(This pup went on to assist a visually impaired man)
Special note about working dogs
Often I see people reach out and touch "service dogs" (dogs trained to assist the disabled
humans). I have seen kids toss food to these dogs, run up to them, adults call the dogs, etc. PLEASE when you see a service dog (and the identifying materials such as harnesses,
leads, jackets will vary group to group), LEAVE THE DOG ALONE! Though highly trained, these are still just dogs and are driven ultimately by instinct.
By not behaving properly around working dogs, by encouraging bad manners, we can put
the human at risk. A guide dog that no longer ignores food or passersby may lead the blind person into danger as the dog tries to get food or go for a visit. A hearing ear dog
that focuses on trying to get people to play or beg for food may not cue in on a potential danger to alert the human to. There is a time for play and a time for work.
When out in public we must respect that the dog is working and LEAVE IT ALONE. The
dog will get plenty of opportunity to relax in an appropriate setting when the workday is over and his uniform comes off. Please teach your children to leave service dogs alone
and please respect this yourself.
It is amazing how quickly ignorance within humans can lead to danger for the person that truly needs the dog for safety.