Saarbrücken – assistance dog friendly!

From the town hall, our banner announces an assistance dog-friendly Saarbrücken.
Chief Brother Uwe Conradt launches the “Assistance Dogs Welcome” campaign in Saarbrücken.

Saarbrücken welcomed us in May 2022 with very warm temperatures and a lot of energy to implement the access campaign for assistance dogs.

Tobias Raab, Head of Department for Economy, Digitalisation and Social Affairs of the state capital Saarbrücken welcomes Ms Kühn, Disability Commissioner, Dr Reuter (Pfotenpiloten) with Daika and Ms Maserati (Pfotenpiloten) with Mascha for a talk. With him is his lively dog.

Art and culture have become important partners for us. The Weller family, especially Franzi with her assistance dog Moses, did a super job of preparation. Moses has already accompanied Franzi to performances at the State Theatre.

Sometimes we realise that despite good preparation, on-site support and sophisticated logistics, we reach our limits. On top of that, the weather was warm. It is always an ongoing topic for us how we can reliably keep appointments despite the limitations we have and how difficult it is sometimes to also distance ourselves and take breaks in time. How much understanding can one expect? It is a balancing act. Sometimes Dr. Reuter attends appointments alone, sometimes we need mobility aids, sometimes a delivery service has to be called in because we can no longer walk to the grocery shop, often we need human assistance. In the evening, when we come to rest, the dark side of inclusion is always a topic. You must deal with them and define for yourself and others what is possible and desirable.

We knew that the Saarbrücken History Museum has an underground castle. It will be cool and quiet there. We entered the small entrance hall and were greeted at the counter with the words: “Finally, assistance dogs are coming.” We are perplexed and hugely pleased with the nice welcome. A private guide takes us down. The last metres are not barrier-free, but you can have a look from above. Assistance dogs should be guided slowly, as the grates in the lowest area could be a challenge for their paws.

The Saarbrücken Hospital also joins the access campaign. The discussion round with so many participants brings up very practical issues. Nothing is left out. Where on the dog do you find emergency information, what does the mobile phone do, how does an assistance dog react when his/her human is in pain, what does the assistance dog need in the event of the owner’s death…? We realise that the assistance dog owners can also contribute a lot to the safety of the staff in the emergency room in a medical emergency situation. We get into the taxi with a homework assignment: develop a guideline for the Saarbrücken Hospital.

Nursing Director Hagen Kern and Personnel Director Thomas Hesse, Nursing Manager of the ZNA Carolin Haegele, Representative for the Disabled of the City of Saarbrücken Katrin Kühn, Manuela Veith, Personnel Director Thomas Hesse, Wolfgang Rau, Franzi Weller with Moses and the Pfotenpiloten team with Dr Hannah Reuter and Manja Maserati in front of the hospital entrance.
A sign was also placed, or rather stuck, on the door of the ZNA.

We wish the teams in and around Saarbrücken open doors and a lot of self-confidence in everyday life with the assistance dog.