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Life for physically challenged to become little easier

Date Posted: 2002-11-30

Life for physically challenged who rely on their four-legged specialists, support dogs, to go through their daily chores is bound to become a little easier when a new law takes effect from October next year. The new law requires all public facilities including hotels, supermarkets and restaurants to allow support dogs enter the premises with their masters. It will be illegal to deny entry for the dog. Currently, San-A supermarkets, Jusco and Dai-Ei department stores and supermarkets allow such dogs in. There’s reportedly one restaurant that allows support dogs.

“It is a big help for me,” says Sueko Yamada who relies on her seeing dog to get around. “I will not go out of the house without my dog as I completely depend on it,” she says. “Luckily almost every establishment accepts it these days.”

There are only six seeing dogs in Okinawa, but specialists say that the problem is breeding the animals. “Seeing dogs are very expensive in Japan,” says Hiroshi Tomori who is trying to start a program to breed and train seeing dogs in Okinawa. “Another big problem is to find enough volunteers who will train the puppies to become seeing dogs. It takes a year to train one,” Tomori said.

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