Written by Krishna Sabaratnam
Dogs are much more than just furry friends, and in April every year, we celebrate the incredible partnerships between guide dogs and their owners. Guide dogs are highly trained and skilled animals that help people with various health conditions and disabilities navigate their daily lives safely and with confidence. These intelligent and incredible animals allow their handlers to participate in their respective communities and experience the world in new exciting ways.
Getting a guide dog can be a life-changing decision, and this can be due to financial cost, the application process, ongoing training, and the overall environment for our furry companions.
Here are some reasons why a guide dog might be right for you.
A guide dog can provide its owner with a sense of independence and freedom that they may not feel by using other medical devices or assistive tools. Tasks such as leading their owners around obstacles, and alerting them of potential dangers, such as oncoming traffic or other hazards like medical episodes (Ex: seizures, stroke, fatigue, and high-low blood sugar levels).
These furry friends can provide loyalty and emotional support to individuals who are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Helping in this manner goes far beyond just the physical assistance guide dogs are labelled for. If you are someone that deals with anxiety and stress, having a guide dog can help you feel relaxed and at ease in a variety of environments.
Promotes Social Inclusion:
Owners will most of the time prefer having guide dogs in their social settings, as it can be a great way to start a conversation. Having a guide dog can help owners meet and connect with new people in their surrounding community. Additionally, this may help reduce the social anxiety one might feel when having to participate in activities and events.
The presence of a guide dog can be empowering for individuals with disabilities, as it allows them to engage in tasks they once thought impossible. Allowing hope for continued progress and advancements in accessibility.
In conclusion, by choosing to obtain a guide dog, individuals with many disabilities and health conditions can boost their independence, safety, and overall well-being.