The international trend towards getting dogs to help people with a variety of disabilities is seemingly proceeding quite swiftly, with American examples becoming more prevalent. Across a range of conditions, dogs are assisting their owners to have a better quality of life. This story has recently been featured in the Montgomery Advertiser.
Alexis Butler has the condition of cerebral palsy. She is ten years old and is about to receive the assistance of a service dog. This is the consequence of a partnership arrangement which involves the innovative charity Canine Assistants. This charity is operating in Alabama.
Alexis will eventually receive a dog that is appropriate for her condition. She will therefore be given more confidence and this will contribute to her being able to participate more independently in society. Alexis has particular difficulty in walking and this will hopefully be partly addressed with the aid of a special dog.
Alexis will go on a special fortnight-long training course in the company of her parents. Her mother, Sara, is keen for her daughter to receive a service dog.
Sara Butler, who is in the US military, is confident that:
“This [dog] will give her a sense of independence that a 10-year-old should have.”
A service dog can assist with practical tasks, offer companionship and help its owner with social activities. Service dogs can led to greater levels of communication and make its owner less isolated and so it seems right that the number should increase in this country and across the world.