Classifieds Business Directory Jobs Real Estate Autos Legal Notices ePubs Subscribe Archives
Today is July 26, 2014
home newssports feature opinion fyi society obits multimedia

Front Page » April 24, 2014 » Carbon County News » Mont Harmon students learn about service dogs by being ar...
Published 93 days ago

Mont Harmon students learn about service dogs by being around one


Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints

By JOHN SERFUSTINI
Sun Advocate editor emeritus

It is not every day that a junior high school student and her new friend are introduced to classmates at an assembly. But for Mont Harmon 7th grader Ginger Roth and her friend Cocoa, it was such a day last week.

That's because Cocoa is going to be at school every day with Ginger and Cocoa is a dog, a Newfoundland-Poodle mix called a Newdle. Cocoa is a service dog who will be at Ginger's side to make life easier for the 14-year-old girl, who gets around in a wheel chair because she has cerebral palsy.

Classmates have to know how to handle a new situation, so the assembly was called as a learning experience. Ginger and Cocoa were joined on stage by a line of other service dogs and owners, Ginger's mother, Mary Ann Baker, and Orem dog trainer Amanda Pratt.

The prime directive, Pratt explained, is not to pet or distract Cocoa. "Service dogs are taskers, not companions and not pets," she declared. The dog is always on the job and petting or bugging the dog will prevent it from doing that job.

Dogs such as Cocoa go through months of training to do specific tasks. Cocoa will be helping with mobility and balance, doing such things as operating light switches and automatic doors. Other people rely on service dogs for seizure response, and seeing-eye dogs have been helping blind people for generations.

Pointing out the line up of different breeds on stage, Pratt said that any breed, any size or color can be trained. The single common factor among them all is that it takes a really stable dog to become a good service worker.

It also helps if there's a good personality match between dog and owner. Mary Ann Baker said that Ginger tried five dogs until finding Cocoa. The family got the dog from Noelle's Dogs Four Hope in Colorado.

Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints


Top of Page


 
Article Photos  
Browse / enlarge – (1 total)
Print photo(s) with article
Get photo reprints on CD
NOTE: To print only the article and included photos, use the print photo(s) with article link above.
Web Poll  
April 24, 2014
Do you think armed militia and individuals should have joined the protest last weekend concerning the removal of the cattle owned by Cliven Bundy from BLM land in Southern Nevada?
Yes
No
Don't know
Don't care

View Results


Carbon County News  
April 24, 2014
Recent Local News
Quick Links
Subscribe via RSS
Related Articles  
Related Stories



Best viewed with Firefox
Get Firefox

© Sun Advocate, 2000-2013. All rights reserved. All material found on this website, unless otherwise specified, is copyright and may not be reproduced without the explicit written permission from the publisher of the Sun Advocate.
Legal Notices & Terms of Use    Privacy Policy    Advertising Info    FAQ    Contact Us
  RSS Feeds    News on Your Site    Staff Information    Submitting Content    About Us