This month is all about saying thanks. We say thanks for friends, our health, our families and of course our pets…our dogs. This month at Saltsox we’d like to say thanks to dogs but in particular, service dogs.
Service dogs do very important work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and more. They have loving personalities, they thrive on helping people, they have amazing effects on human health like helping to mitigate physical and developmental disabilities, they can help us be smarter at work and they can help people recover from trauma.
Last month we talked about training our dogs to give paw, high-five and do the wave. Service dogs are uniquely trained to perform tasks for their specific owners. The Atomic Hound explains that many dogs are cross-trained for multiple purposes and tasks in different categories. The amount of tasks that service dogs can be trained to perform is extensive and impressive.
They can be trained to alert their owner to noises: alarms, car horns, doorbells, the handler’s name, phone ringing, sirens, smoke alarms, dropped items, babies crying, bells and announcements.
They can be trained to alert their owners to physiological and psychological changes: seizures, migraines, panic attacks, episodes of rage, dissociation and anxious behaviors. As a matter of fact, according to the Montreal Gazette, Max Domi of the Montreal Canadiens must take extra care of himself because of his Type 1 diabetes and his 5-year-old golden retriever was carefully trained to recognize changes in his blood sugar levels via a pack around the player’s waist.
Service dogs can be trained to open and close doors, dishwashers and refrigerators. They can be trained to retrieve clothing items, dog bowls and emergency medication. They can get help by calling 911. Service dogs can indicate barriers, avoid moving objects and lead around hazards, low hanging items and stationary items. They can be trained to carry bags, purses and other items, drag heavy items and laundry baskets, deliver payment and items to and from a cashier and to bring and deliver notes and items to people. They can assist with bodily position changes, counter-balancing and pulling wheelchairs. Finally, they can be trained to turn lights on and off, pull blinds or curtains opened or closed and help take clothing on and off.
And that’s not nearly all. The list goes on and on. How amazing that these specially trained service dogs can be taught to do hundreds of tasks besides just basic tricks. Truly so much to be thankful for.
But there is one particular type of service dog that we would like to thank this month and that is those service dogs that help Veterans with PTSD and anxiety. BP Hope outlines the benefits that Veteran service dogs provide: overall symptom reduction, social wellbeing and life satisfaction. After getting help from their service dogs, Veterans show lower levels of anxiety, depression and anger and a decreased reliance on prescription drugs.
A special honorary service dog that we would like to thank is Luna, a four month old Belgian Malinois seen here wearing Lavasox in Flame, who is in a service dog program at K9 Paws Behavior Dog Training in Arizona. Luna’s owner is a combat Veteran who hadn’t left his home in ten years. Now he goes to the grocery store with Luna at his side, and for that, we thank you.
One way we can help thank these service dogs is to help protect their paws from the cold snow, ice and salt with Saltsox in Ice Fire Red and from the hot pavement with Lavasox in Marina Blue, which also happen to be perfect patriotic colors for Veteran’s Day.
Let’s join together and thank service dogs for the help they give persons with disabilities, Veterans and anyone who needs their services. Saltsox thanks you. -Team Saltsox