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.
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.
- Ashley, at The CRPS Girl, tells of when she and her medical-alert service dog, Dixie, entered the public sphere in The First Outing: Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.
- Sherlock at Sherlock’s Stuff introduces her boxer SDiT and all the details that went into Beau’s First Mall Adventure.
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.
- Pattib at Plays with Puppies reveals why her first “failure” as a puppy raiser was not a failure at all, in My FIRST…Future Leader Dog Puppy.
- Linda Alberda’s blog, From Puppy to Public Access, tells of two crucial firsts — not only when her first SD alerted her to her medical condition, but when her SDiT did, as well — both of them still in early puppyhood! Her tale is called, Two of the Most Important Firsts in my Assistance Dog Journey.
- 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.