August 2-8 is International Assistance Dog Week, an annual event created to raise awareness about the important work assistance dogs do to help people with disability related limitations.
Assistance dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds and play a variety of roles. Here’s a quick overview:
Guide dogs: Assist people with vision loss in safely navigating their physical environment and leading them to their destinations.
Service dogs: Help people with disabilities in performing a wide range of daily functions, including walking and balance, retrieving objects, carrying items, opening doors and drawers, pushing buttons, and even removing clothes from the washer and dryer and assisting in dressing!
Hearing alert dogs: Alert people with hearing loss to specific sounds such as the doorbell, telephone, sirens, crying babies, timers, and smoke/fire alarms.
Seizure alert and response dogs: Alert and respond to a variety of medical conditions. Besides seizures, these include heart attack, stroke, diabetes, panic or anxiety attacks, and PTSD.
Thank you to all these wonderful dogs…and their trainers…for this important work!