National Assistance Dog Week Kicks Off

Dedication honors canines who serve as helpers and companions.

Posted: August 11, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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For the support that service dogs provide to people with disabilities, one week in August has been designated as National Assistance Dog Week.

The more than 20,000 trained service dogs who help people travel, go shopping, attend classes, or pursue employment will be honored from Aug. 10 to16. Since the early 1920s, assistance dogs have helped open opportunities for their partners.

Service dogs are specially trained for the needs of each recipient. They performs tasks such as opening doors, picking up dropped objects, helping a person with mobility issues, retrieving keys, or taking clothes out of the dryer. Success stories of service dog recipients include the experience of Marcie Davis of New Mexico, a three-time service dog recipient.

Her dog enabled her to pursue a career as president of Davis Innovations, a consulting firm specializing in health and human services. “All of a sudden the impossible seems possible,” she said. “Virtually every area in your personal and professional life can be expanded and explored.”

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Kris   Waynesboro, VA

11/12/2009 6:44:29 PM

This is great! I was unaware of this. I am a proud handler and trainer of signal (hearing dogs). I realized at a early age that I needed a service dog to assist me with my disability (hearing impairment). I have been hit by a car so many times, unaware of building evacuations or even my name being called upon that I finally was able to get my own service dog 11 years ago. My old girl KC retired 1 year ago and is enjoying time napping on my sofa. Meanwhile, her sister Chara is taking over the normal duties. Without these two girls, I would be in great danger. With them them, I am able to remain independent.

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Jenny   Gettysburg, PA

8/11/2008 5:59:45 PM

Celebrating the unsung heroes, Celebrating the service dog! Brilliant!

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Cheryl   Conway, MO

8/11/2008 7:22:09 AM

I think its great that service dogs get the attention they deserve. They do so much for the people they help, and thanks to the people who take the time to train them.

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Gary   Huntington, IN

8/11/2008 4:40:36 AM

I was wondering who decided this was Assistance Dogs Week, since neither ADI [Assistance Dogs International] who is the parent organization for trainers, and IAADP [International Association for Assistance Dog Partners] who is the umbrella organization for users of assistance dogs is involved in this.

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