Good afternoon campbellsworld visitors and book lovers one and all.
From time to time here in the Author’s Corner I share excerpts from my books. This afternoon I’m going to share one I don’t think I’ve shared before. If I have please forgive me.
Earlier today I saw on author Abbie Johnson Taylor’s Facebook page that it is National Chocolate Milkshake Day, and while this isn’t quite about milkshakes, it is about Ice Cream, and is a great memory and part of my book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life. So, I’m sharing it here with you.
This is one of the good memories I have and is one that I hope Drew and others who knew me then that have been exposed to the darker sides of me and my mental illness since will remember with as much joy as do I.
Anyhow, enough rambling. Here’s the piece.
Once you’ve read, please be sure and pick up a copy of the book. If you read from a specialized format the book can be found on the NLS website as well.
If you read from there and like it maybe, you’ll get a copy for a friend.
Thanks for dropping into the Author’s Corner today and Happy Reading!
As the final week of training began, Drew told Devin and me that we were going to go to the South Street Creamery for our last trip together. Drew’s other two students had been retrains and had already gone home, so it would just be the five of us: Drew, Devin, Gavin, Campbell, and me. However, I didn’t want to go.
When I told Drew that, he threatened to take me to the hospital. “I don’t believe it!” he said. “You don’t want to go get ice cream? Should I call an ambulance?”
I told him I was flat broke. I explained that I did have a little bit of money left, but that I needed to hold onto that for my trip home. I even went so far as to ask him if we could go someplace else. Devin had said he didn’t mind either way, just so long as we all got to do something together before we left. Drew, however, would not relent. He was going to that darned Creamery or bust.
When the day for us to go arrived, we were in the dining room having lunch. When they came around to ask if we wanted dessert, I went ahead and got one. I figured that if I couldn’t have ice cream at the Creamery, I’d have it there with my cake.
Just as I got ready to take my first bite, Drew walked up and asked, “What are you doing? Now we can’t eat ice cream!”
I just looked at him. “Well, I can’t have any from there, anyhow. I don’t have any more money.”
He walked away without another word. I went back to my dessert, grumbling again about not wanting to go.
When it was time for our trip, I wasn’t in a great mood at all. I went willingly enough to the van, but I didn’t participate in Devin and Drew’s conversation unless one of them spoke to me directly. When we got there, Drew parked the van a little distance away and had us walk the rest of the way. Again, I was not very happy about being there, so I was the last one out of the van.
Drew seemed to be getting a little annoyed with me. “Come on!” he said. “Out of the van. And stop pouting.”
That just about did it for me, so I was nearly in tears as I followed Devin and Drew. It wasn’t so much that I was upset about where we were; I guess it was just kind of the breaking point for me. We were almost done with training, and it can be very emotional there at the end. It’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time to think of going home with your dog and being on your own in a strange new world.
By the time we got to the Creamery, though, I was feeling a little better. Working Campbell did then, and still does today, have that effect on me; it always cheers me up. So by the time we made it to the door, at least I wasn’t growling at Drew anymore. Besides, it never went well for me when I copped an attitude with him. It never failed to put me on the losing end of things.
Once inside, we found a table, and Devin and I settled our dogs underneath.
Drew sat down beside me and asked, “What kind of ice cream do you want?”
I turned to him, stuck my tongue out at him, and said, “Really?” That was all.
Drew chuckled to himself and then talked to Devin a minute about what he wanted. They exchanged money and Drew walked away.
Devin said, “Come on, Patty, cheer up! It’s almost time to go home. We made it, you know?”
I sighed, “I know, but being in here without eating ice cream—that’s no good.”
Just then, Drew walked back to the table and handed Devin what he’d asked for. Then he turned to me and said, “Here’s enough chocolate ice cream to bounce you to the moon. Sure am glad I’m not on night duty!” He set a bowl of ice cream in front of me that had at least two or three different kinds of ice cream in it—big, big scoops of it, too, all with chocolate of some sort. He knew how much I loved chocolate ice cream and had gotten me some. I think Devin may have helped him with it, but I didn’t ask.
I just looked up at Drew with tears in my eyes and said, “Thanks! You didn’t have to do that.”
Drew laughed and handed me a tissue. “I cannot win with you, lady. You cry when you’re upset and you cry when you’re happy. I think I’ve used more tissues with you than with any other student I’ve ever worked with. Eat your ice cream.”
I dug into it, feeling better than I had all day. Only trouble was, I’d also eaten that darned dessert at school, so by the end of the bowl, I was starting to feel just a bit sugared out. But I wouldn’t have left one drop of ice cream in that bowl if you’d paid me.
Once I was done with my ice cream, I asked, “Do you think I could get a glass of ice water?”
Drew looked up and said, “Sure, if you can go get it.” The place was packed, and for just a minute, I thought about forgetting about it, but then I thought to myself, That’s dumb. If you can’t walk to the counter from right here and ask for a glass of water, how the hell do you intend to go home with this dog?
I got up and got my bearings, then walked away from the table. Once I was in line, I waited for my turn. Twice someone asked to pet Campbell, and twice I sent them away with a firm but polite no. I was getting a little annoyed, because it was the same person who asked twice, but I tried to remain polite about it.
Finally I had my water and was ready to go back to the table. Suddenly I wasn’t exactly sure where it was in that large room filled with people and noise. I called out to Drew and said, “Hey, Drew, make some noise!”
He said, “Crickets! Crickets! Crickets!”
I walked up to the table and sat down with my water.
“Do you rub your legs together when you make that noise?”
Devin got tickled by that, and the mood lightened even more. We sat together for a while, talking and laughing. As we talked, Devin and I asked some questions. We wanted to know what kinds of stuff Drew wrote in his reports about us. Drew talked to us about the different things he had to include, and when I asked him what he wrote about me, he said, “That you need to believe more in yourself.”
He talked to me about that a little. He encouraged me to start believing in myself more, to take chances sometimes, and to not always assume that I would screw up. I was starting to get to where I felt that I could do more of that, but I never did feel that Drew really understood why I was the way I was. But how could he? Of course no one knew how things were for me at times. And how could they? Can any of us ever know exactly how another person feels, or why?
When we got ready to leave, I was a lot happier than when I’d arrived. As Campbell and I started toward the door, we passed Drew. I stopped and said, “Thanks, dude; I appreciate it.”
“You’re very welcome. You couldn’t come to the Creamery without eating ice cream, could you?”
I didn’t say anything more; I figured it was best left alone.
As we started walking to the van, I suddenly felt a bit disoriented. I couldn’t decide exactly where the van was in the parking lot, so I stood for a minute, not sure of what to tell Campbell. Campbell, however, was tugging at me to come on, but I wouldn’t go with him.
Drew was standing a little ahead of me, and he called out to me, “Come on, lady! Take a chance. There’s a 50 percent chance you’ll be right.”
I told Campbell “Forward!” and to the van we went, straight away.
“See, I told you,” said Drew.
I climbed into the van, and we were off and running once again.
Once we got back to the school, Campbell and I were walking inside and Drew was behind us. I walked right up to the door without any hesitation on the step. That had been a problem for me all along, so when we got to the door quickly and without any problem whatsoever, Drew called out to me, “Great job, lady, and handsome dog, too!”
I laughed. “Thanks!” I answered.
Then I went on my way to my room. It had turned out to be a pretty okay day after all.
More about Patty L. Fletcher…
Bubba Tails Media Kit
Welcome to my Media Kit King Campbell and I are pleased to present some wondrous stories and art work to you all. Enjoy.
Bubba Tails from the Puppy Nursery at The Seeing Eye Written by Patty L. Fletcher Told by, King Campbell Lee – The Seeing Eye Dog AKA Bubba
In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?
The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell
Patty Lyne Fletcher in her own words (October 2017
About me and my crew
I’m a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am very proud. I have a great son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. Three girls, and two boys. I hope to be able to write more about them later on. I own and handle a Black Labrador from The Seeing Eye™ named Campbell Lee—a.k.a. Bubba Lee or King Campbell, to give just a couple of his nicknames.
About my blindness
I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.
Where I live and work
Currently, I live and work in Kingsport, Tenn. I used to work for CONTACT-CONCERN of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. I left that position in order to spend time with family and pursue my writing full time.
Why I write.
I wrote Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life to tell the story of how going to The Seeing Eye™ and getting Campbell, learning to love, handle, and work him, then coming home and adding him to my life, gave me true freedom. I tell of how changing from being a 31-year cane user to being a guide dog handler taught me things about myself I had never known before. I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.
A major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. I also want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges. I tell how training affected me physically as a result of the fibromyalgia I deal with, along with the side effects of the medications I take. I focus on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not.
Another thing I have attempted to show is how, in certain institutional settings, attachments can develop—and how those attachments can become unhealthy for all concerned if they are not handled correctly. Most simply, I want others to know more about me.
In Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye, it is King Campbell Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba’s turn to tell his tale.
While helping to ready a group of pups to go and meet their puppy raiser families, so they too, might one-day become Seeing Eye dogs, he tells of what it was like for him, to grow up and become a Seeing Eye dog.
My hobbies include reading, writing, music, and standup comedy. I also like nature walks, light hiking, tent camping, and fishing. No, I am not afraid to bait a hook.
Music I enjoy
My favorite types of music are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country, as well as some present-day country music. I also like meditation music.
My favorite books and authors
I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. I love the books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more. My favorite books include
Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
My spiritual faith
I am a spiritual walker. I claim no particular faith, either Christian or pagan. I simply know that there is God and Goddess, or Mother Father God, as some call her/him. I lean toward the natural approach, or Druidism (Druidry), as it promotes harmony and respect for all beings, including the environment. I am also very interested in herbs and their healing properties.
Corner the Comfort Zone.
Patty & Pals
Bob Cat And Friends
A most excellent interview
USE WHAT YOU WISH…IF YOU ARE SENT AN EBOOK PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW ON AMAZON …OR GOODREADS ETC AND SEND THE LINK TO:
My Anthology Links
December Awethology Light https://www.books2read.com/u/3yPZvB
A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaAML
Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The
Seeing Eye, Inc.See: http://www.SeeingEye.org