Leader Dogs Assisting on the Job

Laurie Scott: Working with Leader Dogs since 1981

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2017 »   
Laurie kneels on the wooden floor of her client room at Leader Dog. She is rubbing black lab Mallow's belly while Mallow lies on his back with his legs in the air

Laurie takes a break from training to play with her
new Leader Dog, Mallow, in her room.

Since Laurie Scott came to Leader Dog in 1981 to get her first Leader Dog, Nero, she has held several jobs. Laurie credits her partnership with her Leader Dogs for helping her gain employment, in part she says, “Because when you gel as a team [with your dog], you look very professional.”

From getting to work to navigating the workplace environment, Laurie says it is all easier with a dog. “Once the dog knows the pattern of where you normally go, then they just got it. When I worked at a police station, one of my duties was to take documents down the street to the town hall. One of the reasons they asked me to do this was because the police chief wanted me to keep visible in the community. It was fast when I did this with my Leader Dog, but between dogs I had to work with a cane and I was slower. I felt like I was wasting valuable time.”

One issue Laurie ran into was getting co-workers to understand that she and her dog are a working team. “I would just be consistent and firm with co-workers about what we needed as a team. I let them know what was expected of them… mainly, to let us do our work. Give us time to learn our routes and please don’t make eye contact with my dog.”

Laurie will be keeping her newest Leader Dog, Mallow, on her toes with a busy schedule that includes being a member of the Cobourg Lake Shore Lions Club and volunteering with the accessibility society in her hometown in Canada.