Assistance Dogs in the Workplace: Kathy Taylor and Hearing Dog Janet
In the May issue of the International Assistance Dog Week newsletter, we asked people to share their stories of their dogs in the workplace.
Here is a story shared by Kathy Taylor.
From the moment I received my Hearing Dog Janet in the spring of 2008 from Canine Companions for Independence, we hit the road working as a team across the nation deploying business CPE (customer premises equipment) products for CenturyLink. I work in field operations as a System Designer-Engineer which requires extensive traveling to customer sites.
When the alarm goes off in the morning it’s a bouncing Labrador that greets me; if a co-worker should happen to knock on my hotel door I no longer miss the opportunity to meet for breakfast or perhaps join in going out as a group for dinner.
No longer do I have to sleep sitting up at night with my hearing aids in for fear of missing my early morning flight, for Janet will keep nudging me until I get up. Now I can rest peacefully knowing if the fire alarms should go off in the night, Janet will nudge me awake.
Also, while driving to customer sites, if Janet hears any police/fire or emergency sirens, she will nudge me. In May of this year while on a business trip in Alabama when tornados were moving thru the area, it was Janet that alerted me to the tornado sirens and led me from my third floor hotel room to safety.
While at home I no longer miss people ringing the door bell or knocking on the back door. Nor do I miss the oven timers, microwave timers, or dryer signals, as Janet will simply nudge me and lead me to the sound sources.
For the first time in my life I can now visit a doctor’s / dentist office and not have to scope the room out to sit facing the exam room hallway in order to watch for the assistant to call my name. I can now sit wherever I wish and read a magazine / book or simply watch the lobby TV. When my name is called, Janet will nudge my leg and sit up, wanting to lead me to the assistant who has called my name.
It may not sound like much but in the past, no matter how much I informed office employees, the message of my hearing impairment never quite made it to the person calling my name over and over again. My appointment has even been skipped because I failed to hear the office staff call my name, but not anymore, all because of Janet.
There is not a day that goes by that Janet doesn’t display excellence and devotion, all for a scratch and a pat.
Recent newspaper article featuring Kathy and Janet: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20140705/LOCAL/307059984
This year International Assistance Dog Week is August 3-9. Learn more about IADW and subscribe to the newsletter at http://www.assistancedogweek.org/about/.
Tell us how your assistance dog helped you to get and/or keep your job. Send in photos of you and your assistance dog at work. You can send your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.