September Is National Service Dog Month
In 2008, inspired by the guide dogs he had seen in his travels, Dick Van Patten worked to make September National Guide Dog Month. As the founder of Natural Balance, a pet food company, Van Patten initially partnered with Petco to raise money and awareness for the work performed by guide dogs.
Later, the event expanded to celebrate guide dogs and other working dogs. Now, September is hailed as National Service Dog Month. The month honors dogs who work tirelessly to make our lives better and easier.
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In addition to dogs who help their seeing- or hearing-impaired human partner, there are dogs trained to alert their person of an impending seizure. Other dogs are psychiatric helpers, who are specially trained to help with anxiety, depression, PTSD and more.
Dogs keep our military heroes safe and work in bomb detection. Other dogs partner with local law enforcement agencies to keep our cities safe.
There isn’t a limit to what dogs can do to help their human partners, and September’s National Service Dog Month honors them for all that they do.
To get involved, consider volunteering or donating to an organization like Guide Dogs for the Blind. Share stories of service dogs on social media to spread awareness. And give thanks to all the dogs who give of themselves, not just in the services mentioned, but also as loving family pets who partner with humans every day.
What will you do to celebrate or bring attention to the service dogs in your life or those who work in your community?
More by Maggie Marton