Amazing Service Dogs Trained Dogs Help Disabled Farmers
Everyone knows farming is hard work, so when a farmer is disabled, it can be disastrous for the business. It’s a position that many farmers are put in and it can seem like a situation that is impossible to resolve. However, there is an answer, in the form of PHARM Dog USA.
PHARM Dog USA is the brainchild of Jackie Allenbrand. PHARM stands for Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri, although their good work extends beyond the state limits too. The idea came about when Jackie met a farmer who had part of his leg amputated. He told her that he had trained his dog to round up his cattle for him. All he had to do was open and close the gate. It dawned on her that dogs could be trained for so many jobs in the farm environment that would help other farmers with disabilities. So she started up the non-profit organization training dogs to help out around the farm.
PHARM dogs are specifically trained for each farmer. It can take up to two years to train each dog, but it’s well worth the wait when they get to their new home on the farm and can be a huge asset to the farmers.
Of course every person with a disability is a different, and so it makes sense to train the dogs differently. Alda Owen is a farmer who works with cattle. She is legally blind and so doesn’t have the observational skills of someone with full eyesight. When she was knocked over by a bull, it was obvious that she was in a dangerous situation not being able to see what was going on around her. But that’s all okay now as she has PHARM Dog Baby Jo with her when she’s out with the cattle. Baby Jo the Border Collie is a great herding dog, she takes commands well, but she also has a special talent. She has been trained to let Alda know when any of the cattle are close to her so she can get out of the way of danger.
Another farmer who has benefited from PHARM Dog USA is Bruce Trammell. Bruce suffered a brain injury which has left him with a severe lack of balance. His PHARM Dog Odie is a large Labrador. Odie is trained to keep close to Bruce, so if he starts to fall, he can prop him back up again! He’s also trained to pick up anything that Bruce drops, so he doesn’t have to reach down.
These dogs are working dogs, like any other farm dog, but they have these extra skills that make life a whole lot easier for disabled farmers. PHARM Dog USA is an amazing organisation that is doing a fantastic job.
[Source: Modern Farmer]
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