Celebrating National Service Dog Month!

Super Smiley, blog dog here, celebrating National Service Dog Month!

Many of us dogs are here because of the kind and courageous people who devote their lives to saving us. So, many of us owe our lives to humans. And that’s why we dogs are so proud of service dogs. They are a special “breed” of dog, made up of devotion, focus, and a mission to help people overcome their challenges and live their lives! They have earned their name. They are “service” dogs!

They can be guide dogs serving as eyes for their person, or hearing dogs that alert deaf people to sounds we use as important everyday signals from a simple doorbell to an oncoming fire truck! These life-enhancing dogs help people perform needed tasks that most take for granted like opening a refrigerator or reaching for a phone. They can also be life-saving dogs who alert their person to chemical changes in their bodies that indicate a seizure or a diabetic sugar spike is about to happen! They are “life-finding” dogs by helping people with autism find their way to relate to others and to be OK in the external world. Service dogs can also be life-affirming dogs, by giving a person back his life – like when military troops have been psychologically traumatized from war and are paralyzed by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

These dogs live their lives to help their person live theirs. It’s just that simple. And we salute them!

Well said Super Smiley! It’s Megan here now with the mission and background on National Service Dog Month.

53 Service Dog Month 2Dick Van Patten, the beloved founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods, originally created this celebration in 2008 to fundraise for service dog training schools around the country to support training guide dogs for the blind.

Guide dogs still remain front and center in the National Service Dog Month fundraising drives, but the celebration has expanded to spotlight military working dogs and service dogs and companion animals who specifically help U.S. veterans with the physical and psychological effects of war including PTSD. These dogs’ jobs can range from touching their person to assure them everything is OK, to nuzzling them to bring them back to the “here and now” during a panic attack. They may wake their person during a nightmare, or assume a blocking position to “protect” their person’s personal space in chaotic crowds; or by the dog simply being there, their person may have the courage and confidence to simply leave their house.

Petco is working to expand National Service Dog Month and refers to it as their Helping Heroes Campaign. This October, we can visit any Petco and donate to support these service and therapy animal programs. Last year the Helping Heroes Campaign raised more than $2 million.

A service dog is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.”

Like Super Smiley said, these dogs give their lives to help people live theirs. Service dogs, it’s National Service Dog Month, and we salute you!

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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