You don’t have to be a dog person to appreciate the special things they do for their owners. When you meet Kevin (mm hmm, a dog named Kevin) in this video, you’ll understand exactly what we mean.
Besides being cute, Kev is a master at his job. Wendy Martin, 54, has been living with a disability for over twenty years. She has a degenerative spinal condition that causes severe pain and maneuvers around with the use of a wheelchair.
Back in 2013, Martin and her husband split, and she had a service dog to help her for a while, but then he retired. The mom of four met Kevin last spring and he’s been by her side ever since. Kevin, who is 3, is a former rescue dog that was selected to be trained as a service dog through an organization called Support Dogs.
According to Martin, it was “love at first sight” when the two first met, as Kevin immediately ran into the room and placed his head on her lap. The Labrador has been trained to assist his owner with duties that increase her ability to remain independent. For Martin, he’s been a godsend.
As you can see in this video, Kevin knows how to help out with the laundry, and he is also capable of opening doors. The smart pooch is more than adept at getting Martin’s coat on and off with ease. Such a gentleman!
Although he is trained as Martin’s service dog, he is very friendly and social with others. He’s been taken to schools to demonstrate what support animals can do and greets strangers on walks. Martin says he is quite the conversationalist.
And of course, Kevin is trained to activate her emergency button when needed. But he’s also a regular dog who enjoys doing regular dog things like running, fetching, and playing.
Support Dogs, the group that trained Kevin, runs three training programs for the pups they choose. One is to help people like Wendy Martin who have disabilities. Another program is for children with autism and the dogs are prepared to address issues with safety, comfort, and social settings.
The charity group also has dogs that specialize in seizure emergencies, and they can warn owners of an impending seizure. Many of the dogs they recruit home from rescue centers and are given a second chance, even those who have been regarded as having “bad” temperaments.
The support dogs are provided free to those who are in need and meet the application requirements. Once they are placed in a home, they continue to receive support through sponsorships with Support Dogs and retire when they turn 10.
Check out everything that Kevin can do by clicking on this video from Caters Media. He and Wendy have become family and she calls him her “shadow” because he is always right there. Get a load of this smart pup!
Do you know any dogs like Kevin? Have you ever seen a dog – or other animal – trained to perform household duties like this?