13 dogs with jobs are further proof that humans owe a lot to this exceptional species.

We all know dogs are (hu)man's best friend.

Our pets keep us company, take us on adventures, and teach us about unconditional love. In return, we give them food and shelter and train them to do silly things.

This mutt does a mean "roll over."


But service and working dogs take their relationship with humans a step further — these pups are trained with skills that can save lives. Did you know that some dogs can detect allergens in your food? And get help in an emergency situation?

Here are 13 impressive things service and working dogs can be trained to do that help save lives:

1. Smell blood sugar levels.

When blood sugar levels change, the human body releases chemicals that dogs can smell. Diabetic-alert dogs are trained to smell when their partner's blood sugar level is dangerously off and to let them know that action is needed to get those levels back in the safe zone.

Luke, a boy with Type 1 diabetes, has a diabetic-alert dog named Jedi, who alerted him to low glucose levels:

Good low Jedi. #diabeticalertdog

A post shared by Luke and Jedi (@lukeandjedi) on

2. Find a person buried in an avalanche.

If you're ever caught in an avalanche, having a dog on the search-and-rescue team could drastically increase your chances of survival. An avalanche dog can search 2.5 acres in 30 minutes. (It would take a team of humans up to four hours to cover the same ground.) These skilled canines sniff the snow for a pool of human scent; when they find it, they alert their handler and start digging.

Keena the avalanche pup is training in Colorado:

SEARCH! #puppyintraining #avydog #drive #rocket #chickenhawk #imgoingtogetyou @ruffwear @avyinstitute @grandtargheeresort

A post shared by Keena The Avalanche Pup (@keenatheavalanchepup) on

3. Alert you to the sound of a fire alarm.

Hearing dogs are trained to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These pups alert their partners to a wide variety of sounds: a door knock, a spoken name, an alarm clock, a fire alarm, and more.

Like any service dog, hearing dogs require years of committed training to perform their tasks. But even these furballs — like Sophie the collie/lab mix — need a little down time!

4. Support someone who has PTSD.

A post-traumatic stress disorder service dog can detect early signs of anxiety then nudge, paw, lick, and generally distract their human from potential triggers in the environment, giving their partner a chance to regain control.

5. Detect changes in blood pressure.

When a person's blood pressure or heartbeat changes rapidly, a cardiac-alert dog can warn the person of this danger. Without this signal, people with conditions like dysautonomia risk passing out (among many other complications) due to severe blood pressure changes.

Here, medical-alert dog Blaine cuddles with his handler:

Don't know what I would do without him 💙

A post shared by Nicole & Blaine Reynolds (@stilllifewithblaine) on

6. Get help in an emergency situation.

Many service dogs can be trained to summon help in an emergency situation, whether it's finding another person to assist their human or using a special phone to call 911.

7. Protect people during seizures.

Some seizure dogs are trained to alert their handler before a seizure (similar to a cardiac-alert dog) while others respond a certain way during or after a seizure — such as barking for help, moving away certain objects that could be dangerous, or protecting their human as they collapse.

This adorable mug belongs to Riley, a seizure-alert and response dog:

8. Deliver medical supplies to injured soldiers.

During World War I, "mercy dogs" were trained to search a battlefield for wounded soldiers. The dogs carried packs with medical supplies that soldiers could use to treat their own injuries. Some dogs were trained to retrieve a handler to assist the injured soldier.

Below, Lt. Col. Edwin H. Richardson poses with Red Cross war dogs during World War I:

Image via Library of Congress.

9. Detect potential allergens in food.

Some people don't like peanuts. Some people go into anaphylactic shock and risk serious health complications or even death if they touch peanuts.

For the latter, allergy detection dogs can be trained to sniff out allergens like peanuts, milk, soy, latex, or other substances. The pup can alert their human of the danger or even block the person from going near the allergen.

10. Support someone with autism.

Autism service dogs provide crucial companionship for their partners, and some are trained to alert and respond to certain triggers. For example, if a human has trouble with anxiety or sensory processing, their pup can provide calming comfort by lying on top of them — a technique called "deep pressure therapy."

Ultron, an autism service dog in training, helps his partner Axton navigate the world more confidently and independently:

They make a great team! ❤️🐶 #servicedog #autismservicedog #ateamforever #greatdaneservicedog #aboyandhisdog #skyzone #greatdane

A post shared by Journey of Ultron and Axton (@journeyofultronandaxton) on

11. Guide a person who is visually impaired.

Guide dogs are loyal pups who are trained to help those who are blind or visually impaired physically navigate the world. Humans have been training dogs for this purpose for centuries, and the practice of dogs helping guide people is actually so old that we'll never really know how or when it began.

This little guide dog in training, Smudge, isn't quite big enough for her harness yet:

12. Sniff out explosives.

Bomb-sniffing dogs alert their handler if they smell even a small amount of explosives. These dogs are common in the military, but they also save lives working with organizations like the United Nations Mine Action Service. UNMAS uses mine detection dogs to de-mine conflict-heavy places, including Colombia and Sudan.

13. Provide physical balance and support.

Brace and mobility service dogs help their humans physically get around by opening doors, picking things up off the ground, helping their partners up from a fall, providing counterbalancing or bracing while walking, and more.

Here you can clearly see service dog Kaline's mobility harness:

People tend to talk about how fortunate dogs are to have devoted humans looking out for them. We spend years training them and thousands of dollars on food, vet visits, cute outfits (don't deny it), and treats — the list goes on.

But as lucky as dogs are to have us, we're infinitely more lucky to have them sticking with us every step of the way.

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Megan Leavey
Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

RELATED: Permit denied for 'straight pride' parade in California

If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

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There are reasonable arguments to be had on all sides of America's debates about guns.

Then there are NRA lobbyists.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer spoke to state economists last week to explain why a proposed assault weapons ban would devastate gun manufacturers in the state. The proposed amendment, which is being led by the aunt of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting, would ban the future sale of assault rifles in Florida and mandate that current owners either register their guns with the state or give them up.

The back and forth between those proposing and opposing the amendment appears to be a pretty typical gun legislation debate. Only this time, the NRA lobbyist pulled out one of the most bizarre arguments I've seen yet.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:

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via PixaBay

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has brought a lot of attention to the idea of implementing a universal basic income on America. His "freedom dividend" would pay every American $1,000 a month to spend as they choose.

In addition to helping Americans deal with a future in which the labor market will be upended by automation, this basic income could allow Americans to rethink what we see as work and nurture what Yang calls a "human-centered" economy.

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