The earliest dogs who had ‘ jobs’ were pretty much limited to doing things which involved herding, sled-pulling, hunting or guarding. Eventually, more types of dog-jobs emerged; guiding, avalanche and disaster rescuing, arson detection, hearing assistance, explosive detection, seizure alerting, wheelchair-user assistance, and many other types of special skills or therapy dogs. Dogs now help autistic kids, people with panic disorder, kids who have trouble reading (‘Reading with Rover’ and similar programs) and now, some dogs even provide assistance (practical and emotional) to recovering veterans.
How fitting that in yesterday’s New York Times (Veteran’s Day), there appeared an article describing successful connections made pairing dogs with veterans. The physical medicine and rehabilitation departments at Walter Reed Medical Center are referring qualified veterans to organizations like Canine Companions for Independence Veterans Program (www.cci.org) , America’s Vet Dogs (www.guidedog.org/vetdogs ) and Neads Canines for Combat Veterans (www.neads.org). The link for the New York times is: www.newyorktimes.com. You’ll have to take it from there. My computer is coughing up another cyber-hairball and complaining about a monster lurking nearby…why is that anti-virus stuff so expensive?