Dog - A Man's Bestfriend
Kæledyr – a danish word for our dear pet(s). They are considered part of the family in every home. It was documented that people with a kæledyr are healthier and has lower blood pressure.
What makes us a good pet owner? The same applies with all the other living creatures, how do we show compassion and responsibility by having a pet at home? They protect us, guides us in some ways and undoubtedly gives joy to our daily lives.
"Dogs' good humor are reflected through their owner's love and respect towards them. " - Lisa Klint
According to the Danmarks Statistics, there are about 600,000 registered dogs in Denmark alone. The current population in Denmark is approximately 5.7 million.
I was surprised that most people in Denmark have at least one kæledyr at home and they treat them as a family member. It could be our dog, cat or any other pet that we look forward seeing to the moment we open our door at home. For some people who doesn’t have a child, we treat them as our babies and a sister or brother the moment we got children.
I had a dog in the Philippines named Piper (japanese spitz) and have been with her for 3 years. During those times, she gave birth to five healthy puppies. It has been 2 and a half years now since I left my homeland and Piper is now living with my aunt. I remember how I got her – the time when I had a broken heart, that is when I decided to have somebody to take care of and be with at home. Now, we have a kæledyr named Loki. A maine coon breed cat. They are known to be very social and friendly to children.
Service Dogs to the Handicapped
In my initial research about service dogs, I discovered a non-profit organization that provides training to dogs with good physical and mental health to help people with physical disabilities.
Let us learn more about Servicehunde til Handicappede and their strong dedication to help others with the support of unpaid puppy host, volunteers, private individuals, foundations and companies.
On the 10th of May 2017, I had the privilege to have a phone interview with Lisa Klint, the administration leader at Servicehunde til Handicappede.
Did you know that the breeds Labrador and Golden Retriever are the best choice when it comes to training/ to become service dogs?These type of dogs feel a sense of responsibility to assist people with some things that they are capable of doing like opening the door, switching off the lights, carrying a grocery basket and pulling a wheelchair.
My curiosity about service dogs started a few months ago when I happened to see a blind woman a couple of times in our area, she is probably in her 40's, being assisted by a labrador whenever she gets on and off the bus and taking the steps down the stairs on the way to her home. At the time I started writing blogs early this year, I have thought of "kæledyr" / pet, especially now that me and Jacob decided to have Loki (our maine coon breed cat) as part of the family. I am giving special attention to responsible pet ownership that connects to animal welfare which I will be covering in the future as a part of this blog. Unfortunately, I didn't had the chance to get in touch with the woman with a service dog near our area for I don't see her often anymore and a bit hesitant to approach her, but I was lucky to be entertained by Lisa Klint from Servicehunde til Handicapped.
Servicehunde til Handicappede was founded in 1996. It is a non-profit organization, supported by unpaid puppy hosts, volunteers, private individuals, foundations and companies.
"Dogs work as guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs that alert deaf people or people with reduced hearing, and since the 1970s in the USA and from the 1990's i Denmark as assistance dogs. The unique training of an assistance dog lasts 18 months and starts when the puppy is selected at the age of 8 weeks. The puppy is placed with a carefully chosen family where it will spend the next 12 months. The family will undertake the daily socializing of the puppy, teaching it good habits, and keeping it in good health. The puppy will enjoy positive interaction with people in various environments." -STH"
Lisa Klint grew up with a kæledyr, a family dog and was also considered a hunting dog by her father. She sees the dog a part of their family and maintains having one at home.
What are Service /Assistance Dogs?
Everyone with a functional disability who thinks an assistance dog will bring more independence into their daily lives may apply for a dog.
The service dog is recognised by a blue cover with a clear service dog logo indicating that the dog is at work and has the necessary qualifications to be able to follow and help the user whenever necessary. Accordingly, it is clear to the general public that this is a specially trained dog. Furthermore, the service dog user has an ID card with photo which is presented on request. -STH
What are Social Dogs?
Everyone with a functional disability or a family with a child with a functional disability who thinks a social dog will bring joy into their daily lives, may apply for a dog. -STH
- Being friendly
- Well behaved
*not allowed to stay in some public areas
According to Lisa Klint, there are about approximately 80-100 trained service dogs that were released to successful applicants free of charge.
At Servicehunde til Handicappede, four assistance dog instructors makes it possible for these dogs to be trained and be more than just a helping hand to handicapped people. One of them is responsible for the day to day operations, the chief instructor - Lise Lotte Christensen, she took a three-year training course as assistance dog instructor with the service dog organisation, CCI, in California.
Responsibilities of a pet owner:
Follow the vaccination program
In Denmark, it was calculated that a pet owner allocates 6 - 8,000 danish kroner a year including the food and other basic needs. In other countries it may be lower due to taxation differences.
Having a kæledyr may require big demand when it comes to:
- Teaching or playing tricks with them
Travelling with your Kæledyr/pet?
In line with this subject, we will also learn about The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). I will be writing to them and so people from other parts of the world will see how it is in other countries with different cultures.
An organization that prevents animal cruelty in the Philippines and promotes the practices of responsible pet ownership and protects wildlife.
The service dog is recognised by a blue cover with a clear service dog logo indicating that the dog is at work and has the necessary qualifications to be able to follow and help the user whenever necessary. -STH
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