National Dog Day is celebrated every year on August 26th, since it's creation in 2004. Last Friday I had every intention of posting about what a special day it was but that didn't end up happening. So I decided that instead I will highlight a different group each day this week that uses dogs in a healing manner.
Today's amazing dog group is the Tennessee Safety Spotters. This group uses Deaf dogs to get their message across and as you can guess by their name, their message is about safety. One program teaches children about fire safety, another, focuses on preventing dog bites. Getting children accustomed to a good sized dog, and how to behave around that animal, will teach them not to fear dogs and instead respect them.
When I was in school, the only "dog" that came to teach us about safety was someone dressed as McGruff. As entertaining as that was, my classmates and I didn't learn anything about real police dogs, or what to do if we met a strange dog.
One other thing about the Tennessee Safety Spotters, the fact that they use Deaf dogs is a teaching tool in itself. Children are able to see that being Deaf doesn't really make you that different. These incredible dogs look like any other Dalmatian. Instead of being handicapped, their extreme intelligence is displayed in their ability to understand sign language commands and perform activities like crawling under smoke and calling 911.
I think that the Tennessee Safety Spotters are definitely on to something. They show that everyone has something to teach. To borrow a quote from their website "These special dogs hear with their hearts, not with their ears."