Hello to everyone.
I hope all are well this night.
As you all who follow me regularly know Campbell is having issues. If you’ve been keeping up with me of late, you most likely saw the post I put out mid-week called: ‘Campbell In Phase One of Retirement’
Yesterday you may have seen posts from me on Facebook concerning his becoming ill and having to be taken quickly to the vet and that he has been put onto medications for arthritis in the hopes that it will relieve his pain thus making it easier for him to walk.
In that first post about his phase one of retirement, I wrote of how, I wished to slowly phase him out of the working process, get him used to being a stay at home dog and eventually return to The Seeing Eye to get another dog thus having a new working dog while having Campbell as a pet.
This morning I heard from the vet who saw us yesterday and learned that Campbell’s blood work and urine tests were down the line perfect, his physical showed absolutely no health issues other than the visible arthritis, and though we are going back to the vet on this coming Friday for another consult and we will do full body imaging to make absolutely certain there are no tumors or other issues inside that are causing issue that the blood work is not showing it is looking more and more like some of the other symptoms I’ve been seeing over the last few months that I’ve blamed on other things may in fact be the onset of what is known as Canine Cognitive Disorder. This is much like our own dementia and is acting much like what is known as Sundowners.
I must tell you after answering with much thought, the vet’s questions today I believe they may be correct in their thinking.
Of course, we’re not sure at all, but the bottom line is this. I’ve been gathering blog posts and short stories I’ve written to put into an anthology of short stories I’m working on and earlier today I ran across something I wrote during November just before Campbell’s 10TH birthday. As I read the tears began to fall and I realized that I would not ever be willing to give Campbell over to another should I bring a dog here and Campbell not feel happy with me going and coming with another dog. The thoughts of someone else caring for Campbell no matter how good they might do it simply make me physically sick.
As I read this post, I’m about to reshare which I’ve edited only slightly due to the changing of the month and I thought about Campbell being with someone else I had to throw aside my computer, run to the bathroom and vomit. I simply cannot possibly allow someone else to have charge of my boy, no matter what.
I plan to continue forward with working with the vet to gain a firm diagnosis, and I plan to speak with The Seeing Eye again afterward so that we can plan a bit better concerning how to go forward with the things they suggested.
We know that the pain Campbell is in is part of his stress licking, and disorientation. It may be that the medications help with some of that after they get into his system.
I have to say though, that this evening around 7 or so he began once again to become extremely agitated, pacing from room to room, licking his feet, and mouth, drooling on himself and panting until I took him outside, and then lay with him until he went to sleep.
Either A the pain is getting worse in the evening and he needs a stronger dose of the new medication or B what is suspected about Canine Cognitive Disorder is so.
Either way if he continues as he is at the current time he will not go back into his harness. I’ve been advised to not work him at all until we return to the vet and I agree with that one-hundred percent.
I ask you please, read the following. Understand that this is by far one of the very hardest things I’ve ever been through, know that thus far The Seeing Eye has been most supportive of me as this situation unfolds, and I expect that to continue as time goes on.
Please also know that when they do send someone down it will, like everything else they do for their students and graduates be of no cost to me, so if you would like to help support me and others like me please follow the link given at the end of this post and please do donate something. If you’d like to you may donate in Campbell’s name. We would be most appreciative.
For now, I leave you with the following offering. Thank you for reading.
CAMPBELL MY LIFE
BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
I feel I must write a bit about my King Campbell Super ® Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba, who he is, and what he means to me.
Now, everyone who knows us knows that Campbell is my ® Seeing Eye Guide Dog. It has been said by some that he is my independence, and this is so, but he is much more than that.
You see, other than people I see when I am out and about, talk with on the phone, via email, or some means of social media I haven’t any close friends or family.
I live here alone, and many days if not for the Meals on Wheels volunteers, mail carriers, and the few neighbors I speak to as Campbell and I go on our various outings throughout the day we see no one.
Campbell is my strength. He is my company. He and I sleep together, travel together, read books and listen to music together and even enjoy our meal times together.
We share everything. He is my very very best friend and more. I am his human mother and he is my son. I know what he is thinking and he me many times before we can either of us even act upon it.
He knows by my behaviors when I’m going to use the phone, or computer. He understands by how I sit in my chair whether I’m going to enjoy a book or work on the writing of one.
If I wake in the night in pain from my fibromyalgia, he is always there to comfort me with a lick on the hand, nuzzle of nose, or a snuggle of his body against mine.
If I cry, he comes to me no matter where he is or what he is doing even at times waking from a deep sleep to wash away my tears and reassure me.
If I laugh, he wags his tail and laughs with me and if I become annoyed or angry at something he huffs and puffs in annoyance just as I do.
He takes me to the store, and out to eat. He makes sure I get to and from the doctor’s office, and even when he is not feeling well and must go to the vet most times, he works to get me there safely.
Last year when I became ill and was first hospitalized, and then sent to nursing therapy so that I could fully recover before going home he went right along with me and encouraged me every moment of the way.
Everything we do is connected and to us there is nothing more important than the other.
So, Campbell is my very life and without him I don’t know where or what I would be.
Even way back when I was still in training at the Seeing Eye, and for the most part things were decent between my now EX and my then family and me, I somehow knew that one day I would find myself alone and that Campbell and I would have only one another.
*** Updated December 2018***
It is with these thoughts as well as all that has transpired since my first having written, that I call to you. I ask you, during this very difficult time, please do donate a bit of money to The Seeing Eye. In King Campbell Lee Fletcher’s name.
In this way you will be helping many persons to have wonderful companions such as what I have described.
There are many blind persons who have families, and friends who depend upon these dogs to help them exist alongside them.
There are many more who are like me, alone with no one else but their beautiful dogs walking alongside them every-day and if you could help this wonderful school and its work go onward you will be doing something more worthwhile than anything you’ve ever done before.
Here is just a bit more information about Campbell and the wonderful land from where he comes.
King Campbell was born in Chester N.J. November 28, 2008.
He lived with his Dog Mother and Litter Mates until he was approximately eight weeks old, and then he went to live with his Puppy Raisers.
Then, when he was just over a year-old, he was taken away from his Puppy Raiser family by a wise and ancient trainer, so he could go and live in the magickal and ancient land of The Seeing Eye, where his training truly began.
After only four short months he was chosen to become the guide of his now human mother Patty L. Fletcher author of this writing.
To learn more about this most important school and the work they do see:
THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The
Seeing Eye, Inc.See: http://www.SeeingEye.org
Thanks for reading, and if you would, please do share.