Feel-Good Corner

September: Service Dog Awareness Month

I’m really excited to share that September is Service Dog Awareness Month. I knew that it was Suicide Prevention Month but I didn’t know that Service and Assistance animals have a month of awareness and commemoration. It makes me extremely happy because misinformation about Service and Assistance Animals continues to run rampant.

I was working on a different blog but I’d rather wait and discuss this instead. It won’t be the first time you hear about Service Dogs from me and I’m sure it’s not the last!

For Any Newcomers:

The topic of Service Animals greatly impacts me ever since I found a little Yorkie on the side of the road, fell in love and went through Assistance Dog training with her. Mia is my angel and miracle…helping me every single day in more ways than I could ever explain. She’s next to me right now, busy napping and completely unaware of how much she’s changed my life.

Why Is Service Dog Awareness Month Important?

In a world full of causes, fundraisers and designated periods of recognition, why is this one significant? For starters, each cause is significant, even if it only impacts a minority group. Especially then! I also believe that the more work accomplished during an awareness period, the more the cause progresses all year long. Over time the lines get blurred and action propagates beyond designated ‘awareness months’. That to me is the real cause – It’s when we no longer need these special events that we approach success.

Since this isn’t the case yet, I’m here to kick up a fuss about Service/Assistance Dogs. We’re not where we need to be and here are a few key points that demonstrate why:

  • Most stores, banks, restaurants, malls, etc. have a ‘no dogs’ sign. This excludes people with disabilities requiring a Service Animal and makes it more challenging when we enter.
  • When Service Animals are permitted, most people expect the stereotypical guide dog. If you don’t have a Labrador-looking dog and sunglasses or use a wheelchair… too bad for you!
  • If the dog’s harness and/or ID card doesn’t indicate ‘MIRA’ (in Canada), have fun explaining!
  • Going on an airplane or staying in a hotel? If the previous two points are a problem for you then strap in for a bumpy ride!

It isn’t always this difficult and if you frequent the same stores in your area people generally get used to you and your dog. It’s still annoying when you know your rights and just want to get things done. The worst is when other clients give you a hard time! I was at the cinema a few weeks ago for the first time in a long while (it’s way too loud for me), and a client in the washroom started asking me a bunch of questions. She even told me that Mia couldn’t possibly be my Assistance animal because she’s so small. A few minutes after a quick explanation I didn’t even owe, I overheard her complaining about Mia’s presence to the staff. Fun fun fun!

Assistance Animal Awareness Projects

As you can imagine, I want to be involved in changing things for the better. It’s not easy and change is slow, but the only way is to START. Thankfully I have great people in my circle who care about these causes in addition to my endeavours.

Dog Bones:

My boss at the pet store enthusiastically agreed to us doing an initiative. Plans are still in the works and it’s a crazy-busy time for everyone but we’ve started Part 1. I’ve been making colourful cord keychains in the shape of dog bones to sell. The profits will go to the training organization Mia and I are part of. In one day we raised $62 which is pretty good!

Go Fund Me:

Since I can’t share the keychain initiative with you online (I wish I could), I’ve set up a Go Fund Me for anyone who wants to contribute to the cause. I’m hoping we can raise $500 together online. I know that money is tight but even $1 makes a difference! I’d also really appreciate it if you could share the link with your own readers, family, friends, coworkers, etc.



I want to keep this surprise up my sleeve for now but I think it’s super exciting and I look forward to sharing the project with you soon.

For now I wish you all a wonderful and happy week! Thanks for reading!

What's YOUR take?