I Want A Service Dog!

Whenever I travel internationally (which isn’t that often!) I enjoy seeing the dogs working the customs beat. I had a greater appreciation for them once we had a beagle, but I’ve always thought that they are pretty cool.


I’m also fascinated by the many different ways that dogs can be trained as service animals to help people with different needs–from physical disabilities to epilepsy. There are amazing stories of service dogs saving the lives of their people.

All this got me thinking–wouldn’t it be great to have a service dog for runners?

Tiger Lilly used to be a good running companion, but I need a dog that will keep me out of trouble–and not just by scaring “bad guys” away.

The main job of a runner’s service dog would be to keep the runner from getting injured. This might mean refusing to go up ridiculously steep hills, holding back from a “too fast” pace, or insisting on turning around instead of going for just “one more mile.”

The most elite service dogs also would be able to sniff out and pinpoint any injury that does arise. What runner hasn’t had a mystery ache that seemed to relocate as soon as it was diagnosed? If dogs can be trained to detect cancer, surely they can be taught to sniff out the difference between an ITB injury and a piriformis strain. And if its nose is cold enough to substitute for an ice pack, even better!

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6 Responses to I Want A Service Dog!

  1. That would be great! Did you read "The Art of Racing in the Rain"? The family dog is the narrator and it's so interesting to follow his viewpoint.

    My mom has a beagle and always seeks out the Beagle Brigade when she travels. She always takes their pictures.

    And, you need to take some new pictures of Tiger Lilly.

    When we go to Disneyland, we are always shocked at the dogs that qualify for Service Dogs. Seriously, we've seen Mini Schnauzers (I've had 2, not sure what they could ever be trained to do) and many other little dogs. I'd so love to ask the handlers.

  2. My niece is high functioning on the autism scale and just got a service dog. I had not realized they can be trained for autism too. She's studying for her PHd in some physics thing I don't understand. The dog is what she chose from her grandmother for her college graduation gift.

  3. SuperBabe says:

    That would be awesome! I love the idea of the runner service dog!!!! 🙂 Especially if they could detect injuries and keep you at a "healthy" pace 🙂

    Re: the dogs at customs… I am not too keen on them, actually… but that is mostly because I have crossed the Mexico-US border a couple of times on a bus (instead of in the car with my parents, in the car with my husband, or by airplane, which are more comfortable ways of crossing), and it's very strange to be taken out of the bus, with your suitcase, form a line next to the bus, and then have these humongous dogs (they're NOT beagles… they're more like German Shepherds or Dobermans!) just walk all over your luggage and get super close to you… very, very uncomfortable and… weird… almost… humiliating…

  4. Vicki says:

    Ha ha, great post Coco! I love the idea of an injury detection sniffing dog.. or cat 🙂

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