Archives for August 2012

Updating 2012’s Completed Book List

I haven’t been reading too much over the past few months, but have completed three since the last time I posted a review.

After completing 24 Hours by Greg Iles, I had a lot of trouble finding another book that caught my attention.

“Bones To Ashes” is the sixth book by Kathy Reichs that I have read. In “Bones to Ashes”, forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan, has been asked by her former lover, Andrew Ryan, to help him with a case where young girls are going missing and others are turning up dead. While helping out with this case, Brennan is made aware of some bones in New Brunswick ind asked to take a look at them to determine their age and origins. The bones are those of a teenage girl and remind her of her childhood friend, who mysteriously disappeared one summer and who’s disappearance has plagued her for decades.

Like her other books, I loved “Bones To Ashes” and would totally recommend anyone who likes crime, drama and forensics to give it a chance.

I’m not much into audio books, so have been reading primarily in braille. This format is quite limiting though because it means I will often need to wait over a year before the cnib gets around to transcribing it. When I got my iPhone and learned about iBooks, I had thought about getting a book to try, but didn’t get around to doing it until a few weeks ago.

Some friends have been talking a lot about Douglas Adams’ “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, so when one of them sent the eBook my way, I thought it was a perfect time to try out iBooks. I really don’t understand the attraction to books like this one, but for some reason I couldn’t put it away and finished reading after just a few days. I’m not going to take any time to explain what it is about since I am sure most people have read it or have at least heard of it (unlike me). I’ll just finish off by saying, it wasn’t bad and if you need something different, try this book.

The final book I’ve finished reading of late, is “Remember When” by Nora Roberts/JD Robb. This is the first book I’ve read from her Eve Dallas series, but I can definitely say I’ll be reading another.

The book starts out by introducing us to an antiques shop owner named Laine Tavish. She has a secret from her past that she’d like to keep hidden, but a former associate of her father’s enters the shop and brings it all crashing back. After some suspenseful moments and some romance mixed in for good measure, the book takes a turn and we move forward 50 years and meet Laine’s granddaughter Samantha, who has just returned home from a book tour to find her friend dead in her bedroom. It is at this point where we meet, Eve Dallas, a serious “I take no shit from anyone” NYPD Lieutenant, who has been assigned to the case.

I hope to be a little better from now on at updating the blog on what I am reading, but as usual, no promises 🙂

Hard To Believe…

1 year ago, I said goodbye to my faithful companion.

12 months ago, I said farewell to my number one sidekick.

52 weeks ago, I said so long to my best friend.

365 days ago, my confidant took flight.

8760 hours ago, my teacher left my side.

525,600 minutes ago, my pal went to join our friends and family who left before him.

31,536,000 seconds ago, my life changed forever.

No matter how many dogs enter my life, Phoenix, you will always be missed and never forgotten.

The lessons you taught me, and the unconditional love you provided, will always leave a smile on my face.

Rest in peace my yellow friend.

Stop Complaining

**This post has been edited after a problem with wording was brought to my attention**

Sorry for the long stretches of time without entries. Over the past couple of months, I really haven’t had a lot of inspiration to write. I have pictures to share, but I am still learning to use this blogging software, so haven’t had a chance to post any, but hopefully that little problem will be remedied soon.

So, now for the purpose of my post.

Maybe it’s just me. or maybe it’s just the blogs I read and Twitter feeds I follow, but I’ve been noticing a bit of a troubling pattern.

This is going to sound odd coming from someone who, herself, has a disability, but I need to say it, because it is really beginning to get under my skin.

So here’s the problem I’m having.

It seems as though an uncomfortable number of people with disabilities, at least that I’ve noticed, find it necessary to complain about every little thing.

I understand that the world is not made equal, and that people with disabilities face an uphill battle for inclusion, but is it really necessary to turn every little interaction that didn’t go the way you thought it should, into an access challenge, intentional snub of a non-disabled person or violation of basic rights situation?

could the incident have been something as simple as just someone in a rush, not really taking in the people around them, so not seeing that they blocked your pathway?

Could it be possible that not every person has seen a person in a wheelchair, or someone with a guide dog, so genuinely doesn’t understand your access needs, or proper etiquette?

Could it be possible that the restaurant you are trying to enter was built before the needs of disabled patrons was truly understood as being important?

As someone with a disability, who uses a guide dog, I would like to first, make it clear to my non-disabled readers, that not every person with a disability carries a chip on their shoulder, and not every person with a disability sees the world as a place of negativity.

Second, I’d like to ask my disabled readers to listen closely, and to thoroughly consider my next set of statements.

The world does not revolve around any one person. In order to make the world a better place for all, we need to get along. We need to remember that just because someone does not have a visible disability, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own concerns, worries or problems, that are just as important.

I know that it gets tiring to have to explain your needs several times throughout the day, and I know it gets frustrating to have to stop and answer questions and educate the public on things such as guide dogs, using a wheelchair, and why you don’t look like the other disabled person they know or saw last week, but it’s part of life, so deal with it. if you don’t like answering questions about your guide dog, then don’t choose to have one. If you don’t have time or patience to answer questions, then politely explain to the person that you are in a rush. There is absolutely no need to be rude, how else are people supposed to learn?

Finally, the non-disabled people of the world, are not out to get us, or going out of their way to make our lives difficult.

Older buildings were not equipped with ramps or elevators when they were designed because the need for this sort of stuff, wasn’t widely known at the time. If it’s possible for the store or restaurant owner to retrofit their establishment with such equipment, then they will do so, it might just take time for it to happen, or they may need someone to politely bring the need to their attention.

Also, not every individual knows someone with a disability, so not all people know what is required for equal access. Plus, they may know someone in a wheelchair, but not someone who’s blind or uses a communicating device, so wouldn’t be familiar with the difference in needs. Instead of immediately seeing this problem as an intentional attempt at barring participation, try to politely explain your needs, and try working with the other person to best accommodate your needs. There are very few people in the world who set out to intentionally hurt another, so try keeping this in mind.

I apologize for the rant, but feel it was needed. there are way too many negative people out there, so let’s try not to add to the numbers. I too have my bad days, but I try hard not to make myself or other people with a disability look bad by being rude to people who stop me with questions, or block my path, because as I said before, just because it isn’t obvious, doesn’t mean the person beside you isn’t fighting their own battle.

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**