Service Dogs: Helping Handlers from D.C. to Delaware
Posted: Dec 4, 2018 10:40 PM
By Mallory Metzner
(MILFORD, Del.) - It was an emotional moment in the Capitol Rotunda as the service dog belonging to former President George H.W. Bush pays its last respects. Sully was trained by America's VetDogs to serve the former President. Service dogs stay by their owners' sides until the very end.
Diann Jones got Yadier in the Spring of 2016, a year after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had gone through various treatments. He's now just shy of 3. "I found myself with a lot of disabilities that a service dog would actually help me to mitigate," she says.
Service dogs have many purposes. In addition to disabled veterans, they can be assigned to diabetics, epileptics, the blind, and others who are disabled.
Diann says that Yadier gives her a sense of independence. He helps her with day-to-day tasks and she says that without him, she wouldn't be able to get back out into the community as well as she does. "Yadi can go upstairs and retrieve my cell phone, my medicine bag, he can go into the pantry, he can go into the pantry and retrieve water bottles for me. He alerts me to certain medical conditions that I have and he responds to them as well. Also, if I drop something, he'll pick that up for me."
Dianne has a Facebook page for all people with service dogs in Delaware. "I've met some other local handlers and other teams and we found that by joining together we can share information," she says.
Diann says the service animal community embraces the former president's dog as a hero and while Sully will go on to help disabled veterans, Diann is hoping to help more service dog handlers and teams by coming together through the Delaware Service Dogs Facebook page.
George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law so that service animals do not need to be registered. There are scams that claim to register pets and make them service animals, but they can actually be harmful to legitimate service animals and distract them from their handlers if they should meet.