Round-Up: Assistance Dog News, Notes, Updates

Today is a bit of a roundup. Too much going on. Can’t devote a post to any of these topics alone.

First of all, to all my femme sisters, happy International Femme Appreciation Day! I wanted to do a post on this topic, but I couldn’t manage. So, if you want to read some good, very diverse writing on femme life and identity, including several essays that deal with disability in some way (one of which is by me, and another of which is by Peggy Munson, who also has CFIDS, MCS, and Lyme), I suggest the two-volume set Visible: A Femmethology.

Of course, in the comments, feel free to tell me how much you appreciate me, as a fabulous femme dyke. Just an idea. (Note: You can appreciate me even though I didn’t manage to publish this till July 3, instead of July 2.)

And now, in assistance dog news.

First, the less cheery news items. . . .

Goodbye to an American hero, Roselle of GDB. Sadly, Roselle, the guide dog who led her partner out of the World Trade Center shortly before it collapsed on September 11, 2001, died last week at the age of 13. There is a book coming out about her soon. Here’s a news story on Roselle’s passing.

Restaurant denies access because of “too many” service dogs. Recently, thirteen people who had reservations for dinner at 5:00 PM at a Dedham, Mass., restaurant were turned away, because six in the party are blind and had their guide dogs with them. When the store management refused to seat the group, they called the Dedham police. (BTW, Dedham is not too far from my hometown.) The police officer refused to uphold the law, kept on saying how he has a daughter who uses a wheelchair, so he understands, but they are being confrontational and should leave. (With allies like that, who needs, um, allies?) He also did helpful things like, when one of the blind people asked  for his badge number, he held up his shield to show them. Great!. Here is one of many news stories on it. You can also find it on Twitter, with the hashtag #bambooadafail

In happier assistance dog news. . . .

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) now has a Facebook fan page! You can visit their fan page here. They also still have their regular, very informative website, that they’ve had for years, which you can visit here.

International Assistance Dog Week is just a month away! It takes place this year from August 7 through August 13. Assistance dog partners, trainers, puppy raisers, and others are encouraged to do something fun and/or educational to raise awareness about, and good will towards, assistance dogs and their partners. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for it. I’m pondering. You can get materials and ideas from the official Assistance Dog Week website, and there is also a Facebook fan page to visit for ideas and community.

If your “Please Don’t Pet Me, I’m Working” patches are not effective enough, there are some good ideas at the Please Don’t Pet Me website and especially at their Facebook page. I particularly like some of the wording on this placard that a SD partner made and attached to her dog’s mobility harness handle. It’s very eye-catching, with lots of colors, and the way it’s designed. It says, “Do not pet. Do not distract. Mobility & Medical Alert Service dog. Questions stress person ~ has brain injury ~ please stop.” Amen to that.

And lastly, remember that the fourth Assistance Dog Blog Carnival is coming up! The July ADBC is being hosted by the wonderful Kali at Brilliant Mind Broken Body. The theme is “Differences.” Make a difference in the carnival and write and submit a blog post!

Must. Train. Dog.

G’night.

– Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum, SDiT!

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