Hello to all.
Here we are in the early morning of April 3, 2019 on the anniversary eve of mine and Campbell’s 8TH year.
I’d like to share with you an excerpt from my upcoming book, the Campbell’s Rambles Trilogy.
Those of you who have read my first book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life will notice some differences here.
If you’ve not read our work, please read onward after my offering to learn how and where to do so.
Chapter Three: Dog Day
It was the evening before ‘Dog Day’ and I was more nervous than I could ever remember being at any other time in my life. To me it ranked right up there with the night my labour had been induced and it seemed at times as if I could barely catch my breath.
The weather was warm, so I sat outside on the smoking patio chain smoking until the security guard came to lock the door and then I spent the next half hour or so walking the halls. I simply couldn’t settle down no matter what I did.
Finally Drew obviously having heard me continuously pacing round like some sort of caged animal, popped out of his room as I passed, grabbing me by the arm as I started by.
“What on earth is wrong? You’re going to carve a trail in the carpet if you don’t stop.”
“Sorry. I just cannot settle no matter what. I don’t think I’ve been this nervous about anything since giving birth to my daughter. I’ve been listening to the info on the thumb-drive you all gave out with all the lecture material on it and it just seems like a lot of stuff to try to learn let alone remember.”
Interrupting me in a soothing voice he said, “Honey, listen. At first, the most important things you’re going to need to know are right here in your heart.” Continuing in a reassuring tone, as we stopped in front of my room he said, “You have the ability to love, and in the beginning, that will be enough. And as you begin to learn what to do to work with your dog, it will still be one of the most important things you will ever need to know. Now try to get yourself to bed and get some sleep.”
He wished me a good night and went whistling down the hall. Over the next month, I would come to be very annoyed by that whistle on many occasions.
Finally Dog Day arrived. I had been asked to wait in my room, but I felt so nervous that I ignored Drew’s request altogether and went to a friend’s door. We eased our stress by talking about what breed of dog we might get and how we liked interesting names. We both loved dogs and wanted to give them the love that would encourage them to love us back. Suddenly I realized I’d been gone a little longer than I’d meant to, so heading back to my room with my mind spinning with excitement and fear, I slipped back in feeling much relieved I’d not been caught sneaking about.
To calm myself, I reminisced about other dogs in my life. Rowdy had been a rescue dog that had been with me for 14 years before I lost my sight. He was a black–and–white Beagle mix and only eight months old when he was found in a January snowstorm along the side of the Interstate. Someone had lost him, I was pretty sure, because he had a Santa collar on. So I took him home. He was as sweet as the day was long but had a lot of energy, thus the name Rowdy. He grabbed my heart, and I still miss him. I wondered if I could love this guide dog as much as I had loved Rowdy, and for just a moment or so, I felt guilty for even trying.
I suppose I should explain a few things about me and Rowdy. For many years while living in that apartment complex where I’d ended up with no job, transportation and basically no life Rowdy Dog and Celine Kitty had for the most part been my only constant companions.
Mine and Polly’s relationship had been rocky during the best of times and for quite some time she’d moved out and lived with my dad. It hadn’t been until she and Nathan had met and gotten together for good that the two of them had moved back in with me and even then they were living their own lives quite apart from mine. So, for quite a while even after I’d moved from there into the apartments where mine and Donnie’s relationship had truly begun Rowdy was a great source of love and comfort to me. In many ways he was an emotional support animal and while it annoys me when people try and abuse that sort of status where those types of dogs are concerned, I more than understand and respect their importance.
In any case while Donnie, had Cassie, an elderly miniature poodle, and we had rescued a dog named Rocky in February of 2011, I hadn’t had a dog of my very own to love and care for since Rowdy had crossed the Rainbow Bridge and had gone over to the other side, where all is peace and love. My guess is that Rowdy still tosses in a few antics just for fun but at that moment I was feeling in some strange way like I was betraying him.
Wrapped up in my thoughts of Rowdy, Cassie, Rocky, and how I might react to a guide dog, I forgot where I was for a moment. Sounds crazy I know, but to this day, I really don’t have the right words to describe the deluge of emotions I was feeling. I felt happy, excited, honored, and terrified all wrapped into one confused package.
3)THAT FIRST MEETING
Suddenly there was a knock at my door.
“Come in!” Goddess, had I screamed?
*** Be sure to stay tuned for a very special announcement coming tomorrow, April 4, 2019.
MORE ABOUT PATTY L. FLETCHER
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer and Social Media Promotional Assistant.
She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye.
She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light
And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales
For more details visit: https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG
Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life can also be found on the National Library Services For the Blind Website at: https://bard.loc.gov/