Animals – Unsung Heroes of the Work World

Labor Day is fast approaching.  Get out your grills and aprons, daddy’s cooking!  And Fido is at your feet hoping you drop a burger or dog? (Does that make him a cannibal?  Nah… made from different meat.)

But why do we celebrate Labor Day in America anyway?  According to Kathryn Whitborne on HowStuffWorks.com, “For a lot of people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and the end of summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894… The first Labor Day parade occurred Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. The workers’ unions chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.”

So we, at Little Rock Vets, want to celebrate Service Animals, one of the world’s unsung heroes who have a job to do.  UnsungHeroAwards.com even says “Back in 2018, we even crowned therapy dog “Molly” of the Frank Lloyd Unit at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust as the winner of the Special Mention Award showing just how much of an impact therapy animals can have on enhancing the wellbeing of patients.”

Animals have been used for labor as far back as history records.  Farmers have been harnessing the power of animals with a yoke longer than any of us could ever remember.  In World War I, horses, mules, dogs, pigeons and even a baboon were all a vital part of the Allied troops. They were messengers, spies and sentinels. They led cavalry charges, carried supplies to the front, comforted wounded soldiers and died by the millions during World War I.

 

Meet Ariel!

He is a trained ADA approved service canine.  He has been specifically trained for PTSD recognition and partial mobility aid.  Ariel’s person is Tony, who suffers with PTSD from childhood trauma, being a Marine Corp Veteran, a volunteer firefighter, and a retired police officer.

Ariel is Hebrew for “Lion of God”.  Tony trained him with commands in the Hebrew language.

Ariel assists Tony with such tasks as getting off the ground, picking up things dropped on the floor, opening doors, and his primary task is to create a calming effect for Tony when he begins to have an anxiety attack due to the PTSD.  When he senses Tony having a bad moment, he uses a technique called bumping, where he alerts Tony by putting his nose against his person’s leg.  He then places his front paws on Tony’s shoulders carefully sliding his canine face in front of Tony’s face as though he were giving Tony a hug.  He won’t leave his position until he senses that Tony has calmed.

He is also trained to “watch Tony’s six” by positioning himself behind Tony in public situations when someone walks up behind Tony.  This is a common place gesture used in line at the grocery store.

And like anyone with a job, his demeanor changes when his “work” vest is put on.  He springs in to action as a Service Canine and Hero for Tony!

Thank you Ariel and all the service canines around the world for your hard work every day!