While there was not a huge response to my chosen topic of EFFECT/AFFECT, or "How has a working dog in your life IMPACTED other people and/or the relationships in your life?" the posts that were submitted are thoughtful and honest.
To those who tackled this sensitive topic, I thank you for sharing.
It was interesting to me that two bloggers, who are handlers of assistance dogs, remarked that people are often more interested in their dogs than in them. Even as a volunteer puppy-raiser I get a taste of this when out and about in my small town with Future Leader Dog "Scout." My husband Andy says, "I don't even exist. First it's 'Hi, Scout' and then it's 'oh, it's that lady with the puppy.' Who am I?!"
At any rate, I pass the hosting baton on to Tori, at her blog "The Average Blog by an Average Blogger" for the 8th ADBC in July. Stay tuned!
THE 7TH ADBC POSTS
Lyssa, at her blog, "Downunder Assistance Dog," wrote "The Knightly Effect." Knightly is a nine-month-old Golden Retriever that she is training to be her assistance dog. Lyssa's post explores the many effects that Knightly has had and continues to have on her life (and her husband's life)...from getting her out of bed in the morning to keeping her out of the hospital.
Khills writes about how training her mobility assistance dog, Shai Ezer, "suicide proofs her." Her blog is "Shai Ezer-Helper Beside Me: Training My Service Dog," and her post for the ADBC is "Not Easily Broken: Dancing With Shai." Khills uses pictures to illustrate the journey she's taken with Shai after a 2009 diagnosis of the "intruder" MS (her term for the disease). Because everyone in her family "had to deal with it (MS)," Shai helps maintain the "family's equilibrium."
Sharon, over at her blog, "After Gadget," is responsible for starting the ADBC way back in the fall of 2010. (Where does the time go?) Her post "Service Dogs & Friends: Familiarity Breeds...Confusion?" is a sincere exploration of how the "raising, training, and handling" of her own service dogs has had a negative effect on the relationships with people in her life. In turn, these relationships have made it more difficult to actually train and work with her "dog partners."
L^2's post, "Impacts on Relationships," at her blog, "Dog's Eye View," examines the positive and negative impacts that working with her guide dog, Jack, has had with people in her daily life, and "those I encounter once in a blue moon." Although Jack has eased the worries of her parents, L^2 says it has been difficult to get her family members to NOT treat Jack like a "pet." Read how this makes her feel toward spending time with them. Dealing with the general public has been negative for the most part--L^2 says she feels as though she and Jack are a "form of entertainment." Still, she likes the idea of raising awareness and hopes she has smoothed the way for other guide dog teams.
L^2 brings up an interesting take on how having her dog take center stage affects her interactions with "friends" and how she has established "new relationships" within an on-line community of handlers and others who are involved somehow with assistance dogs. That the blogging community sometimes acts as a "second family" is one of the benefits I wasn't expecting when I began blogging a few years ago.
My post, "The affecting effect of dogs..." is a personal note on how my love of dogs makes the relationship with my aging parents a sometimes-uncomfortable situation to manage. Yet, it always amazes me how these creatures demonstrate the true meaning of "unconditional" love.
READERS! Please take a few moments to meet my blogging friends by following the links above to their posts and their blogs.
Looking forward to the 8th ADBC Tori!