If a Service Dog Comes to You Without Its Owner, It Needs Your Help
Dogs are known to be goofy and playful, but they’re not like that all the time. Some of them have jobs and they have to be taken seriously. That is why it’s important to remember that service dogs are trained professionals and there are things we should know about them and their very responsible jobs.
Bright Side wants to address something very important and hopefully educate you on the subject, so you know how to react if this ever happens to you.
Most people are aware of the rules surrounding service dogs. You can’t pet them while they’re working, and you shouldn’t approach them or give them any treats. Somehow, we all know about them and we follow them without any issues.
However, there are still other things that we need to know and might not be aware of. A woman posted a Public Service Announcement on her Tumblr about an incident that she had. She tripped and fell on her face, her service dog, being trained to find an adult if its owner has a seizure, ran to do exactly that.
Despite the incident being totally harmless, the dog was doing its job, and perfectly, at that. However, after the woman got up and went to look for the dog, she saw it trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman, who was swatting at it and trying to make it go away.
It’s important for everybody to know that they shouldn’t be annoyed or scared of service dogs, especially ones who are trying to get their attention. They would never hurt or attack a person, on the contrary, they are trying to save their owner. This story shows that something very bad could’ve happened to the owner and they wouldn’t have gotten help on time, because the lady that the dog approached was just annoyed and wanted the dog to go away.
After the story went viral, a dog trainer on the TODAY show shared information on how exactly a service dog is trained to attempt to get your attention. Not all of them are trained to jump or bark, what they usually do is nudge your leg with their nose. Olivia, the dog trainer, made sure to simplify it for us even further, saying that if we see a dog in a service vest without their owner — we should just follow it.
As for how to respond to the dog, don’t worry it’s not complicated. All you have to do is say “What?” or “Where?” or just start following the dog, it will do its job from there and lead you to its owner, who is almost certainly in trouble.
Olivia concluded her segment with some good news for all the concerned people out there who were touched by the story or who have experienced similar situations themselves. She said that people can train their service dogs to move on to the next person, if the first one isn’t being helpful or is trying to make them go away.
Have you ever experienced a similar situation with a service dog or do you know someone who has? Please share your stories in the comments, so more people are aware of the dos and don’ts.
Preview photo credit zojiroshi / reddit