The Unseen Fun of a Service Dog’s Life

This entry is part 8 of 25 in the series Service Dog Training
I'm not sure I've ever known a puppy who didn't like the chewing texture of wood.

I’m not sure I’ve ever known a puppy who didn’t like the chewing texture of wood. Our rule is, you can sample the pieces in the firewood holder, but not furniture. Seems to be a good deal so far.

Several people have asked me questions about service dogs, whether they’re always “on the job” or could have normal dog lives. A few were under the heartbreaking impression that because one isn’t supposed to pet service dogs while they’re working, that service dogs aren’t ever to be petted, even at home.

Definitely not the case! Service dogs, and service dogs-in-training, may have a distinct work ethic when they’re on the clock (which is often represented by a vest or harness, though not all service dogs wear special equipment), but when they’re off the clock they get a dog’s life like any other, including playtime and lots of affection. After all, who doesn’t do better work when it’s punctuated with plenty of breaks and relaxation?

So here are some moments from out of the vest.

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Big snowfall today, but Mindy fell asleep in the car on the way home. I knew she’d want to see the snow, though!

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Chilling while the human guests play Pathfinder.

Chilling while the human guests play Pathfinder.

About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

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One Comment

  1. Great post! I’ve been asked these kinds of questions sometimes, too. I totally respect everyone’s decision whether or not to allow people to pet their service dog, but I choose to allow petting of my Aria, in part because it helps people to get to know her and see that she has a great life. It helps me with social interactions as well. I also dress her in vests and collars that are fun, she has different colors and patterns depending on the occasion and season. Nowadays with social media, it’s easy for us to share pictures and videos of our dogs having a great time off duty!
    Karin recently posted…Guide to Traveling with a Service DogMy Profile

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