Saluting service dogs

By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Day after day, service dogs perform heroic duties for their human partners. Some dogs are trained to detect oncoming seizures or retrieve objects for disabled folks while others carry oxygen tanks for their young charges or soothe war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

No matter what their job, make no mistake — these highly trained animals are working dogs, not pets. Don’t think about walking up and petting a service dog without first talking to his or her person, because that dog is likely on duty.

Service dogs have to wear a leash or harness, but the “working dog” vest is optional. Either way, disabled individuals consider their service dogs a virtual part of themselves and are allowed to take them into public areas.

So next time you see a service dog, give a quiet salute to these caring canines.