Some musings with Nutmeg, the Service Dog
This is Nutmeg here, Service dog extraordinaire, checking in on everyone during this different time, (I am trained to help people you know). While others may be out of work, we service dogs never stop doing the jobs we've been specially trained to do. Service dogs help perform duties for a person limited by a disability. The patch on my vest reads, "mobility dog", because in my house my person cannot use their legs and uses a wheelchair to move around. I have been specially trained to open doors and cabinets for them and to pick up objects out of their reach. I can even use the light switch on the wall! I'm especially proud to know the command, " BRACE", and position myself to be a steady object they can lean on when getting in and out of their chair. I'm always so pleased when my person tells others how much happier he is now that I make his life so much easier.
My neighbor, Stuart, is also a service dog. ( We've been social distancing through the fence.) Stuart has different responsibilities than mine. He has been taught to detect seizures. He paws or jumps on his person before a seizure starts to let her know to get to a safe place. Stu alerts her mom and stays with his person until the seizure ends. His person is now able to go to school again and play with friends all because Stuart, the " Medical Alert dog", is her constant companion.
Stuart and I aren't use to being home so much! As service dogs, we are able to go in schools, stores, restaurants, anyplace the people we serve go. We both had to pass several tests to prove we were good at our jobs and our people could always rely on us to do our best!
Stu overheard his mom talking on something called Zoom.She was talking with his friend, Mazie's mom. She said Mazie hasn't been anywhere in over a month! Mazie is a working dog, that's different than being a service dog. She doesn't do her job every day, only at special times when her skill is needed. Mazies special talent is finding lost people. She is a search and rescue dog and usually gets to travel all over the world helping find people where ever there's been a disaster.
Yesterday Queenie the cat, brought word that congratulations were in order for Riley who lives down the street. Queenie says because we've all been home so much lately, Riley's mom has been training him for his CGC, or Canine Good Citizen test. Once he passes, he will become a therapy dog. Therapy dogs also only work at specific times and places. Riley LOVES to snuggle with people, so he'll be perfect to visit patients in hospitals and give them a smile and a distraction from their discomfort.
I've got to get back to work now. Once we all are going places again remember if you see me or my other pals, we are busy working. Don't call to me or pet me. I've got to stay focused on my person and their special needs. And, I am very proud of that!