Dogs’ versatility and heightened senses make them ideal for many jobs that humans can’t do. Some are fun, some dangerous and others sad. All are important.
Just like cats, dogs work as service and therapy animals. If you have a dog with an especially sweet temperament, you can have your dog certified as a therapy dog and then you can volunteer to take him or her into hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities for visits. Note that therapy dogs are not service dogs and are not allowed into public places that forbid animals from entering. Service dogs work as seeing-eye dogs for the blind, companions for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and help paraplegics and quadriplegics live independently. These dogs can always accompany their owners into any building or situation and are not subject to “no dogs allowed” rules.
Dogs also serve to sniff out both survivors and cadavers in tragedies involving collapsed structures with people inside. Many of these dogs helped search after the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedies and one could find scattered around New York City afterward statues commemorating their service.
You can find dogs working in police K-9 units, helping catch fleeing criminals and sniffing out suspected drugs at traffic stops. They go into war zones with our military, where they can sniff a bomb and alert their handlers before detonation, saving thousands of lives.
Dogs also play a role for hunters, sniffing out prey or retrieving a kill. Others, like cats, serve on farms. Shepherd breeds guard herd animals like sheep, making sure they don’t stray too far, protecting them from predators and rounding them up and pushing them back to the safety of a more enclosed pasture or barn.The fact is, without our working dogs, life would be a lot more dangerous and difficult for humans. The above examples are only a few of the many things our dogs do for us.