Honoring Service Dogs at Paws On Parade - LasCruces.com

Show off your best furry friend at Paws On Parade, the inaugural community dog walk, at Young Park, Saturday, April 9, 2022. Like a fashion show with fur as the main trend, canines will line up with their humans in tow and strut their stuff for an appreciative audience, beginning at 1 p.m. Registration for those who did not pre-register begins at 10 a.m. Dogs from all walks of life are welcome, just so long as they keep their humans on the end of their leash.

More than just a parade, the event is organized to bring attention to service dogs in the Mesilla Valley, while also providing a fun experience for attendees. Included on the roster are service dog demonstrations, a children’s obstacle course, a bounce house, a raffle, food and games. Dogs must be on a leash, non-aggressive and well-behaved. All profits from this event go to help the non-profit program Four Paws And A Wake Up, which provides service dogs to veterans in need.

Founded in 2019, Four Paws and a Wake Up is “dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence, and enhanced quality of life, through the services of specially trained dogs.” The name comes from a military term referring to the “wake ups” a service member experiences before a new duty station, deployment, discharge or retirement. It is this kind of wake up that veterans experience after receiving their furry four pawed friend.

Trained to assist veterans suffering from PTSD, the dogs are taught how to recognize signs that their human is experiencing an episode, whether it be a panic attack or a nightmare. They then go into action, turning on lights and gently waking their humans. In addition, they are trained to help individuals with disabilities do such mundane tasks as picking up cell phones or keys, pulling a wheelchair, opening a refrigerator and even doing laundry. Once trained, the service dogs are then donated to local veterans in need.

For more information on Four Paws and a Wake Up, visit the website. For more information about Paws On Parade, visit the website, or call 575-524-4444.

Posted by LasCruces.com

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