Trident K-9 warriors. Guide dogs for the deaf. Seeing- eye dogs. Service dogs for soldiers. Therapy dogs. Man’s best friend and companion. Dogs enrich our lives in so many ways and are amazing, all of them.
In addition to being an author, I’ve had the great privilege of being a dog trainer. Just recently, I was certified to train service dogs for the deaf. For years, I’ve taught dogs basic obedience skills and helped owners rehabilitate their aggressive dogs. I know I’ve kept a lot of dogs from being euthanized, and there’s no better feeling than that.
My appreciation for our furry friends was taken to a new high however, when I helped train a service dog for the deaf. In addition to being an obedient dog, this type of service dog must be able to sort out and alert its owner to the sound of a door knock, smoke detector, phone ringing, or alarm clock going off. Once they hear one of these sounds, they must then lead their owner to the correct source of the sound. Unable to hear or see anything as they sleep, imagine how reassuring it would be for a deaf person to know that their dog can warn them of imminent danger such as a fire or emergency call coming in.
Also, recently I read Mike Ritland’s book, Trident Canine Warriors, the dogs who deploy with the Navy SEALs. I came away with another whole level of appreciation for our four-legged friends. Much like their SEAL team handlers, these dogs are “unwavering in their devotion to duty, strong enough and tough enough to take it to the enemy through pain, injury, or fear”. Many SEAL canines have given their all to aid in keeping both us and our warriors safe. I think the SEAL team in my book should take one of these Trident Canine Warriors on their next op. This would be a cool way to highlight the incredible work they do.
And a dog’s worth and contribution to the human race goes on and on. Paws for Patriots and organizations with similar names provide PTSD Service Dogs for injured veterans. Therapy dogs bring untold comfort to the sick and dying and often motivate patients for the first time try to move their stroke-paralyzed arms to pet a dog. And above all, these loving creatures provide solace for the dying, some of whom have no family around to comfort them in their last days.
Then there’s our beloved family pet, our companion dog that has the well-deserved title of "man's best friend.” Their unconditional love and devotion to us knows no measure. What can you say? They ask so little, but give so much.
What a blessing it is to have these amazing creatures among us.