Monday, 20 August 2012

Get Your Questions About Service Dogs in Before Monday, Sept. 3!

Barnum says, "Ask Sharon a question!"
Do you have a question about service dogs? Sharon Wachsler probably knows the answer!

Ask Sharon Wachsler Your Service Dog Questions!

After I read Sharon's post for "Blogging Against Disablism Day" this year (, I had plenty of questions. I immediately emailed her and asked if she'd write a guest post for me.

She wasn't sure what she'd say, so she suggested that we ask you if there's anything in particular that you'd like to know.

Questions could include (but certainly aren't limited to!):

  • How  do you train a service dog?

  • What do you use a service dog for?

  • Why can't I interact with a service dog while it's working?

  • What's the funniest/most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you when you were out with a service dog?

Sharon Wachsler is *the* person to answer your questions. She trains them, she uses one herself (Barnum, the handsome bouvier at the top of the post), and she's been through the heartbreak of having to say good-bye to her beloved service dog, Gadget. I didn't realize just how strong the relationships between service dogs and their owners are, until I started reading Sharon's blog at Please go take a look when you get a chance!

Sharon Wachsler says that she will attempt to answer all the questions. From her post on this at her blog: "I say "attempt" because I might receive a question that I can't answer. For example, if I was asked what it was like for me to have a guide dog or train at a service dog school, I wouldn't be able to answer those questions directly, because I don't have those experiences. But I might ask one of my friends who has such experiences if they would be willing to answer. If I can't give a complete answer to a question, to quote Albus Dumbledore, "I shall not, of course, lie."

I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of questions you guys come up with, and to learning more with you about this fascinating topic!   We'll be accepting questions for the next two weeks.

Thank you so much for doing this, Sharon!


  1. [...] post them as comments to this post here (or, if you’d like your question to be anonymous, at today’s Girl with a Cane post on this topic). After Sarah and I collect all the questions from both blogs, I’ll attempt* to answer them [...]

  2. Okay, I'll bite: What was the funniest/most embarrassing thing that happened to you while you were out with a service dog?

  3. Taryn Ceperkovic23 August 2012 at 03:33

    I have a couple questions:
    Would you recommend self-training service dogs? Are there certain capacities you need to have to train a service dog?
    Are there particular breeds that you would recommend? What do you think of the use of other animals?
    How do your care assistants interact with Barnum? Have you ever had a care assistant that was afraid of dogs?
    Is it possible for a service dog to be trained to deal with a variety of needs? For example, there are service dogs that provide deep pressure for people with autism spectrum disorders, and service dogs trained to assist with balance. Could a dog be trained for both?

  4. Wow, that's a lot of questions! They are excellent questions. I'll start working on answers today. It will take me a while to get through them all.
    And CK, since you asked the question twice, I'll answer it twice. ;-) (Such a MEAN question! Whose idea was that, anyway? Oh, wait....) ;-b