If a dog gets separated from its owner, it means it has lost its master and needs assistance in getting back to its home.
That’s the case with most of the dogs, not service dogs.
Service dogs are trained such that they stay with their owner at all times. Owing to years of training, helping their owner in case of some danger or a need becomes a part of their instinct.
So, if a service dog approaches you alone, it means it’s asking for our help. If you’re still not convinced, just read on, and you will be.
Tessa Connaughton from California was in a mart for grocery shopping when she fell to the ground on her face. Her service dog Raider knew what was needed to be done at that time.
Raider, a mix of English and bull mastiff, has been with Connaughton for nearly three years now.
The smart dog helps her as she suffers from autism and seizures. When Connaughton needs pressure, Raider lays on her to help her calm down.
Putting in Connaughton’s words: “Layman’s terms: He lays on me if I get antsy.”
After she was clinically diagnosed with epilepsy a short time ago, Connaughton needed to train her service dog for one more thing – to search for help.
Raider is now trained to look for help from people around him by using his nose, by nudging their arms or legs.
As loud noises are not something Connaughton is accustomed to, Raider is specially trained to seek help silently from anyone nearby so that they can call emergency medical support.
“Loud noises are painful for me, especially when I’m already in distress,” the 20-year-old said.
Connaughton was trying to pick up some coffee sweetener and creamer when she fell down.
Being the intelligent and trained boy Raider is, he translated the circumstance to a seizure and ran to a woman nearby to ask for help.
When Connaughton got up back, she saw Raider asking for help but the woman he was asking nudged him away, not understanding what he actually needed.
Speaking of the incident, Connaughton said: “She was swatting at his nose and telling him to leave her alone while she was shopping.”
Witnessing this, Connaughton posted a public service announcement about service dogs on the social media site Tumblr, quoting her story and telling the right way to respond if someone sees a service dog apart from their owner.
Connaughton wrote: “It stood out to me that if she didn’t realize what he was trying to get at, there were probably a lot more people who didn’t know.”
Her Tumblr post was also shared on other social media sites.
A retweet said: “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.”
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.
always follow a service dog https://t.co/oruNJDW2YK
— gretchen mothman (@solelymoving) June 18, 2018
The public service announcement by Connaughton said: “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!”
Although there were some negative comments about Connaughton’s PSA, most of the people supported her stance on the issue.
Connaughton replied to the criticism, saying: “There’s a thousand ways to train a service dog I live in a small town with a lot of people, so my method works for me.”
So if you see a service dog coming to you alone, don’t have a second thought, follow the dog and you’ll most probably save a precious life.