Service dogs are trained to help their handlers manage in their everyday life. What we do will vary depending on our owners and what we can do is only limited by your imagination (and training ability).
One of the things I help my Person with is chronic fatigue. I do things that a person without this illness could do themselves. Like carry her belongings in a doggy backpack so that she doesn’t have to carry a bag, I retrieve things from the ground so that she doesn’t have to bend down. And other things to help her conserve her limited energy.
This morning she was helping cut down branches in the garden. My Person had to put the branches and leaf litter in the wheelbarrow and take them about 30m down the driveway to the pile waiting to go to the dump.
It was about 30 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Very, very hot. Not the best conditions for a chronic fatigue sufferer.
Some of the branches were very big and awkward to carry. They wouldn’t fit in the wheelbarrow and my Person can’t carry them. So she thought “Hm. How am I going to do this?”
I was sniffing around the garden, chasing lizards.
This would probably be a good time to mention that I am a dog of many hats. Amoung other things I am a service dog, agility dog and a sled dog.
So my Person went and got my sledding harness, a lovely padded purple cross back, and bungee line. She tied the bungee line to the branch and clipped it to my harness. I was very excited because I knew I was going to work. A different type of work to service dog work, I know the difference between my service dog coat, my sled harness and my agility harness. I do get excited every time I see them but I know how I need to behave depending on which one I am wearing.
I dragged the branches easily down to the pile. It took half the time it would have if my Person had tried to use the wheelbarrow, and an eighth of the time it would have if my Person had tried to carry them herself. I could only take one or two at a time because they were quite big and it was very hot. But I got the job done and I was very pleased with myself. My Person was very happy too.
While many people would think that my Person getting me to do this when she probably could have just dragged then there herself is ridiculous and she should just “suck it up” and deal with it. I am a service dog. I am trained to help my Person in whatever way she needs. Today it just so happened that she needed help moving branches.