It’s been a busy summer. Yesterday
- 6 year-old Anna wasn’t allowed to do arts and crafts, “because it would mess her dress”
- two kids opened the emergency door opposite my cash register before their father could stop them.
- tee-shirt: “I’m better than your best”
- a young girl sat on the bench opposite me trying to sneak a photo of yours truly.
I’m getting a wee bit tired of the people and their repetitive questions, predictable behaviours, and tee-shirts. It’s time to talk about the four-legged visitors to the Museum. Over the years I’ve met many dogs at my cash register all of whom are smart, quiet, and hard working.
Photograph from the Bain News Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Dogs aren’t allowed in the museum unless they are working assistance dogs wearing the identifying ‘vest‘.
An assistance dog is trained to aid or assist a person with a disability. According to Wikipedia there are three general “types” of assistance dog
- Guide dogs assist the blind and the visually impaired.
- Hearing dogs help the deaf or hard of hearing.
- Service dogs refers to dogs trained to do other work, such as mobility assistance, Medical response, seizure alert, seizure response.
This is Foxy.
She was rescued from an animal shelter. I could see she’s alert and very gentle.
I don’t know what work she does because her human didn’t volunteer the information.
“Carson’s my life-saver. I’ve had him for two years,” his human companion told me.
I was impressed to see how alert and well trained he was.
Her human told me she couldn’t pass “the tests” to be a service dog, because she’s a pug (I don’t know what tests dogs have to pass), so she’s what her human called “An emotional support animal who provides love, licks and comfort.”
I could see how she loves people. She sat on the slippery wooden floor in front of my register for a fairly long time without moving, happy to pose for anyone who wanted to take her photo.
Phoebe Rose has her own website, you can click on the link for more information.
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Lat year I wrote a blog about a Great Dane I met at the Museum, which I’m reposting in case you missed it:
Great Danes aren’t the kind of dog you expect to see working as a service dog, they’re so large they look more like a horse than a dog, so I wasn’t the only person staring at the middle-aged woman who walked slowly and carefully into the museum gallery, cane in one hand, and a brown Great Dane wearing the blue “working dog’s” identifying ‘vest’ in the other hand.
By Sannse [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) from Wikimedia Commons “]
When a man asked her about the dog, a circle of people instantly gathered around her.
“Toby and I are always a side show wherever we go,” she said with a sigh.
“I’ve seen several breeds of dogs working as guide dogs, but this is the first time I’ve seen a Great Dane,” said the man.
She explained, “I was in an accident, which left me with no feeling in my right leg, which means I can easily lose my balance and fall over. I have a dog this size, because he’s the perfect height for me to lean on. If I had to bend over to reach a smaller dog, I’d lose my balance. I can’t lift anything or use a walker, so I use Toby like a walker.” and she patted the dog who looked at her and wagged his tail.
“My word that’s really interesting,” said a man in a wheelchair.
“I’m also a teacher and Toby carries my books on his back. With this bad leg of mine, I can’t get up once I sit down, and he is trained to pull me up from a chair. These dogs are strong enough to do that,” said the woman, and we watched her slowly walking away leaning on the patient dog
Looking for a photo for this post, I discovered that during the Second World War there was a Marine Corps Dog Platoon (approximately 75% of the dogs were Doberman pinschers, and 25% were German Shepherds).
If you’re interested in the topic I recommend that you read the fascinating account of the occupation of Guam by William W. Putney who wrote:
“There were 25 dogs specially trained by the U.S. Marines to search out the enemy hiding in the bush, detect mines and booby traps, alert troops in foxholes at night to approaching Japanese, and to carry messages, ammunition and medical supplies.”