The Service Dog Messenger Pouch

I’ve mentioned in several recent posts (such as this one) that I’m having Barnum deliver messages to my PCAs.  Originally the plan was just to train him to go get them, and that’s a very important skill if I’m somewhere I need help — usually the bathroom, occasionally in the yard. But a delivery system is convenient for those days I’m nonverbal, and I want to tell or ask my PCA something without having to ring for them. For instance, if I’m hungry and I really want my breakfast protein drink now, but I want to ask them to put a straw in it because it’s an “I can’t lift the mug” sort of day, I don’t want to go through this:

  • Ring my “doorbell
  • They come to my room
  • I tell them I want my breakfast drink
  • Before I can explain about the straw, they’ve already headed out the door to get me the drink
  • I try to make a noise they can hear or ring the bell so they’ll turn around and come back
  • Communicate “please put a straw in it”
  • And THEN they’d have to go back to the kitchen and get the drink (and straw)

However, with “the pouch method,” I can just write a little note that says, “Please bring brkfst drink w/straw,” and have Barnum deliver that.

Barnum with a red plaid flannel pouch velcroed to the back of his collar.

This is the pouch Barnum wears for transporting messages or small items to or from me to others in my home.

The one above is good for notes or other small things. It was a pocket from an old flannel nightgown. There is a (prickly) strip of Velcro sewn onto the back of the pouch:

Back of a red plaid flannel pouch with strip of white Velcro sewn across the top.

Back of a pouch.


And on the back of Barnum’s collar is a soft strip of Velcro. This makes it easy to attach and detach the pouch. It also allows me to have pouches of various sizes. We made a larger one with a closure at the top for sending bigger things.

If I send Barnum to someone with a pouch, and he returns to me without it, I know they’ve gotten my note or whatever other item was in the pouch.

Voila! Very simple service dog gear you can make yourself.

– Sharon, the muse of Gadget (she just tucked notes in my collar), and Barnum, messenger pigeon bouvier/SDiT

2 Responses to “The Service Dog Messenger Pouch”

  1. 1 Donna Hodson August 14, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Thank you for the great idea. I usually write a note & stick it inside a toilet paper roll & have my SD bring it to my spouse. I like your idea because then I will know if it was received or not. smiles. Peace, Donna H.


  2. 2 Sharon Wachsler August 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Donna.
    Thank you for commenting!
    Yes, I decided on this instead of a take-hold-find-give because it’s much more obvious to the person that the dog has a message (or other item for them) and it can’t be dropped (or slobbered into illegibility) along the way.
    If you do end up switching to this method, let me know how it goes!

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