Why not give more than the full month of September to celebrate these dogs? They deserve so much more.
Let’s take a minute to appreciate these very special animals. There may be a few things you don’t know about these amazing creatures…
Improving quality of life
Service dogs help many kinds of people. And they are more than just loyal companions. Every service dog is trained to assist people with unique kinds of disabilities. They can lower blood pressure, diffuse stressful situations, and calm troubled people. There are service dogs for those with epilepsy, seeing and hearing impairments, mental health needs and much more… all focused on improving the quality of life and social development of their people.
Most service dogs wear special service dog vests, but some do not. If you see a service dog, be considerate, these dogs are on-the-job! Interacting with them can be a hazardous disruption, for both dog and human. Remember, they’re working! (Even though they are CUTE.) And no, service dog owners do not have to produce paperwork upon request. But, they can answer questions about their animals.
What are their special super powers?
Service dogs are trained to perform a variety of tasks. From helping their owner cross streets, turning on and off lights, opening and closing doors, helping with mobility needs, recognizing levels of low insulin, to even contacting emergency help. What other animal can learn to push elevator buttons, pull wheelchairs up an incline, or help their partner go shopping and give the wallet to the checkout person?
So, they don’t just retrieve items, they have super powers. There are autism service dogs and allergen detecting service dogs. Hearing service dogs know the differences in noises like smoke alarms, doorbells, alarm clocks. Oh, and they know their owner’s names too, so when the owner’s name is called the dog can alert them!
Some service dogs are trained to wake PTSD sufferers from nightmares. And some dogs must be strong enough to brace unbalanced owners.
These dogs are highly trained to do it all. And literally any breed can be trained to be a service dog.
How much training?
All service dogs go through extensive and concentrated training before being paired with an owner. And training can be expensive. This is where M.A.S.T. comes in. Through donations from sponsors and generous public donations from people like you, the cost for training a service dog (between $15,000-$45,000) is FREE OF CHARGE to qualifying vets and patients.
Yes, you read that right. Free of charge.
What is M.A.S.T.?
M.A.S.T. is a 501c3 charitable organization which, through different donation avenues, takes care of the cost of procuring, boarding and training the service dog for many vets. Through managing a strategy working with high-kill shelters like Orphans of the Storm, TOPs Training, and Therapy Dogs International, M.A.S.T. seeks to help pair service dogs with patients. Visit our website and click on Service Dogs for more information.
I say we should observe National Service Dog Month all year ‘round to say “thank you” to our K-9 partners who do so much for us. Follow us and learn more about how YOU can help make a difference with M.A.S.T.