Amazing article in last weeks NYTimes magazine about service dogs!
Dogs evolved over 15,000 years to know and like humankind as well as, or better than, we know ourselves.
Ben, a German Shepherd was a service dog for a woman, named Karen, who was disabled. He was trained to pick up the phone, pull out laundry, open doors, etc. One night, after a surgery, Karen fell into unconsciousness, alone in her house. The phone rang and although Ben was trained to answer the phone, he was only trained to pick it up on command. Without his owners command Ben picked up the phone and started barking. The person on the other end was her father. He knew something was wrong and called 911 saving Karen's life! What an amazing story!!!
4 PAWS FOR ABILITY is a non-profit who trains dogs to work with disabled people who don't qualify for traditional service dogs. They train dogs to work with developmentally disabled children, Autistic patients, epileptic patients and emotionally disturbed persons. Some dogs can even detect a seizure up to 6 hours before it begins or calm down a violent outburst before it gets out of hand. Amazing!!!
Chancer, a Golden Retriever, was a dog trained to live with a child suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This child, named Iyal, had violent outbursts, poor judgement, low IQ and severe anxiety.
Iyals parents woke up after a full nights sleep, for the first time in 12 years, after Chancer's first night in the house. They looked at each other with complete amazement!!!
Since Chancer's arrival they have rarely been disturbed in the night. Iyal may wake up, but he is evidently reassured by the dogs presence and returns to sleep.
Chancer is an emotional and physical anchor for a kid who was pretty lost in the world!
JASON THE DOG WALKER
Park Slope, Brooklyn