Sometimes we don't always know what to do if we find a stray dog without its owner. Do we approached it? Do we call animal control? Do we try to locate the owners?
When it comes to an unaccompanied service animal the answer is clear: follow it.
A Tumblr user who goes by the name @lumpatronics relies on the assistance of her service dog, and she recently shared an experience in hopes of educating people. Service dogs are highly trained to provide a service, and sometimes they need a bit of help from humans to carry it out. Twitter user Melissa Hope shared the story and it has since gone viral.
SERVICE DOG PSA
So today I tripped. Fell flat on my face, it was awful but ultimately harmless. My service dog, however, is trained to go get an adult if I have a seizure, and he assumed this was a seizure (were training him to do more to care for me, but we didn’t learn I had epilepsy until a year after we got him)
I went after him after I had dusten off my jeans and my ego, and I found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman. She was swatting him away and telling him to go away. So I feel like I need to make this heads up
If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help
Don’t get scared, don’t get annoyed, follow the dog! If it had been an emergency situation, I could have vomited and choked, I could have hit my head, I could have had so many things happen to me. We’re going to update his training so if the first person doesn’t cooperate, he moves on, but seriously guys. If what’s-his-face could understand that lassie wanted him to go to the well, you can figure out that a dog in a vest proclaiming it a service dog wants you to follow him.
People praised Hope for sharing the information.
It wasn't my dog/situation. Just passing it along. But you're welcome. :)— Melissa Hope (@lissalet) June 17, 2018
And others shared their stories:
my classmate's service dog came up to me alone outside and i said "where's your mom?" he ran off and i ran with him. his mom was having a seizure on the sidewalk and i was there to put my sweater under her head to protect her.— gretchen (@solelymoving) June 18, 2018
always follow a service dog https://t.co/oruNJDW2YK
The message was much needed, as many people didn't know.
If you are unsure, look for the vest.
Is there also something on the dog to alert folk of this? It's really great to learn this, but not everyone in the wild will know this.— Carolyn (@cstampeen) June 17, 2018
And here's some advice for people who are afraid of dogs.
Well, lol. You can be forgiven for being too afraid. But now that you know a person's life is at risk, there's no excuse to not grab someone else quickly & alert them.— Melissa Hope (@lissalet) June 19, 2018
Now we all know, so no excuses not to help. And if you are afraid of dogs, ask someone for help or call 911.
H/T: Twitter Moments