The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Service Dog Education and Advocacy

Bo as Service Dog Ambassador
Last week I had the opportunity to talk to a great group of fourth and fifth grade Cub Scouts about service dogs. Austin was asked to give the presentation but declined, so I gave it with Bo. The week prior, I had joined friends who raise Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppies for a similar presentation to a Girls Scout Troop. 

My presentation focused on education and advocacy. I started my talk with a discussion about what makes a service dog different from a pet dog. I then talked about the different types of service dogs and had a nice conversation with the boys about Bo's job as a Diabetic Alert Dog. I was so impressed with the their knowledge and questions. Many boys had heard of diabetes and even knew it was a disease that related to a person's blood sugar. Smart kids! 

Before we left, I invited the boys to hide a scent stick for Bo to find. I took Bo outside the classroom while they hid the scent stick. When I returned with Bo, I gave him the command to 'find low' and the boys enjoyed watching him use his nose to find it. Bo also got to demonstrate some of the commands he knows and take a picture with the den. 

The boys showed excellent service dog etiquette and did not touch, pet or talk to Bo — understanding when a service dog is in public the dog is working and must stay focused on its handler to do its job well.

I look forward to doing more service dog education and advocacy in the future.