Dogs are truly remarkable animals. They are perfect cuddle buddies when you’re feeling lazy, energetic companions when you’re in the mood for an adventure, and loving friends when you think there’s no one else. And to top it all off, some dogs can be all of that and have a full-time career.
A Dog With A Job
It may sound funny, but a pup that becomes a service dog is actually quite similar to a human having a career. They go through training, they get hired, they take breaks, they retire, the only thing missing is the staff meetings.
And there are jobs for every kind of dog. Some are taught to guide the blind, assist in mobility, or provide emotional support. Others work for the government and police forces and are trained to sniff out drugs, bite and hold suspects hostage, and search for missing people.
But not all dogs are cut out for the job. Some pups are unable to complete the training, retire early, or just don’t have the right personality for the service dog life. One puppy failed his training for the Queensland Police Service Dog Squad in Australia because he was too nice. Instead of helping detain the “criminals,” he would happily greet them as his friends.
When The Job Doesn’t Work Out
So what happens if a dog doesn’t make the cut? Luckily for the nice puppy in Australia, he was able to become a viceregal dog and spend his days welcoming guests and tour groups to the Queensland Government House grounds. But if the dog isn’t reassigned to a more suitable field, he is readmitted into the world of the unemployed pups and becomes available for adoption.
These pups are very smart, loving, and fun, just like any other dog. Most are untrained and not housebroken unless they are retiring after several years of work, in which case they are often very well trained in basic obedience. Either way, just because they aren’t fit to work doesn’t mean they aren’t a good fit for the family.
The Adoption Process
So if you don’t need a service dog, but are on the lookout for a great little pup in need of a home, here’s what you have to do.
1. Puppy-Prep Your Home: While adoption policies may differ depending on where you live, there are certain household requirements that all future dog parents will want to have in order. Things such as getting a fenced yard, vaccinating your current pets, and abiding by all the local pet laws are essential before jumping into the adoption process.
2. Call, Apply, And Wait: Next, find a local service dog school or organization, ask where they send their pups and apply. Once your application is processed you will either be informed about dogs available for adoption or placed on the wait-list. Patience can be the hardest part, but it is all worth it in the end.
3. Meet Your Dog: Once your application is approved (yay!), you will get to meet the available dogs, spend some time with them, and find the dog best suited for you and your family. Maybe you’ll feel a special connection right off, or maybe it will take you multiple visits in order to find the perfect match, but you’ll know it when you find it.
4. Finalize The Adoption: Depending on the status of the dog, the finalization process can take days or weeks. But once this is finished, you’ll visit the facility one last time to pick up your new furry friend and take him home. Make sure you bring a leash, collar, and crate in order to transport your pup safely.
5. New Puppy, New Home: And finally, the moment you’ve waited so patiently for. All that’s left to do now is give your new puppy the tour of his new home!
Please, please, please: Adopt. Don’t shop.
The Perfect Family Pet
Adopting a service dog who failed his training may seem like a bad idea at first, but actually, it’s an excellent option for dog-loving families. If a puppy doesn’t make it to service dog status, that usually just means he’s better suited for being your new best friend.
Emilyn Gil is a student at Utah Valley University and working as a professional copywriter and researcher. She has won several awards for her writing, including the Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Key, and was featured in the Kolob Canyon Review in Cedar City. Aside from the written word, her other passions include learning new things, performing in musical theater, and playing piano, guitar, and ukulele. Some of her favorite pastimes are baking, napping, and hanging out with family. She has traveled to Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada, and currently resides in Lindon, Utah with her husband Jorge.
*Article originally appeared at Healthy Holistic Living.