International Service Dog Week!

It's International Assistance Dog Week! What is IADW, you ask?
International Assistance Dog Week was created to celebrate all working dogs who help people live a normal life. 

While many people are familiar with Guide Dogs, those that assist people with vision loss, not as many people are aware of the other types of assistance dogs working today. Here is a description of the various types of assistance dogs:

Guide Dogs – Assist people with vision loss, leading these individuals around physical obstacles and to destinations such as seating, crossing streets, entering or exiting doorways, elevators and stairways.

Service Dogs – Assist people with disabilities with walking, balance, dressing, transferring from place to place, retrieving and carrying items, opening doors and drawers, pushing buttons, pulling wheelchairs and aiding with household chores, such as putting in and removing clothes from the washer and dryer.

Hearing Alert Dogs – Alert people with a hearing loss to the presence of specific sounds such as doorbells, telephones, crying babies, sirens, another person, buzzing timers or sensors, knocks at the door or smoke, fire and clock alarms.

Seizure Alert/Seizure Response Dogs – Alert or respond to medical conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, panic attack, anxiety attack, post-traumatic stress and seizures.

Medical Alert/Medical Response Dogs – Alert to oncoming medical conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, panic attack, anxiety attack, MS attacks and post traumatic stress disorder.

I am a Service Dog that takes my job seriously. I am a medical alert/ mobility dog. I am often asked how long it takes to train a service dog. My answer is you never stop training. You can teach them the basics of helping a human but as years go by, there are times when the humans health or condition changes. That is when the dog needs to learn more ways to be a assistant. 

Service dogs help a person to live a close as normal life. When approaching a service dog please do the following things:
1. Ask to pet - If they are like me, they may back away from your touch. Don't take this as a insult. It may be the dog is sensing something isn't right and doesn't need a distraction. 
2.Don't stare the dog in the eye-This breaks concentration. If you were taking a very important timed test and someone was staring at you the whole time , could you finish the test in appropriate time? 
3.Don't offer a treat-It's fine to offer a treat to the handler to give to the dog later but do not try to feed the treat to the dog without the handler's permission. 

These are my Personal rules:
1: Ask to pet me 1st. Don't put your hand in my face. I don't want to sniff your hand just like you don't want me sniffing your butt
2.Don't ask "Where can I buy a service dog?" There are times when my handler doesn't mind to suggest some sites or says that you need to speak with your doctor to see if you are qualified to have a service dog. 
3. Don't ask "Can you train my dog to be a service dog?" My handler is not a qualified trainer. Not all dogs are able to be service dogs. It takes a certain dog to be able to be trained in a way to make life better for the handler. Many of these dogs can be found in shelters also. 
I am not saying I am special but some dogs are better qualified then others.
4. Don't make barking or rude noises when I am working. I can't count on one paw the times I have had kids barking at me, running in front of me in stores , or poking my eye. 
5. If I back away from you before you pet me, don't take it as being rude. I am working. 
6. When I am at a restaurant and I am under a table, please don't let your child run up to my table and bother me. We always try to get a booth but there are times there is not one available. There is nothing worse than having a small child climbing under the table with me. I am resting while I wait for my handler to eat and I am not making a scene but your child is. 
7.When I am in a store please don't stop my handler and ask a 100 questions. We sometimes don't mind but there are times we just want to get what we came for and we want to leave. 

White standard poodle, carmapoodale, in purple service vest

White standard poodle sitting in purple service dog vest

white standard poodle smiling in purple vest


  1. Happy International Service Day Week to you and your Mom, Carma!

    1. Thank you! Hope you had a purrfect #worldcatday!

  2. Carma, Happy International Service Dog Week! I really like this's good for everyone to understand that you are a working dog and should not be distracted. Also, Ma says can she please ask your mom if she can pet you while at BarkWorld. (BOL)
    *Cairn cuddles*

    1. Oz When I am at Barkworld I am social. I know the difference but when I put my Service Dog vest on its work only. Look forward to seeing your ma!

  3. Happy International service dog week Carma, I've got a lot of respect for service dogs and the work they do. Ps Excellent post.


    1. Thank you. I have high respect for those who are service dogs. Some do more than others but in all they help a person live a wonderful life.

  4. Hi Carma! Great Post! I'd also say "Do Not talk to the dog in a baby voice, and do not talk to the dog without asking the human first." I have problems with people distracting me by baby talking to me all the time. The high pitch and direct eye contact gets me excited, and I forget I am in work mode. Thank you so much for posting this educational article.

    1. Very good advice. That does throw you out of work mode. You know as well as I that when we are in our vest and out in public , we are there not because we want to be but because we NEED to be. We have 2 stores in town that won't let ma in them without me. She has passed out or had a episode in both without me there to alert her.
      Thank you for stopping by!

  5. Very informative. Many of us that do not have a service dog don't understand the role of a service dog. You gave great clarity. Also the fact that the dog is working when ever it is out with it's owner is something I've never consider even when I see the dog at rest. Thank you!!!

  6. Great article and very informative. I didn't realize there were so many different types of service dogs. I got a vague idea of this talking with both you and Pepper, but still! Service dogs are amazing. When I was at Comic Con international, with thousands of other people, I saw several service dogs hard at work. One of them was simply beautiful, looked like a Shepard mix. I complemented her Mon on what a gorgeous dog she was, and asked if I could pet her. Mom said she gets very protective when working, so she probably wouldn't like it. I told her I completely understand, I wouldn't want someone bothering me at work either! Just amazing what you service dogs can do!


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