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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

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?"

Dogs, at their service (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
Delta Society


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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.