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An Important Lesson About Service Dogs

We all love service dogs, and we are in awe of their abilities and their loyalty. You're not supposed to pet one without permission, because they are on duty. It took time and the internet for people to learn that rule. But what if a service dog approaches you? That would be surprising, but it happens. For a reason. Lumpatronics told a story about how and why a service dog might come up to you.

So today I tripped. Fell flat on my face, it was awful but ultimately harmless. My service dog, however, is trained to go get an adult if I have a seizure, and he assumed this was a seizure (were training him to do more to care for me, but we didn’t learn I had epilepsy until a year after we got him)

I went after him after I had dusten off my jeans and my ego, and I found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman. She was swatting him away and telling him to go away. So I feel like I need to make this heads up

If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help

Now you know. They are truly being Lassie, asking you to come save Timmy from the well. -via The Daily Dot  

Update: Nicolas Steenhout, an accessibility consultant, says this is not how most service dogs are trained to get help. He explains in this Twitter thread. -Thanks, Gristle McNerd!

(Image credit: Lextergrace)


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No matter, if a labeled, service anything comes up and directs your attention to anywhat, call 911 and keep away. Your ability to help is trumped by your lack of knowledge.
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