their blood glucose level under control is a matter of life and death. Diabetic alert dogs respond to the scent emitted in their handler’s breath and sweat when their blood glucose level is too high or too low. They must be persistent, as blood glucose imbalances can cause a person to become slow to respond.
Duncan is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. His handler, Melinda, opens a sample vial to initiate a response in Duncan. This type of ongoing training is necessary between service dogs and their handlers.
2. Psychiatric Service Dog
Service dogs can be trained to support those living with a wide variety of psychiatric conditions. From calming someone dealing with general anxiety to delivering medication to a person on the verge of a panic attack, they give their handlers the ability to participate fully in everyday life.
Sunshine supports her handler who has trauma related anger and anxiety. She is able to pick up on subtle clues and deliver the medication needed to avoid a breakdown.
3. Hearing Dog
Living with hearing loss can make the world a very intimidating place. Hearing dogs alert their hearing impaired handlers to all the sounds that need attention. Whether it’s a door bell, phone, alarm, or voice calling them to dinner, hearing dogs listen on behalf of their handlers and bring them to the sounds they can’t hear themselves.
Zach is a young boy who was born hearing impaired. That made it very difficult for him to develop communication skills and made interactions with his hearing peers difficult and anxiety inducing. The pressing worry impacted his sleep, which naturally made daily life all the more challenging. That all changed when he got Echo, his hearing dog. Echo was a life changer, in every way.
Click Here to See: Army Veteran Has Panic Attack During Interview. His Service Dog Springs Into Action – On Camera!
4. Visual Guide Dog
Dogs have been trained to assist those with visual impairments for hundred of years. The earliest systemic training of seeing eye dogs dates back to the 1750’s in Paris! The practice eventually made its way to America in the 1920’s and dogs have been helping the visually impaired live more independent lives ever since.
Sami Stoner is a teenager living with macular degeneration that results in increasingly blurry vision over time. Her first symptoms showed up around 7th grade and by high school, her vision was limited to seeing basic shapes, sizes, and colors. In order to continue pursuing her passion of long distance running, she went through a lengthy approval process to be able to compete with her guide dog, Chloe at her side. She is the first ever runner to do this, paving the path for visually impaired runners behind her.
5. Service Dog for the Physically Impaired
Service dogs can support those who have physical impairments due to trauma, injury, or congenital conditions. They make life much easier to manage for their handlers in a variety of ways. They can provide stability while walking, standing, or bending. They can also retrieve objects that the handler needs faster and more safely than they could get the object themselves.
Harlow is a Golden Retriever who supports her physically impaired handler and she is very good at her job. She has an extensive vocabulary and shows great enthusiasm for her work. But even the smartest cookies sometimes make an honest mistake. Harlow puts a smile on our faces with her little mix up in the kitchen.
The world is a safer, calmer, more accessible place because of the service dogs that dutifully support their handlers every single day. We applaud these super service dogs and thank them for doing such a great job in the line of duty.
Featured Image c/o Patriot PAWS Service Dogs
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