In contemporary work settings, people and dogs are finding new work related partnerships. Specially trained service dogs make it possible to pursue a livelihood despite a disability that impacts mood or mobility.
Who trains the seeing eye dogs that help legally blind owners navigate the bus route to work? Who trains the mobility dogs that help owners with MS, Parkinsons’ or paralysis keep their balance, pull wheelchairs or bring a fallen chair back upright? Who teaches psychiatric service dogs to recognize the signs of disorientation and lead their owners back to a familiar space where they can regroup safely? Who understands the medical needs of illnesses such as diabetes or epilepsy so they can train service dogs to
warn of an impending attack, ease a person to the ground, and fetch help or necessary medication?
Meet Joan Froling, a veteran dog trainer who parleyed her skills in training show dogs… with her courage in facing a life threatening illness… and her commitment for advocacy
and civil rights… to dojust this. She co-founded Sterling Service Dogs to meet the growing need to find and train dogs with the temperament and aptitude to become capable service dogs. She’s also the Chairperson and co-founder of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners which represents and advocates for disabled persons who work with guide, hearing or service dogs
We also meet up with two local owners at a recent event sponsored by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind—The Annual Walk, Waggle and Stroll
Event. Janice Bartelson and Sandra Hicks talk about their seeing eye dogs, and share how they are integrated into their work and family lives. We even learn about an annual golf tournament sponsored by the U.S. Blind Golfers Association to prove that where there’s a will, there’s often a way…