In recognition of Guide Dog Awareness Month I will give it my best effort to feature one dog each week during the month of September. “National Guide Dog Month is a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the United States as a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States. It was established in 2008, as a fundraising drive to benefit non-profit guide dog organizations accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.”*
Today I want to share some words of wisdom from Rick a beautiful black lab with blond on his legs, chest, muzzle and brows.
Rick and his handler, Mike Gravitt, worked together as a phenomenal team for 10 years. While I was a little sad to hear that Rick would be officially retiring on August 20 of this year the good news is he’s in excellent health, was adopted by a friend of Mike’s who happens to be a vet technician, and will enjoy the rest of his life just being a dog.
When you are flying, you do not talk to the pilot. When you are on a bus at night in the rain, you do not talk to the bus driver. When you see me with my handler doing my job, please kindly let me do it safely. ~Rick
Image: collage of three photos featuring Rick as a puppy, at work and enjoying the sunshine after church.
A Facebook friend of mine shared Drew Lynch’s (a comedian with a stutter) video on a restaurant experience with his service dog. While Drew is a comic, his message on service dogs is an important one, though often times ignored by many who do not understand the tasks these animals perform allow people with disabilities to live life more independently. (At the bottom of this post is a snippet from the ADA’s requirements on service animals.)
For my blind friends, the text to Stella’s thought bubble (which add to the humor) are directly below the video.
Doggy thought bubbles (upper right text only):
1. Clean comedy here.
2. No, we weren’t.
3. With the mostest?
4. Think this through.
5. I need a throne.
6. Shots fired.
7. No you weren’t.
10. At least I don’t have a stutter.
11. Blah. Blah. Blah.
13. No F***s Given.
15. Sorry not Sorry.
16. Not *whatever* you want.
17. I will kill you.
18. Trained to kill.
19. Damn straight.
20. Hired assassin.
21. I’m not.
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
What better way to usher in a Friday than to share with you the beautifully stylish guide dog, Megan. Here she is styling her lovely pink raincoat.
Megan dahlin, you look mahvalous!
“Being a Guide Dog was both my destiny and my choice. It’s a little like coming from a family of doctors and finding that medicine is both my passion and my family’s legacy. Being a Guide Dog and working with my handler means a lifetime of adventure and love! Together, we travel the world, work hard, play harder, and we live life to the fullest with our family, friends, and community.” ~Megan, black labrador Guide Dog | Guide Dogs for the Blind | Handler, Nicole Schultz-Kass
Image Description: Text is above the 3-Panel photo collage. The middle photo is a black and white of Megan in harness with a black background–her coat is shiny so her features are very distinguished and she looks statuesque. The next two photos are Megan in harness with her pink raincoat on and my purple raincoat and black Converse shoes visible against a white background.
The relationship of a great guide dog team is a sight to behold. With the handler as the pilot and guide dog as co-pilot working in unison, their bond can only be described as a rhythmic dance. Today we hear from Unity, a beautiful golden labrador, retriever cross.
“My role is to help my mum, Emily, be independent and mobile. I travel with my mum to many different places and I am to be permitted into all public places as I am a guide dog. Us guide dogs play vital roles in giving our humans their freedom and autonomy.” ~Unity #guidedogmemos #independence #blindness
Image: Quoted text is white against a transparent teal background overlaying a photo of Unity’s mum, Emily Davison, sitting in the grass hugging Unity.
Photograph courtesy of Emily Davison. To connect with Emily here are social media links: