Furry Helpers Can Come In Small Packages
November 5, 2002
FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA--Usually, when we think of service dogs, we imagine Labrador retrievers or German shepherds.
But service dogs can be pint-sized as well.
Take Peanut, for instance.
Peanut is a four-pound Pomeranian trained to help Nanci Seiden, whose is deaf in one ear and has limited hearing in the other. Peanut is trained to bark or bounce around to let Seiden know when the phone rings or someone is at the door. He licks her face or pats her cheek with his paw if an alarm or smoke detector goes off and she doesn't react.
But getting the rest of the world to understand that Peanut is not a pet frustrates Seiden.
Seiden finds herself spending a great deal of time educating people -- particularly those in retail businesses and restaurants -- that federal law allows Peanut to go nearly everywhere she goes.
"My whole thing is, excuse me, why aren't these people, who are working in the service industry, being trained properly?"