By Cathy Fischer
National Service Dog Month, celebrated every September, takes place to show appreciation to our four-legged friends who often play a huge role in the lives of human beings. Yes, service dogs are more than just pets since they have been trained to take care of humans suffering from certain ailments, disabilities, or mental health issues. Therefore, the sole purpose of their life becomes to aid their human companion and make their lives easier. This is why it is essential to honor these hard- working pups by dedicating the entire month of September to them.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL SERVICE DOG MONTH
Throughout the past decades, human beings have been suffering from different medical conditions that may interfere with their quality of life. Some of these ailments include blindness, autism, hearing issues, seizures, and mental disorders. Some conditions require humans to opt for physical assistance. However, as the world progressed, numerous researchers realized that an ailment does not have to affect one’s quality of life. Nor does it make a human being dependent on others. All they need is a well-trained service dog that will not only be their best friend, but also their biggest support. The purpose of service dogs is to provide companionship, protect, and serve their humans. To bring to light how important service dogs are, National Service Dog Month was formed in 2008.
The idea of this appreciation month was the brainchild of actor Dick Van Patten, who was awestruck by the tremendous help service dogs had given to humans with certain ailments. To further the cause, he also launched a fundraising initiative to benefit these dedicated pups who worked hard every day in service dog training schools. He also became an honorary board member of the Guide Dogs Of The Desert. This led to a chain reaction and gradually, fundraising efforts during National Service Dog Month were made across the U.S.
Dog training schools not only help in creating helpers for humans but also save the lives of many dogs who would otherwise spend their entire lives trapped in shelters. Service dogs are also protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL SERVICE DOG MONTH
- Donate — To show your appreciation for the Service Dogs, donate to organizations involved in raising and training them.
- Visit the service dogs — Love service dogs and the good they do for mankind? Now is the time to show them how much you appreciate them with a visit.
- Throw a party for the service dogs — To show the pups your love, throw a party for the service dogs so all of them can gather in one place and munch on their favorite food.
WHY NATIONAL SERVICE DOG MONTH IS IMPORTANT
- It acknowledges the efforts of the dogs — The month is important since it acknowledges all the efforts that are made by service dogs to help humans. The dogs are trained at a young age and once assigned a home, it becomes their duty to protect the human.
- It reminds people to love them — The month highlights all the good done by service dogs and reminds people to love and care for the four-legged creatures who care for human beings.
- It spreads awareness — The month also aids in spreading awareness regarding how service dogs can help people suffering from different ailments. This way those who didn’t have a service dog before, can start thinking of getting one.