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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


to the
7th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival (ADBC)

This quarterly carnival started in October of 2010 by blogger Sharon Wachsler on her blog, After Gadget. For more information about just what a blog carnival and the ADBC are, and for links to the six prior issues, check out this link to a post on Sharon's blog:

I am honored to host the 7th issue of the ADBC. Part of my responsibilities is to choose a theme. This is harder than it seems. In struggling to come up with a topic, I first considered the theme of LOSS. Retiring a working dog, making the difficult decision to put down an ill and suffering dog, or returning a puppy to the organization that will teach the puppy its job.

But, April evokes feelings of spring, and new beginnings. I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle such a dark topic in a month that begins with April Fool's day.

It just so happened that on March 1, I received the following comment on my blog page, "Why I Raise Puppies for Leader Dogs for the Blind," from the wife of a Leader Dog handler.

As the wife of a LD partner I can tell you that our lives have indeed been enriched. We are blessed beyond measure and greatly reap the benefits of the work of fabulous volunteers and trainers. As hesitant as I was to have an animal in the house, thanks to all the work it has been smooth sailing. Who knew there was such a thing as doggie etiquette? But thanks to the teaching that our LD come to us with, there hasn't been much to adjust too. But there have however been a lot of things to love about having a LD around. You all really make it easy for us non-partners to get accustomed to having a LD around.

The concept of the effect of a working dog on family members of the handler had never occurred to me before. It got me to thinking about some of the things the family must adjust to by having a dog in the house, where perhaps there had never been. Feeding, "parking," dog hair, vet bills--even the new independence of the the handler might prove challenging for some. Luckily for my commenter, the effect of her husband's new partner proved to be an easy adjustment, and a positive one at that!

As for myself, accepting my career-changed puppy, Gus, back into our home had an unexpected effect. The addition of Gus increased our four-legged family members to three (my old mutt Gypsy, and my 4th Future Leader Dog puppy, Scout).

Three big dogs is something to manage when it's time for taking a walk, or traveling. Our recent trip to Green Bay, WI via the U.P. brought home the effect of having three, instead of two, dogs--a "lifestyle" change we didn't anticipate!

Couple all this with being the "writer" that I am, I decided to play around with those pesky words, "affect/effect."

How's that for an April Fool's topic?


Which word do you use?  Here are some definitions that might help you decide.

Affect: (noun) used in psychology, emotion or desire as influencing behavior or action, a psychological term referring to an observed emotional state, After surgery, still under the influence of the anesthetic, my puppy wagged her tail without affect. (transitive verb) have an effect on, make a difference to; touch the feelings of someone, move emotionally, a more general term that suggests moving one to tears or some other display of feeling, The affecting blog post about the loss of a working partner.

Effect: (more common as a noun than "affect") a change as a result of something, Helping raise a Future Leader Dog puppy has had a positive effect on my nieces., (verb) cause something to happen, Leader Dogs for the Blind effected a list of "In-for-Training" standards to give puppy raisers a training goal.

Affect and effect are both nouns and verbs, but the word effect is used more often as a noun than is the word affect. Affect as a noun is most often related to the field of psychology. And, the two words are used differently as verbs--affect means "produce and effect on" or "influence," whereas effect means "bring about." (Seems like a small difference to me.)

I don't know about you, but even with all these examples, I still get confused with AFFECT/EFFECT.

So, in spite of that, how has working with, training, or being exposed to a working dog affected your life, or those of your loved ones? Has the introduction of a service dog or puppy-in-training had a positive or negative effect on your family members?

Use AFFECT/EFFECT any which way you please. Just have fun and let us now the effect of your experience in the assistance dog world!

Who can submit posts?
From Sharon's initial post about the ADBC:
Anyone who meets these criteria can submit a post:
  • You have a blog (or someone who will let you post on their blog);
  • Your post relates to the topic of guide, hearing, or service dogs (including psychiatric service dogs, autism service dogs, medical alert dogs, and any other task-trained assistance dog), even if your blog is not typically about assistance dogs;
  • Your submitted post relates to the theme for that particular issue.
  • Note: You do NOT need to be an AD partner (or puppy raiser or trainer, etc.), to contribute. Any blogger, regardless of whether you are affiliated with the assistance dog community or not, can submit.
  • Note: Although it is not required, you are strongly encouraged, if you do submit a post, to make the post and your comments section as accessible as possible to people with diverse disabilities.[1]
In other words, posts can be about puppy raising, service-dogs-in-training (SDiTs), assistance dog programs/schools, retired SDs, perspectives on ADs from people with disabilities not partnered with ADs, or anything else relating to the topic of assistance dogs. Posts from personal blogs as well as from AD organization blogs are welcome.

To participate in the 7th ADBC, make a comment on this post with the following information:
  1. The name of your blog (example, "plays with puppies")
  2. The title of your ADBC post (example, "The startling effect of puppy-breath")
  3. The link (URL) to your ADBC post (example, "http://yourblogname/postname")

"Captcha" is disabled on my blog, but I do monitor comments. Please be patient for the publication of your comment. If you'd rather email your post, send it to pattibrehler (at) gmail (dot) com.

The deadline for the 7th ADBC is April 25th, so you have six weeks to submit a previous post that fits the theme at hand, or (preferably), write a new one!

I will compile and publish all submissions on April 30. (If you can't make the deadline, let me know and I'll add it as soon as you get your post "live.")


  1. If you are involved in the assistance dog world, but don't have your own blog, and would like to write on this topic, let me know and I'll be happy to allow a "guest" post on my blog!

  2. Patti, you know people like you who raise puppies and train them and do all the hard work for those of us that are visually impaired or blind.. IS AWESOME.. I thank all the handlers, trainers, and raisers who made my life so much easier.. The mobility Bubba has given me is so grand.. I love it.. Thank You..

    1. Thomas, thank you for reading, and making such a nice comment. Hearing that from you makes all my effort worthwhile!

  3. Here's MY post for the ADBC:

    blog: plays with puppies
    post: The affecting effect of dogs...