On the Marion Finucane show Pete talked about the various ways that dogs can help their owners. Here are some links that help to expand on out discussion.,
For visually impaired people. Irish Guide Dogs are well known to most of us.
These are a more recent innovation, the best known example is dogs for children with autism.
Dogs for the Disabled
These assistance dogs are specially trained to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence.
Every dog is trained to help with simple everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine, sending for help or even helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance plus much more. Each dog is trained to cater for the needs of the specific client to enable them to live life with greater independence.
Medical detection dogs
There is no Irish version yet, but the UK website has more information.
From dogs that can predict seizures, dogs detecting cancer to telling diabetic owners when a person is having a hypo, to sniffing out nuts in food for allergic people
There is one recent Irish example in the Irish Times.
Image Credit: smerlkal at Flickr