Welcome to the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival!* We are assistance dog partners, trainers, puppy raisers, and people generally interested in the world of assistance dogs. These dogs have a great deal of impact on our lives. When I sat down to think about a topic for this carnival, I wanted to give a relatively general idea so that people could run with it.
Difference is something we live with. Some of it is good difference, like the way our assistance dogs improve our lives and how they change us. Some of the difference just IS, neither good nor bad, like the difference between the service dogs we have worked with. Sadly, some of the difference is bad difference, like being the person whose placement doesn’t work out or having people react in negative ways to you and your partner.
Without any further ado, I give you the summer Assistance Dog Blog Carnival!
I’d like to start with the tough entries, because I think it’s important to recognize that not all difference is good. It is a shame that difference isn’t always a force for the better, but I think if we don’t think about and work with negative differences, we risk losing the positive ones.
First up I have truelyable, who offers a window into the 3 months she tried to make her service dog partnership work, “When it doesn’t work out.” https://trulyable.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/when-it-doesnt-work-out/
I found the entry from Carin of Vomit Comet hard because I did a lot of thinking about how tough things were with her first dog. As I am working with my first dog, I had to commend her courage in choosing to work with another dog after that first experience! Carin talks about the difference between her first dog (who she had to return to the program) and her second dog (who is a great partner!) in “What a difference a dog makes” http://vomitcomet.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-difference-dog-makes.html
From the Pawpower Pack, we have ‘The difference is her’. In this post, she talks about the difference her now-retired guide, Bristol, has made in her life. I included it in the hard posts because part of this is talking about Bristol retiring and aging. http://pawpower4me.blogspot.com/2011/07/difference-is-her.html
Karyn of ‘Through a Guide’s Eyes’ talks about how she has changed how she deals with one of the hardest things an assistance dog partner can deal with: health complications in her dog. While it sounds like she is coping much better, dealing with illness in your partner is tough! http://throughguideseyes.blogspot.com/2011/07/decade-of-difference.html
Martha of ‘Learning Baby Steps’ tells us about the differences in initiating relationships with her service dogs and how it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for her. http://learninbabysteps.blogspot.com/2011/07/different-beginnings.html
We actually have 3 different entries covering city vs country living with assistance dogs and future assistance dogs. I was kind of surprised that there were so many, but then, much of assistance dog training presumes that one lives in a city.
From Allison of Gilbert and Me, we have a blog about home in the country and feeling at home called ‘There’s no place like home!’ http://anastoff.livejournal.com/28684.html
Patti of Plays with Puppies brings us a discussion about the things puppy raisers have to think about when they live in the country with ‘Living the Difference’ http://playswithpuppies.blogspot.com/2011/07/living-difference.html
Sharon of After Gadget talks about the different issues a rural assistance dog partner faces that most of us city assistance dog teams never have to think about in ‘The Rural Difference’ http://aftergadget.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/the-rural-difference/
We also have 3 entries on the differences between dogs and/or transitioning between dogs.
Cyndy of Gentle Wit talks about the different transitions she’s had into new guide dog relationships in ‘Moving On’ http://gentlewit.com/2011/07/15/moving-on/
Linda of ‘From Puppy to Public Access’ talks about the differences between her two service dogs, exhuberant Laurel and calmer Hardy, in “Differences between Laurel and Hardy” http://frompuppytopublicaccess.blogspot.com/2011/07/differences-between-laurel-and-hardy.html
Brooke of Ruled By Paws tells us about the different relationships she has had with her service dogs in ‘My Scorpios’ http://ruledbypaws.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-scorpios.html
Next, 2 posts about how life with an assistance dog is different.
From L^2 of Dog’s Eye View, we have a post about all of the changes having guide dog makes in her life, from community, public reactions, and safety to dogfood in ‘Nine Years Later’ http://l-squared.blogspot.com/2011/07/nine-years-later.html
From me, my (admittedly late!) post about the difference in caring for a service dog versus caring for a pet in ‘Service Dog vs Pet: Care’ https://brilliantmindbrokenbody.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/service-dog-vs-pet-care/
I saved for last the 3 posts that talk about the huge positive impact an assistance dog has had on their partner. I saved these ones for last because I wanted to end the carnival on a high note!
Katrin of ‘By My Side’ brings us a post about how she is percieved differently with a guide dog because she IS different with a guide dog – a more comfortable, confident person – in ‘Confidence’ http://asdbymyside.blogspot.com/2011/06/confidence.html
From Linda of ‘From Puppy to Public Access’, we have a piece called ‘What a difference a dog makes!’ about all of the benefits (including some subjective ones that just make her happy) her service dogs have given her. Linda’s service dogs not only provide mobility support, they also alert on conditions that she didn’t even know service dogs could predict! http://frompuppytopublicaccess.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-difference-dog-makes.html
Finally, from Flo, a post that brought a tear to my eye. Flo describes how her service dog, Duncan, has changed her perspective on life and brought her, has the title of her post says, from “Hatred to Hope.” http://duncanfloyd.blogspot.com/2011/07/hatred-to-hope.html
Thank you all for contributing! I think we did a good job on addressing a lot of kinds of difference in the lives of people in the assistance dog world.
*Please accept my apologies for how late this carnival is going up. Between a series of medication changes and the loss of a good friend to suicide, I have been really struggling to get anything done.
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