Assistance Dog Blog Carnival #1

What a thrilling moment! The first Assistance Dog (AD) Blog Carnival!

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted, spread the word, and contributed to this amazing first assistance dog carnival.

And thank you, readers, without whom this would all be pointless!

We even have a button, courtesy of Cura’s Mom of Cura’s Corner.

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival "button" - purple

Feel free to copy this button for your current or future AD Blog Carnival posts!

From the tremendous response of the AD blogging community, it seems as if I’m not the only one who is excited to share an AD “First” with our readers. In fact, the themes of excitement, joy, and pride run throughout the blogs in this edition. There were also a lot of blogs on the same or similar topics. I had hoped to be able to amply blurb/review every submission, but in the end it felt like it would make this post too long and repetitive. So, I have highlighted those that stand out for me in some way in each category — sometimes because a piece is written particularly well, other times because it covers an unusual topic or takes it on in an unusual way — but also included the links for other worthy posts in each category.

Enjoy! If you can’t read them all today, bookmark the page and work your way through the rest over time.

Sometimes defining moments occur even before a person decides to acquire an AD….

This was the case for Ro of In the Center of the Roof. One of my favorite entries, Carnival Post – My First meeting with a guide dog, is a deeply moving, and lushly tactile, tribute to the first guide dog (GD) Ro met after becoming blind. Here, she reveals how a brief connection to a guide and handler inspired her to acquire a GD for herself and experience a world of greater freedom and confidence.

Carin at Vomit Comet’s What Showed Me The Way To Getting A Guide Dog describes one day of learning the ins and outs of life with a GD — and getting all the questions answered she had ever been afraid to ask. This is a wry post that moves at a fast clip — much like her top-secret test-drive of her friend’s GD! — with some memorable lines, like, “Do you have to pick up the pee, too?”

The first day they met their AD….

In Gilbert and Me: Life with my Guide Dog, Remembering Our One-Year Anniversary, Anastoff describes the day she received her guide dog — with a difference from the typical GD “gotcha day” narrative: she had already met Gilbert, and he was being brought to her home, instead of Anastoff going to a GD school. A young woman on the cusp of college and independence from her family, Anastoff ponders this new form of responsibility and interdependence with the help of wisdom beyond her years and a terrific analogy from her mother, who shared in the day.

  • Tori at The Average Blog By An Average Blogger‘s The Assistance Dog Blog Carnival:First Times…. takes us from the first time she met a GD (at age four) through the process of qualifying for a GD in Ireland to her very recent partnering with Ushi, her first guide.
  • Jen, also an Irish GD partner, remembers in vivid detail her  first meeting with OJ, the black lab who would finally be her first GD, after waiting most of her life. Read “first” time I met him at Paws for Thought.
  • Beverly Cain at Assistance Dog Training – Psych Dog reveals a big transition and her first days with her new SDiT (service dog in training), in My first Days with Indy.


Our First Assistance Dogs…

L-Squared at Dog’s Eye View, who is at Guide Dogs of America training with her successor right now(!), has written one of the best pieces I’ve seen on the inevitability of comparisons, and how comparisons between her guides are not necessarily good or bad, just different, in First vs. Second.

Kali at Brilliant Mind Broken Body peppers her blog with an assortment of the many of the firsts that have been part of her partnership with SD, Hudson. Ranging from disappointing and sad to joyful and funny, they are all The first…

  • Here at After Gadget, I pay homage to my first SD, My Sweet Jersey Girl, who taught me how to train and gave me so many firsts.  Along with photos, I use excerpts from articles published over a decade ago to tell the story of how we became a team.
  • TrulyAble of College and Disability is training at her first service dog’s program right now, too! Libby will soon be a (Service) Dog on Campus.


The first time working in public or other “public firsts”

The Trouble Is… reveals how her SD allowed her a new level of freedom for the first time while in public, in Freedom.


Puppy Raising Firsts

Trainer Robin Sallie‘s Picking a Puppy at Raising K9 is a true delight! Her task was choosing a puppy from a carefully selected litter to train as a companion and assistant to her 8-year-old daughter. (With “The Kidlet” also assisting in temperament testing and the future training of her dog.) Fantastic detail, clarity of purpose, and economy of words characterize this post. The photographs are beautiful and illustrate the story beautifully.

In leagues of their own! Blogs addressing unique firsts….

  • Katrin at By My Side wrote First Choice, about her self-trained guide and autism service dog, James, who chose, as a puppy, to take on the job of service dog.
  • Cura’s Corner divulges a range of firsts as rescue SD Cura overcomes her fear of . . . of all things . . . hot air balloons! You have to read it to believe it, in It’s Carnival! Let’s Party!

I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. Please show your love to all the bloggers and comment at their sites.

The next issue of the carnival will be in January, hosted by L^2 at Dog’s Eye View. Please check back in here or there to find out the topic and the deadline for submissions.

Blog: Assistance Dog Training- Psych dog
Title: My first Days with Indy

21 Responses to “Assistance Dog Blog Carnival #1”

  1. 1 brilliantmindbrokenbody October 25, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Wow, I had no idea this carnival would attract so many of us. How exciting!


  2. 2 Sharon Wachsler October 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Yes, isn’t it cool? I had so much fun reading all the blogs that submitted. Thank you, dogger bloggers!

  3. 3 Jenny October 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Great to see all the posts together. I still have a few more to read.
    Well done for the idea, and hosting the first one.

  4. 4 Allison Nastoff October 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Great job with this first carnival! I especially like the way you represented Gilbert and me. I look forward to reading everyone’s entries.

  5. 5 torie October 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Sharren for posting this carnival, and even coming up with the idea!! Can I post this on my blog? Xxx, and thanks again!

  6. 6 Sharon Wachsler October 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Yes, Torie (or anyone!), please do link to this post so other people can read the carnival. You can use the button, too, if you like.

    I’m glad you like the way it came out, everyone! 🙂 I couldn’t have done it without you! I hope you get a lot of traffic at your sites. This process has certainly introduced me to a whole bunch of blogs I didn’t know about before that I have started reading now.

  7. 7 Ro October 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Oh my gosh this is great!! I love the way you introduced all the blogs and gave us a little peak. I’ve only read a few, blogs I already read, so I can’t wait to check out the others. I’ve just gotta see what the hot air balloon is about hehe!!

    Thanks so much for doing this!!

  8. 8 Ashley aka The CRPS Girl October 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Great job setting this up! It is awesome how many people participated. Now off to read

  9. 9 Carin October 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Wow that’s a lot of posts. I think I’ve hit ’em all. Thanks for doing this, and glad you liked mine haha.

  10. 10 Ro October 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    This has been great reading all the blogs! I tried to comment on all the blogs, but there were a few where either I couldn’t access the comments at all, or couldn’t solve the CAPTCHA. So if you didn’t get a comment from me, I swear I read it.

    These were so much fun! Thanks for organizing this!

    Oh and I read the Jersey girl post but can’t remember if I commented. What an awesome story about how you trained her!

  11. 11 icigo October 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    nice post brota, thanks for doing this

  12. 12 Sharon Wachsler October 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you. I cannot in good conscience direct people to your video, which is why I edited your post to remove identifying information.

  13. 13 L^2 October 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I’m finally getting caught up on blogging stuff now that I’m home with the chocolate dog, and it sounds like the first assistance dog blog carnival was quite a success! Yay! I really like how you organized and introduced all the posts.

    If anyone has topic suggestions for January, please let me know. I’ll probably try to decide on the theme for the next round within the next month or so. That way we’ll have plenty of time to work on writing something for it.

  14. 14 Annie C. November 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Hi sharon;
    what a great idea and what wonderful stories. Can’t wait for the next one. I’d love to participate.

  15. 15 Sharon Wachsler December 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    hi annie,
    so glad u found it! really nice to hear from u. i went and checked out your blog and enjoyed it. very witty. very you.
    i hope you will participate in next AD carnival. i didn’t even remember you had a guide dog! doesn’t seem like the kind of thing i usually forget! (I can forget anything about people, but usually not nearly so much about dogs, and even less about assistance dogs!) did u have a GD when we were working together at Breath & Shadow?

  16. 16 Pami January 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    What do you think of the new service dog law for 2011. Do you think its go or bad. If you think it bad write your goverment and Sentor also write to the editor of your local newspaper.
    Stand up for your rights. If you are looking for a SD vest or service dog patches go online to Pup’ Let Lisa Know Pami sent you. Lots of people are using other color vest not red vest as much.
    My SD wears a bright yellow vest. I have a Labradoodle he came from Seattle Labradoodle online, I got him as a puppy, I self-trained him
    Before getting this breed read books on this breed.
    Let me know what you think of Pup’parel patches.

  17. 17 Sharon Wachsler January 26, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Hi Pami,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Overall, I’m very pleased with the changes to the assistance animal section of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a member of IAADP, I followed the process of calls for comments for proposed changes, and supported IAADP’s position with comments to the Access Board, myself.

    I haven’t had a chance to go over it all in detail enough to retain it (anyone who wants to learn more can find it on IAADP’s site about it) but I’m glad of the task-training emphasis, the delineation between emotional support animals and service animals, and the attempts to stop the increasing amount of fraud.

    I feel mixed about ruling out of most species as service animals. For example, while it does allow some protection for blind individuals partnered with miniature guide horses, it is not equivalent to what is covered for assistance dogs. And now capuccin monkeys, which have been used successfully, particularly by quadruplegics, are not covered, either, which seems problematic. I think there should be equal protection for legitimate service animals who can be trained to perform at the same level of skill, nondisruptiveness, and manners as dogs. I understand why the changes exclude all other species — there was definitely a problem of people claiming “service snakes” and “service pigs,” etc.

    But, as I said, other than that aspect, I am very pleased with the updates to the law.

    So far, I’m still happy with the gear I got from RuffWear. I might look into Strawberry Fields if I need new stuff, but I don’t generally go in for a lot of decoration, embroidery, etc. I have “Service Dog” patches, “In Training” patches, and “Don’t pet me, I’m working” patches, and those fit my needs.

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Assistance Dog Blog Carnival #1 « After Gadget -- Trackback on October 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm
  2. 2 [youtube video - edited] Trackback on October 27, 2010 at 10:36 am
  3. 3 Disability Blog Carnival 71 — Nov 2010 « Modus dopens Trackback on November 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm
  4. 4 The 10th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival — Perfect! « After Gadget Trackback on January 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm
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