Not only do dogs provide love to their owners, but some also give their owners independence. People with trouble seeing or hearing have special dogs called service dogs. Service dogs help their owners get around independently.
Some service dogs are trained to be the “eyes” of their owners who are blind or have low vision. These service dogs guide their owners as they move through their homes and communities. These dogs help their owners shop at a store, visit a friend, or take public transportation, like buses and subways. One seeing eye dog named Chloe helped her owner Sami who loved to run. Chloe guided Sami as she ran track in high school.
Other service dogs are trained to be the “ears” of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They let their owners with hearing problems know when the doorbell or phone rings. Phyllis, a teacher who has a hearing loss, has a service dog named Shadow. When a student would call Phyllis’s name, Shadow would nudge her with his nose. Then he would run to the student who asked the question.
Service dogs often wear a special vest or collar, which allows them to go into stores or any place where dogs usually cannot go. Remember! If you see a service dog, it is working to take care of its owner. This means you must ask the owner if you may pet the dog.