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Hero Service Dog Protects North Atlanta Student

Fuzzy and On the Job: Sophomore Stella Thrasher gets aid from Lager, a Golden Retriever service dog on the job that regulates her blood sugar.

Danielle Milburn

Fuzzy and On the Job: Sophomore Stella Thrasher gets aid from Lager, a Golden Retriever service dog on the job that regulates her blood sugar.

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Many people have been shocked when seeing the super cute, Golden Retriever, Lager walking the halls of North Atlanta. He’s a hard working service dog who loyally stands by his loving owner, Stella Thrasher.

Thrasher has had him for two months now and in this short time she has gotten very connected to him, like you would with any dog. But Lager is not just any service dog, he is a Diabetic Alert dog, able to notify Thrasher when her blood sugar gets too high or too low.

Getting Lager wasn’t an easy process though. She has been on a list for three years to get him due to the fact that the company she got him from, Cares Inc., a private company based in Kansas.

Lager has been trained to know that when his vest is on, he is a working dog, but when it comes off, he acts just like any other 19 month old puppy would. He was put through training since he was born to provide assistance to Thrasher, but also knows how to play. “He is so sweet,” said Thrasher. “He’s so cute and I love him so much but you know, he saves my life too!”

When asked how people react to Lager, she responded by saying that some are very ignorant when it comes to service dogs. Regardless of the fact that he wears a vest saying, “Service Dog, Do Not Pet,”  people choose to ignore this and touch him anyway. But, others are very respectful and understand that he is hard at work. “It’s definitely stressful always worrying about people trying to touch him and distract him but usually, when people are kind enough and ask, I don’t mind.” When people pet Lager, it distracts him from his task at hand which could put Thrasher at risk. Due to the fact that he has such an important job, it is mandatory that people let him focus.

Always having her dog in mind, Thrasher worries that it is hard for Lager not having any other dogs at school with him, but she is confident that he enjoys his job and loves people. Another thing Thrasher has to watch out for is Lager manipulating her, because he is so smart, he may try to get a belly rub while “on duty” but she is responsible for reinforcing his training by correcting that behavior.

While it was hard for Thrasher to get approval from the school to have a service dog with her, she is grateful they allowed it and is appreciative of Lager. “Hopefully, pretty soon, I can set up a meeting/club with others who are interested and qualified to get service dogs,” said Thrasher. “Maybe Lager can have some new friends soon!”

If you are so lucky to see this cute, fluffy dog, be sure to adore him from a distance and let him do his job. He is very important in protecting  Stella Thrasher’s life.

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