Also known as “Win Prizes, Support Service Dogs, Feel Good About Self, and also Maybe Win Other Prizes.”
One of the things I don’t generally discuss overmuch is my health (although it’s the reason for my current paucity of posts); The Lyme has been active for 25 years and diagnosed for less than one. All the writing, the training, and the trialing is done in spite of…and because I’m really, really stubborn.
There are a lot of things I don’t do, or can’t do without a companion, and these things I integrate into my life as gracefully as possible, so most people don’t even put two and two together.
One of the reasons for that is a sensory dysfunction that generally has me fleeing (literally) for the hills. (Am I a hermit? Why yes. Yes I am.) To help manage this issue, I use certain focusing and brain exercises that take a lot more effort than you can imagine if you haven’t ever desperately relied on them. I use these constantly and pretty much invisibly.
One of the things I’ve always done to ground my brain is to bring a dog along when I drive. Having that quiet presence in the car is one thing–but the real value comes when I get where I’m going and we work together in the parking lot. It re-grounds me without adding overload…and it’s the very fastest way to do that. But when it’s too hot to leave a dog in the car…. I stop going places, or I pay a much larger price when I do.
So as of last year, I’ve gone official with Mr. D’Artagnan Beagle: He’s a service dog. Because a service dog can come inside.
The reason this works for us is not only because of who he is, but because of who we are together. And because I’ve been training dogs for [mumblemumble] years, I can make choices that are good for him, good for me–and most especially–responsible to the rest of the world. Before I took this step, I consulted with a service dog trainer–and now Dart and I will grow together in this. He is an imperfect service dog–eager and learning refinement–with an underlying aptitude, and that’s what makes him exactly perfect for me.
Look who has yet to learn the "tail tuck."
I’m immensely lucky. Not every dog is suited for service work, even if you start from puppyhood. (Neither of my other two kids would be happy or successful in this role.) So that’s luck #1. Luck #2 is of course the fact that training is one of the things I do, and have basically always done. Had I not run into the health stuff, I would have happily pursued it as a profession; as it is, I simply pursue it with dedication.
I don’t take this luck for granted, and I know…well, how lucky I am to be lucky. That’s why I’m outing Dart’s quiet Other Role in my life –so I can participate in the “Bloggers Help Paws with Cause” event.
See, FINALLY. We get to the part about winning things!
Basically, there are whole lot of blogs offering a chance to win a whole lot of bookish things–in return for donations to Paws for Cause (one entry per each dollar donated).
Here on the blog, I’m giving away an ebook set of the entire Changespell Saga. (Already have it? Enter anyway. We’ll work something out.)
To Enter: Answer these questions in the comments! Don’t worry…it could be that there’s no exact right or wrong. I’ll do the pick from a hat thing–but I won’t lie. Thoughtful responses (as opposed to token words just to get entered) will have an edge.
- You’re attending an event. You see a service dog of awesome cuteness. YOU CAN’T STAND THE CUTENESS! You miss your dog who is not at the event. Because this is a service dog, you feel safe with it. Also, you used to/do have a dog of that breed. Your first impulse is to go “AWWW–!” and you feel an inexorable tug to go pet the dog. What do you do? (Or if you’re William Shatner, what DO you DO?)
- You see someone with a service dog who appears to be functionally intact. You wonder what on earth they need this dog for. Are they just gaming the system to feel special? Maybe they’re taking advantage! You are wildly curious! Your mouth opens! What do you say?
- You’re making casual conversation with someone who happens to have a service dog. The dog is behaving appropriately, but you’re surprised to see this breed with a service vest on. You know something about [family dogs/breeds/once taught your dog to sit], and you know this breed has a reputation for its cheerful resistance to training. You open your mouth and out come the words–
No, wait! This is a trick question! Out come the words, “I can’t believe you’re using a Beagle as a service dog! I [had/knew] a Beagle once, and it was so [dumb/stubborn] that it would never [sit/come/shut up/fill in the blank].” And here is my answer, the one I will probably never say in public so you now have this sneak peek into my brain: “Right! Because the dog trained YOU! Now who’s the SMART ONE?!” (And in my brain, I will use all caps.)
The MAIN EVENT! The prizes include two $65 gift certificates to any online book store, and a huge box of books and swag from Romance Book Junkies (US residents only).
The blog event is being organized by Bitten by Paranormal Romance and Romance Book Junkies–and here’s what they have to say about THAT!:
“We have a total of 59 blogs working together to raise money for this great cause. There are some awesome prizes up for grabs–and here’s a little about the cause:
Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.
PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog teams through education and advocacy. Founded in 1979, Paws With A Cause is dedicated to helping its clients who are challenged by many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorders, and Hearing Disorders to name just some. Each of our dogs are trained to meet the specific needs of our clients. Tasks may include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on and off, and alerting a person to particular sounds like a telephone, doorbell, smoke detector and many others. Our dogs change lives by enhancing the independence of our clients. By just opening a door, a dog opens up the world for a person with a disability and your donations will go to making that happen.
PAWS is a non-profit organization. Paws With A Cause/4646 South Division/Wayland, MI 49348″
How to donate:
2. Click on “Make a Donation”
3. Enter your amount. Everibbon will add a small fee to your donation for processing. You will receive 1 entry into the giveaway for every $1 you donate.
4. In the box that says “on the behalf of” please put your name. This is the name that will be listed on the Everibbon website, so use a public name. Do not check the box to make an anonymous donation because Danielle won’t be able to track your donation and process your giveaway entry.
5. Next it will ask you for your credit or debit card information.
6. Then it will ask for your email address to send you a receipt. This is so that you can submit it for tax purposes.
7. Ta Da! Now contact Danielle to enter the giveaway!
8. Please email Danielle (RomanceBookJunkiesDanielle@Yahoo.com) with the name you used to donate your money, and tell her how much you donated and if you live in the US or are International.
9. Ta Da again! Thank you for donating!
Warning: Play nice! If Danielle receives more than one email with the same person’s name and donation amount, she’ll ask for your receipt from Everibbon.
Have lots of fun, admire a service dog, and head over to the Event Web Page to check out the other participating blogs and their prizes!
The Dart Outtakes…he’s not so fond of the camera flash! His tail would wag happily until the moment I lifted the camera, and then…oppression…