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Start Seeing Service Dogs Please

Updated on February 22, 2017
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I always try to respect a service dog that is on duty and off duty out of respect for the people they serve and adore as family.

5 stars for The Importance Of This Message

Please!

Start Seeing Service Dogs
Start Seeing Service Dogs | Source

Responsible In The Driver's Seat

Hunter took the driver's seat to get an important message out to all drivers: "START SEEING SERVICE DOGS!"

Parking lots and cross walks can be such dangerous places for Hunter and he has had some close calls because of drivers not being careful when they see him or not even seeing him all. Now that is disturbing to Hunter. One of his family members has to travel by wheelchair and Hunter takes her safety seriously. He does not understand why anyone would not slow down when they see a wheelchair in a crosswalk. He is there wearing his red vest to help alert drivers to slow down or stop. Stopping and waiting is the right thing to do.

  • He wants you to see his vest.
  • He wants you to see him.
  • He wants his family to be safe.
  • He wants you to take his message seriously.

You can see an illustrated parking lot tutorial below.

Also, find out what the law is for your own sake and other's.

A Loving Working Dog, His Eyes Say It All

Up Close and Personal View of Compassion
Up Close and Personal View of Compassion | Source

A Springer Spaniel Dog Breed

I had a by chance meeting with Hunter and his spokesperson one day. We visited for quite some time and I was allowed to take some pictures of Hunter, and he was a working dog while we were talking. This led to some arranged meetings and stories for me to tell.

The black and white Springer Spaniel was listening to what was being said. His spokesperson, Bob, emphasized again and again that the word needs to get out for drivers to "Start Seeing Service Dogs". I said that I would do what I can to help get that important message out.

Then, Hunter jumped into his spokesperson's truck, but he did not take the passenger seat that he usually does. He crossed over to the driver's seat and quietly waited for me to notice that I had an important picture to take of him.

It Is The Law

A Felony Offense

Hunter's spokesperson told me that it is a felony offense if a driver does not stop for a Service Dog wearing their vest. It could also be a matter of life and death or serious injury to Hunter and a family member. Hunter would not flee from a dangerous situation to save himself, he takes his job seriously. Please take his message seriously and pass it on.

Brake For A Poll

Do you slow down or stop your vehicle when you see service dogs on duty?

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A Visual Safety Check By Hunter

Hunter does a safety check before crossing the parking lot.  He looks toward the sound of an ambulance door being shut.
Hunter does a safety check before crossing the parking lot. He looks toward the sound of an ambulance door being shut. | Source

A Matter of Life and Death

You see, when Hunter is in uniform, he is working to help and protect his beloved family. He is doing the job he is trained for.

If you see Hunter in public, he does not have time to socialize with you and you should never ever try to distract him from his duties. It may be a matter of being able to alert his family members to the danger that is on the line, it could be a matter of life and death.

Parking Lot Crossing Tutorial

Notice the parked ambulance in the upper right as Hunter and his people begin to cross the parking lot.
Notice the parked ambulance in the upper right as Hunter and his people begin to cross the parking lot. | Source


Here you can see Hunter continuing to cross the parking lot as the ambulance is on the move and heading toward him and his people. The Service Dog's vest is plainly visibleHere you can see Hunter continuing to cross the parking lot as the ambulance is on the move and heading toward him and his people. The Service Dog's vest is plainly visible

Cell Phones Distract Drivers

Hunter hopes this message will help everyone know what to do when they see him or other Service Dogs crossing in a parking lot. On this day, there was another close call when a driver using a cell phone did not even seem to notice Hunter and the people he serves as they were about to do some shopping.

Hunter has served his lady, Linda for six years and now also serves his spokesperson, Bob. He wants to keep them safe and is asking for your help. That saying, “a picture paints a thousand words”, works here.

Hunter is thrilled to be able to present pictures of what drivers are expected to do when they see him working. His most important message to all drivers is: "Start Seeing Service Dogs"

Service Dog Etiquette

The ambulance stops  at a safe distance until Hunter has crossed “from curb to curb” with his people safely.
The ambulance stops at a safe distance until Hunter has crossed “from curb to curb” with his people safely. | Source

Do Not Break The Law

You can tell why this message is the most important one that Hunter wants everyone to know. He loves the people that he assists and cares about you. Yes, this Spaniel likes everyone and does not want anyone to break the law, or put people with disabilities in harms way.

He Is Proud To Be Of Service

A handsome and noble face.
A handsome and noble face. | Source

Another Important Message

Hunter has an important message he wants me to tell you about.

Don't Pet Rule

He understands how important this message is.

Will you?

Question Poll

Has this article helped to increase your understanding?

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The Importance of Service Dogs Video

Some Things Are Worth Repeating

I decided to be a voice for Hunter and the people he serves because I feel it is important for this message to be heard by motorists. All too often this service dog has almost gotten hit by a vehicle while on duty.

Parking lots outside of shopping centers are a dangerous place for these guide dogs and their people. Why? Because people are not paying close enough attention to their surroundings while driving. Texting and talking on cell phones is the biggest distraction that Bob and Linda see while in the line of fire.

Hunter Is Attentive To Bob

Bob and Hunter at Home.
Bob and Hunter at Home. | Source

Hunter Helps with Hearing Loss

Hunter is very social and very polite, though much less formal at home. I was so pleased when he would come and sit by me and lean a little against my leg. It didn’t take long for him to train me into the fact that he preferred that I pet him on the back of his neck to the middle of his back. Once he even sat on my foot to be closer, my smile got bigger! When I sat on the floor, Hunter came along side and I found myself putting an arm around him. Awesome!

Hunter has full run of the house and is completely trusted by Bob and Linda. Bob has raised many Springer Spaniels over the years, he says Hunter stands out above others he has known. Hunter began looking after Linda on his own at the age of two and is now seven and has taken on the additional duty of serving Bob because of hearing loss.

© 2015 Susie Lehto

Hunter's Guestbook

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    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 19 months ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, I think there's a lot to that, living in a remote area in a cold climate has some good benefits. I wouldn't want to live in a city or suburb again, been there done that.

      BTW, I loved taking the scenic tour via your Yosemite National Park hub-page. Beautiful!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      I am happy to share this hub about service dogs again as it is important and needs to be publicized. I got a kick out of your saying that the cold climate up there keeps the riff-raff away. That is probably true to some extent. Ha! Nice that your crime rate up there is low. Wish the same could be said for everywhere!!!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Au fait, I live in Minnesota and we have the right to carry loaded guns with permits, and I do not feel it is the wild west here. But, I do feel safe knowing that my friends and neighbors can protect themselves and the community from bad people. And, I know Hunter and any dog would be safe here as long as they do not go crazy and attack someone. That goes for people as well. We have a very low crime rate because it's a cold climate that keeps the riff-raff away. - Thank you for sharing. Kudos!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      People are becoming more and more inconsiderate whether driving or anything else. At least it seems that way to me.

      While it is unlikely to affect you if you don't live in Texas, it should be known that driver's are free to text while driving anywhere in the state of Texas with the exception of school zones. Our esteemed Republican Teabagger branch of the the Texas state government determined that making it illegal to text while driving "infringes on personal liberties."

      http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/05/sta...

      What about our personal liberty of staying alive and unhandicapped as the result of a texting driver? What do you want from a legislature that just passed a new wild west law allowing people to wear loaded guns in public just like in Gun Smoke? If Hunter lived in Texas he'd probably gt shot if he wasn't run over by a texter.

      Glad you're reminding people to be on the lookout for people and their work animals who need a little help sometimes to get where they're going.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Sheila, thank you for such a nice comment on this hub.

      Congratulations on HotD today!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is another wonderful hub on such an important topic! Too many people are in such a hurry these days, they don't want to slow down or stop for anything! I'm glad there is such a law to make it a criminal offense! You do such a good job of spreading the word, I'm sure Hunter and his family appreciate you very much!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Marlene, yes it is the law that all vehicles should stop when the drivers see a service dog on duty. I suppose many people do not know that.

      Thank you for visiting!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      If a service vehicle will stop for a service dog, then it makes sense that all other drivers should stop for service dogs. Hunter's people are so fortunate to have such a conscientious dog like Hunter.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Fay, thank you for giving Hunter some love by sharing his message.

      Have a blessed day!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Mary, that is a good point. Most dogs are short, but that cannot be helped. It is a problem with people not paying attention, mainly because they are on their cell phones.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I could have sworn I had read this Hub and commented on it before, but I don't see it. I do love reading about Hunter, and try not to miss a Hub about him!

      Hunter is so short, I'll bet it is difficult for drivers to see him. Just a thought: why not equipt a dog like Hunter with those tall poles I see some bikers use on the back of their bike. They have a flag attached.

      Sending Hunter some love and admiration tonight!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Ever since you introduced us to Hunter I just love him. This is such an important topic I'm glad that you wrote about it. Giving it a pin.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, I hope this message helps some people to "respect and honor" service dogs. I appreciate your helping by sharing this hub, thank you.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      FlourishAnyway, thank you for helping to spread this message. Being that Hunter is a member of the family, his needs are always taken care of because he is dearly loved.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is indeed a very good message to pass along to others so that they can respect and honor what these service dogs do for their people who rely upon them. Up votes and sharing, tweeting, pinning, etc.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Voted up and more and pinning this to spread the word! Just curious -- what happens when Hunter develops medical issues of his own and needs to retire?

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Mary, there you go showing that kind heart of your's.

      Thank you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Although I see them, I have almost nil knowledge of these dogs. I do admire them and I want to be more supportive of their roles. Thanks for highlighting this in your hub.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you, Ann. Service animals certainly are devoted to those they assist in everyday life.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I've had the pleasure of meeting a seeing-eye dog once - an incredible German Shepherd. Very devoted to his master. Working dogs deserve every respect we can give them. Good job as raising awareness.