The Daily Service Dog: Unaccompanied minor… dog…s
In a post that went viral, Tumblr’s Lumpatronics shared a somewhat atypical day in the life of a service dog team in an eloquent, humorous, and educational post. You can read the original short post here (we promise it’s worth your time.): http://ow.ly/Px3i30kzmbO
Essentially, Lumpatronics has a dog trained to detect and respond to seizures. When she tripped and fell, her dog interpreted it as a seizure and went to find an adult human to help. The woman he found didn’t understand what he wanted and was trying to shoo him away and get him to leave her alone.
While Lumpatronics is updating her dog’s training with a backup plan when an adult doesn’t cooperate with his help-seeking behavior, it’s equally important, if not more important, to spread the word that when a service dog comes up to you unaccompanied, please follow it.
You’re under no obligation (other than moral, perhaps) to help another human being in need, but even if you can’t follow the dog, alert someone who can. It could mean life or death to the dog’s handler.
This is also food for thought for those of us who prefer not to put our service dogs in the completely optional vest. A service dog in a vest is more easily identified as a service dog. A service dog, unaccompanied, and out of a vest is easily interpreted as a friendly lost dog.
For anyone on the fence about whether or not to put your service dog in a vest, consider whether your dog needs to seek out a stranger on your behalf in an emergency situation. If that’s part of your dog’s training, a vest can only help.
(I would be remiss if I did not mention here that any of our custom made harnesses and harness dresses are available with both pads for attaching service patches and stitched in service patches. It’s a free upgrade available on request, and you can find them here: http://ow.ly/SY4330kzmPM )