The 8th Round Of The Assistance Dog Blog Carnival

***ATTENTION PLEASE! I just wanted to let everyone know that I forgot to announce the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card. It was awarded to Nadja & Hera shortly after this post was made public, but I totally forgot to announce it here – sorry everyone!***

Just over a month ago, we were asked to host the 8th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival buttonSeeing as the ruled by paws gang isn’t like most, I decided “MARCHIN’ TO YOUR OWN DRUM” would be a fitting topic for our turn.

Over the past month, I have been receiving submissions from various service dog handlers who march to their own drum in different ways. some have chosen to celebrate their dog’s uniqueness, others have written about their choices which do not conform to mainstream ideals, and a few have taken time to set the public straight.

Before I share the submissions we’ve received, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for participating and for sharing news of the carnival with their friends and followers. Without everyone’s help, I know this round wouldn’t have been as successful in acquiring entries.

So, without further ado, I present to you…

The 8th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival!

In It’s Not Always Just Black And White, Karyn, reminds us all that not everything is straight forward, sometimes we have to figure things out for ourselves:

“Many in the service dog world believe that once a service dog has developed a health condition that it is time to retire them. I don’t believe it is really so simple – so black and white.”

In Can’t Is A Four Letter Word, Ms. Paw Power, writes about how she marchs to her own drum out of necessity:

“I am a Deafblind dog trainer with balance problems. My dogs are owner trained, gotten from an animal shelter or rescue, raw fed, minimally vaccinated, and clicker trained. I have been accused by some, of just “needing to be different”. But as strange as it may seem, I’m really not like that.”

In Setting The Rhythm, Flo, writes about the reason for owner training as opposed to getting a dog from a program:

“…All fuelled by need it now, can’t fail and fear…”

In Shai Marchin’ In the Moonlight, khills, writes a beautiful post about the way in which they are not like every other service dog team:

“Because of my unique work situation, Shai & I dance to a different drum beat than other service dog teams…”

In They’re Assistance dogs, Not Public Access Dogs, Sharon Wachsler, writes about how her needs of her service dog do not fit into the current standards set forth by various organizations:

“I have to sign a form saying that my SD has or would be able to pass their public access test/definition. So, even though I have had two previous SDs and have been an IADP member for a dozen years, now I’m no longer a partner member because Barnum and I don’t go out.”

In Taking New Steps, Martha, writes about the ways she has changed in her training methods and feeding practices with each dog she is paired with:

“I don’t march to my own drum as much as assistance dog partners who owner train, but I add as much as I can to make my dog and I the best team we can be. Every dog is unique, and I can’t wait to see the different steps my new partner adds to the march.”

In Carnival Post: Walk the Halls, Ro, writes about how she must find creative ways of exercising her guide dog, while also taking care of her own medical needs:

“Life with a guide dog and two disabilities means constantly finding new ways of doing something. If that’s not marching to our own distinctive beat, I don’t know what is!”

In Forward, March!, Carin, writes about how she feels as though she does not really march to her own drum, but that as a service dog user, she really has had to forge her own path:

“So I don’t really feel like I’m that original or different from your average bear. So how could I possibly write for this carnival? But then it hit me. Just the act of getting an assistance dog forces you to march to the beat of your own drum.”

In Continue To March, L-Squared, writes about how she has had to pave her own way within her community as someone who has chosen to become a guide dog user:

“I have learned that it can sometimes take a whole lot of courage and a great deal of stamina to make your own choices and stick with them.”

In ADBC: Marchin’ To Your Own Drum, Ashely, shares the reasons for her love of standard poodles:

“Poodles fit me more than any other breed has. Their temperament, drive and just love of life work so well with my personality.”

In Embracing The challenges Of Guide Work, Lynette, writes about how she enjoys working with dogs who challenge her and make her work for their respect:

“DeeDee’s work isn’t always perfect, but then again, neither is my leadership. Teamwork isn’t about being perfect, it’s about balance, intuition, and cooperation. Often times, I think we stray off the beaten path, but neither of us would have it any other way.”

In Not Like Most, I write about choosing to owner train, and how I prefer dogs with spirit.

In The 8th ADBC: Marching To Your Own Drum, Tori, writes about how her guide dog marches to her own drum:

“Despite all her little quirks, I love having her and wouldn’t change her. She can be quite a challenge sometimes though.”

In Marching To My Own Drum, Hera, takes over the blog, and takes some time to tell us all about herself:

“I’m happy that I’ve been given the privilege to be a guide dog. I love life and I’m looking forward to all the adventures Mummy and I’ll experience together.”

In Furry Twister, Pattib, shares her poem she wrote about her current Leader Dog puppy:

“The beat, beat, beat travels through her feet”

In I Am the Drummer, Katrin, writes about the way she chose to deal with an issue she was having at her local Home Depot:

“Many people placed in the negative situations, would have complained, become disgruntled and perhaps chose not to continue to shop at that place of business. Instead I chose to attempt to bring some positive change and outcome from my experience and give the place of business an opportunity in education.”

Finally, in An Open Letter to The Public. Cyndy Otty, writes a hilarious letter explaining why she finds it necessary to part ways with the public:

“I’ll be blunt. This just isn’t working out. And I think we need to start seeing other people. Privately.”

Please take some time to visit each of the participating bloggers, and leave them a comment to let them know you stopped by.

The next Assistance Dog Blog Carnival will be hosted by Martha of Believe In Who You Are in october.

Thank you again to all who took the time to submit an entry, I had a lot of fun reading everyone’s submission.

**I will contact the raffle winner soon to make arrangements for sending them the Amazon gift card**


  1. Fantastic Carnival! Great job bringing in the posts and putting it together. I look forward to reading all the submissions.

  2. fridawrites says

    What a great series of pieces–I feel so affirmed in what I’m doing with and for my dog after reading these. Thanks to all of you. We are an owner-trained team after pulling out of a small organization because of abuse. .

    I now give my dog the Pitcairn homemade diet mixed in with some dry because he was showing a propensity for bloat–I have been told never to give him people food because he would beg in public. Well, I figured he’s smart enough to recognize that he can have people food at home and not in public–and he is.

    There are also times when I “should” correct him or redirect but don’t because I need to honor his way of doing things or slow down and figure out what he’s trying to communicate. I do feel judged for that sometimes, but doing that means he automatically blocks the wheelchair (to prevent bumping) and alerts to/notifies me when strangers are approaching.


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