Service dogs are an incredible asset to people struggling with physical and mental issues that can impact their daily lives. There are around 500,000 assistance dogs in use in the USA
A woman on TikTok named Melody shared how she repays her service dog Autumn for all her hard work.
The video was originally posted to the account @melody.autumn in January this year and received over 3.8 million views. Recently, it went viral again after being posted on the account @dogrescue1016where it received over 450,000 views.
In the video, Melody writes, “Sometimes I pretend to be shopping so I can surprise my service dog with a toy. I always want Autumn to feel appreciated for the hard work she does. For them, the hedgehog brightens up their day. But it brightens up my life and helps make it easier.
Autumn is seen walking in a store with a stuffed hedgehog in her mouth.
Melody then lists some of the incredible ways Autumn helps her with tasks.
“Some tasks include searching for medications by smell,” she writes. “Use the scent to alert you that my medication is wearing off. Respond to medication/water withdrawal. Help me get her leash. Performing deep pressure therapy and so much more. I love you Autumn, you deserve the world.”
The caption reads: “Autumn specializes in allergy and psychiatric alert and response. Aside from big food rewards, I like to surprise her with toys. She can choose any toy she likes from the pet section. Sometimes she chooses the more expensive ones so we don’t do that all the time, which is why she least expects it. Autumn is not only my service dog, but also my fur child and I love her more than words can express.
Over the last decade, assistance dogs have become an important resource for people with mental and physical disabilities. “However, additional problems have arisen that may be due to a lack of understanding of service dog training, work functions, and access to public facilities,” according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). AKC Government Relations is “working with members of Congress, regulators, leading service dog trainers and providers, and transportation and hospitality industry groups to find ways to address these issues.”
According to the AKC, in the 1920s, a service dog was typically a guide dog trained to assist a person with a hearing or visual impairment, and German Shepherds were the most commonly used breed. “Today, service dogs of many different breeds are trained. They perform a variety of tasks to help people with disabilities,” the AKC adds.
Users on TikTok liked the video.
“Listen, I ripped the side of my eye open so I can’t let these tears go or it will burn,” one user said. “I’m grateful she has you as her world,” wrote another.
“Well done Autumn,” another user commented.
Newsweek asked @melody.autumn for comment via TikTok.
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