Service Dog Facts: Things You Didn't Know About Animals That Aid The Disabled

Service dogs accomplish pretty amazing feats on a daily basis. Bethe Bennett’s miniature schnauzer nudged her back to consciousness after a fall. The trained service dog also retrieved an emergency phone list so Bennett could call neighbors for assistance. A pooch named Mr. Gibbs totes Alida Knobloch’s oxygen tank so the 2-year-old can dash around with other children. Mr. Gibbs even braves playground slides with Alida. (You can see video of Alida and Mr. Gibbs below.)

Sandra Leavitt also relies on a service dog to help battle her rare seizure disorder. Nikki, a 4-year-old pit bull, was trained to detect scent changes in Leavitt’s blood and provide warning signs up to two hours before seizures occur.

“We are starting to realize what a dog’s nose means to human beings,” says Jennifer Arnold, founder of Canine Assistants, a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for people with disabilities or special needs. “There are so many applications for dogs in our society that benefit mankind. They already do; they just haven’t gotten the credit they deserve.”

While some of these heroics are known, here are five things you probably didn’t know about these working dogs.

List and captions courtesy of Mother Nature Network

Facts about service dogs