Service dogs are trained to do so many helpful tasks, from deep pressure therapy to retrieving items from low places. They can be the difference between an independent life and one ruled by medical conditions.
One service dog named Sparrow takes her job to the next level. Her owner, Libbi, was filming playtime with the Golden Retriever on August 12 when the pup suddenly stopped what she was doing. Now, nearly 10 million people have seen the way @goldensparrow.assistancedog always keeps an eye out for her mom.
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Sparrow is such a good girl! Even in the middle of playtime, when she knows she's off-duty, she can't help but see things through when something seems off. Clearly, she's one dedicated service animal!
One hilarious commenter asked, "does this count as overtime?" LOL--it should! Sparrow deserves an extra dog treat for her commitment to her job; we're sure that's exactly what she got. As Libbi explained in the video description, she recovered and returned to playtime within minutes, thanks to her dog's alert. Without Sparrow letting her know, she'd likely have dealt with all the distressing symptoms of pre-syncope. This includes ear ringing, vision loss, collapsing, nausea, and many other symptoms that can happen when a person is close to fainting.
Of course, pre-syncope symptoms are just a small fraction of the issues a service animal can help with. They can assist with mobility, guidance, retrieval, and alerts. No matter what they do, though, it's easy to see how much they change their owner's life.
Unfortunately, many people are taking advantage of service dog rights. Emotional support animals and pets aren't allowed in the same kinds of places where service animals are, but simply buying a vest doesn't turn a dog into a service dog. True assistance animals are trained from a very young age to do specific tasks that help their owner.
On the other hand, any pet can be an emotional support animal. No training or certification is required--only a letter from a licensed mental health professional. ESAs and therapy pets don't have the same privileged as service animals, but they can be just as important in the quality of someone's life.
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