Bet you didn’t know that a Great Dane can be a service dog!
These special needs dogs are ‘walker dogs’ – dogs to assist those people who have impairments to their mobility and balance. These people can be Parkinson’s or MS patients and, more recently, it has been servicemen and women who have returned home with inner ear and brain injury.
The Service Dog Project exists to train dogs for the mobility impaired.
The Project has donated over 45 Great Danes to people with severe balance or mobility problems. They are located in Ipswich, Massachusetts on a 12-acre property. Founder Carlene White was inspired to start the project because her father had Parkinson’s and she had a friend with MS.
Said Carlene in a recent Boston Globe article, ‘You can’t really balance with a walker or a cane, because you go over backwards. You don’t go over backwards if you’ve got a 150-pound dog on handles.’
This YouTube video describe the Service Dog Project in more detail.