Labor Day Salute

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  We salute the American worker!  

We also salute the canine worker, a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions.  There are a number of ways dogs can and do assist humans with more being discovered every year.  

Service Dogs help people with various disabilities in every day tasks.  They assist the physically handicapped, guide thevisually impaired, and hear for the hearing impaired.

Therapy dogs visit people who are incapacitated or prevented in some way from having freedom of movement.  They provide cheer and entertainment for the elderly in retirement facilities, the ill and injured in hospitals, and so on. Training dogs can also be therapy for human handlers such as in a prisoner rehabilitation project.

Rescue dogs assist people who are in distress such as in the water after a boat disaster.

Search dogs locate people who are missing.  They find people lost in the wilderness, escaped from nursing homes, covered in snow avalanches, buried under collapsed buildings, etc.
Herding dogs are still invaluable to sheep and cattle handlers. They help control any sort of
domestic animals and many wild animals.
Sled dogs assist in transporting people and supplies in rugged, snowy terrain.
Performing dogs such as Circus dogs and dog actors are trained to perform acts that are not
intrinsically useful, but instead provide entertainment to their audience or enable human artistic performances.
Hunting dogs assist hunters in finding, tracking, and retrieving game.
Guard dogs help to protect private or public property. They may work in the military or for security firms.
Tracking dogs help find lost people and animals or track down possible criminals.
Cadaver dogs use their scenting ability to discover bodies or human remains at the scenes of
disasters, crimes, accidents, or suicides.
Detection dogs can help to detect termites and bed bugs, hidden illegal drugs, bombs, chemicals,
and many other substances. 
Military Working Dogs are used by armed forces in many of the same roles as civilian working dogs.
Specialized military tasks such as mine detection or wire laying have been assigned to dogs.
Police dogs, also sometimes called K9 Units, are trained to track or immobilize possible criminals while assisting officers in making arrests or investigating the scene of a crime. Some are even specially trained for anti-terrorist units.
Dogs are also being used in programs like The Reading With Rover program in Washington which pairs trained dogs with children who read aloud to the dog.  Another program is using dogs to aid traumatized witnesses who must testify in court procedures.  The dog learns
to “read” the emotional state of the witness and has a calming effect helping them during this stressful time.  There are documented cases of using dogs for emotional support in courtrooms as early
as 2003.
Dogs are more than just family pets, they are contributing members of society who deserve praise and recognition on this national holiday.