PetWill Radio

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Celebrate International Assistance Dogs Week August 7-13, 2011

As you know, I am co-puppy raising Sienna, a golden retriever puppy owned by New Horizons Service Dogs. As an adult, she will work as a mobility dog for an individual in a wheel chair. If you want to know more about Sienna, you can visit her personal blog, Stories by Sienna. International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability related limitations.

This is the week to celebrate assistance dogs everywhere. Tell your friends about International Assistance Dogs Week (IADW). The goals of IADW are to:

Recognize and honor assistance dogs
Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
Honor puppy raisers and trainers
Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities

Sienna had the chance this week to accompany me to a speaking engagement at the Orlando Humane Society. We spoke to 25 campers. They learned a lot about Sienna and what her life will be like some day. One of the most important lessons they learned is to never approach or pet a working dog without first asking permission. Everyone loves dogs and our initial inclination is to simply rush forward and pet them. Even if a dog isn't working, it is always appropriate to ask permission first. Sienna loved being with the kids and they loved meeting her.

She is teaching me so much. It is one thing to train a dog you know you plan to keep forever. It's another thing to have the responsibility to help train a dog that has to be 100% reliable. They need to be exposed to everything! Sienna is easy to train because she is smart, willing and eager to learn. She really wants to do everything right.

Thanks for your support this week and every week of service dogs everywhere!

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