It used to be simple. Service dogs helped blind people – to find their way around. Then came service dogs for deaf people – to alert them to noises. Then came service dogs for epilepsy, diabetes, even Alzheimers.
These days it feels like a week doesn’t pass without another medical usage being discovered for service dogs of one sort or another. Anxiety, depression, aren’t we all depressed? Just ask any psychologist and they will tell you! Maybe we all qualify for a government-funded service dog. And for those of us who already own dogs (and pay for them ourselves, thank you very much) it’s starting to feel like we are missing the gravy train.
I don’t mean to sound dismissive, after all dogs offer tremendous benefits to improve human health. I just feel that if the government is paying for a dog, it should be a dog that does something – something special. Like walks you across the road, or calls Fire brigade on command,or fetches your slippers – something! Because otherwise I will suspect that all you have is a boring old dog, just like mine. Except you get your dog food for free and I don’t. After all, aren’t all dogs do us a great service? So maybe they should be all called ‘service dogs’. Which is great, just get your dog food yourself and don’t make me, the taxpayer to pay for it. Thank you and have a nice day.