Service dog, Casey, lies down beside her handler while her handler gives a lecture during the assistance animal’s informational workshop at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 18, 2019. Casey demonstrated the importance of having a well-behaved service dog in the workshop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Machiko Arita)
Service dog, Casey, lies down beside her handler while her handler gives a lecture during the assistance animal’s informational workshop at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 18, 2019. Casey demonstrated the importance of having a well-behaved service dog in the workshop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Machiko Arita)

I want you to know about me

by Machiko Arita
Yokota Air Base

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airman & Family Readiness Center held a workshop about assistance animals at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan.18, 2019. Participants learned about the differences between service animals, emotional support and therapy animals, and the laws that apply to each one. The workshop also covered air travel, PCS and housing with assistance animals, and how the public can interact with folks who use them.

Jen Wong, 374th Force Support Squadron, Exceptional Family Member Program Family support coordinator, gave a lecture at this workshop is a service dog handler. She brought her service dog, Casey, with her to lecture. Casey demonstrated the importance of having a well-behaved service dog in the workshop.

“I think that Casey might be the first service dog to come to Yokota. When I came to Yokota, it was brand-new for everyone. Lots of people just did not know about the different types of assistance animals, what they are used for and how the public can interact with them. I wanted to make sure that the correct information was getting out there and educate folks to be able to be more accepting,” said Wong.

Wong added her thoughts after the workshop.

“I really love that everyone was so interested in the information,” said Wong. “I think today people learned that there are many different types of dogs and vests and I think the participants took away a feeling of inclusion and really began being cognizant and accepting of those who use assistance animals.”

Wong and Casey are pioneering the effort to foster understanding and acceptance of assistance animals in the Yokota community.

For more information on service animals, check out the link below: https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet

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