Assistance Dog Day is celebrated on August 4 every year. Dogs are a man’s best friend because of their loyalty and dedication, but assistant dogs take this to a whole new level. These dogs help people with disabilities or illnesses to navigate through life. They help where they can and perform simple tasks like guiding their owner’s path, helping fetch an item, and lots of other activities. These dogs and their trainers deserve to be celebrated, and so this brought about Assistance Dog Day which aims to raise funds and increase awareness of the work they do. It makes up part of International Assistance Dog Week.
History of Assistance Dog Day
Assistance Dog Day is part of International Assistance Dog Week (I.A.D.W.) and was created to recognize all of the dedicated, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. These dogs amazingly transform the lives of their human partners with physical and mental disabilities by serving as their helper, companion, aide, best friend, and close member of their family.
Assistance dogs are not for personal defense, protection, or comfort. Different types of assistance dogs do different things. Guide dogs help the blind and those with vision loss to cross the street, walk through doorways, and move around obstacles. Hearing alert dogs help those with hearing loss as they recognize alarms and sirens, as well as the ringing of telephones and doorbells. Other assistance dogs do other things to help their human counterparts.
Assistance Dog Day is also done to raise awareness and educate the public about how these specially trained dogs are helping so many people in the community. Apart from that, the day also honors the puppy owners and trainers of assistance dogs, whose efforts better the lives of others. The heroic deeds of assistance dogs are also recognized on this day with lots of fun activities on the day.
The day might not be what it is today if not for the efforts of Marcie Davis, a woman who has been a paraplegic for over 35 years. She wrote the book “Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook.” The book focuses on personal stories, checklists, and practical tips to provide readers with a guide about service dogs and she is the host of the internet radio program, “Working Like Dogs.” She founded Working Like Dogs to honor assistance dogs around the world and she’s part of the sponsors of International Assistance Dog Week.
Assistance Dog Day timeline
Dogs start becoming domesticated.
Dogs are used in Europe to help injured soldiers.
Assistance Dogs International, one of the sponsors of Assistance Dog Day, is founded.
Marcie Davis’ book, “Working Like Dogs,” is published.
Assistance Dog Day FAQs
Do assistance dogs have to wear jackets?
No, the law does not require an assistance dog to wear a jacket to identify it as one.
Should you say hi to an assistance dog?
No, it’s best to not distract them and let them do their job.
How much do service dogs cost?
According to the National Service Animal Registry, the average cost of a service dog is between $15,000 to $30,000.
How to Observe Assistance Dog Day
Donate to a training center
Celebrate the day by donating to a training center. This helps them get more funds to cater to the dogs.
Host an event for assistance dogs
Host an event to celebrate assistance dogs and their trainers. Lots of events would be happening on the day and people are encouraged to host theirs as well.
Spread awareness about Assistance Dog Day. It goes a long way to appreciate not just the dogs, but the trainers as well.
5 Facts About Assistance Dogs
They are not pets
Assistance Dogs are not pets as they have a job to do, which is to assist their owners.
Training a service dog is expensive
Service dogs, because of their specific services, are expensive to train.
Any dog can be an assistance dog
All dogs can be service dogs as long as they are well-trained to carry out a particular task.
Retrievers are the best assistance dogs
Any dog can be used as a service dog, however, retrievers make the best ones because they are very smart dogs.
No certification is required for them
Service Dogs do not need a certification, they just need to be able to perform a specific task.
Why Assistance Dog Day is Important
It celebrates dogs
Assistance Dog Day celebrates the efforts of dogs as they help their owners. Dogs can feel a lot of emotions and so it’s good to show them our appreciation as well.
It celebrates dog trainers
While the dogs do a lot, we can’t take away some of the shine off the trainers. Without them, assistance dogs would be regular dogs.
It encourages people to use assistance dogs
Seeing people celebrate Assistance Dog Day would encourage people with disabilities to use them. This would go on to help more people and prevent more accidents or casualties for people with disabilities.
Assistance Dog Day dates