Good morning, and happy Thanksgiving to all.
Today, for me, it is truly a special day, for not only do I have a big turkey readying to cook in my kitchen sink, a wonderful chocolate fudge pie begging to be cut in my frig, a fabulously warm, house to live in, as well as many other things too numerous to count on this Thanksgiving morn, but I’ve got a Big, Beautiful 11-year-old black Labrador snoring peacefully on my loveseat with turkey legs dancing in his dreams to love.
Friday, Freya’s Day November 28, 2008 King Campbell Lee A.K.A Bubba now retired Seeing Eye Dog was born.
April 2, 2011 he was given to me and a wondrous journey began.
On Mother’s Day 2016, I began writing “Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye”
Soon I’ll be releasing a second edition of this book to include Wish of the Wee Golden which can be found in the anthology, A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaAML
This morning I’d like to share with you something I wrote. It is today, every bit as important as it was when I first wrote and shared it years ago, mayhap more so.
I invite and encourage you to share this with all your friends.
Thank you and blessid be.
*** I have talked about how Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye came to be.
Told the story of what caused me to get up on that Mother’s Day in 2016 and begin to write that tail/tale.
Today I want to talk to you about why I wrote it.
Everyone who has read my book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life: http://www.dldbooks.com/pattyfletcher/ Of which I’ll soon be releasing a second edition, knows I wrote it 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.
They know 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.
They know I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.
They know a major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. They also know I want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges.
In the book 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 focused on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not.
They know another thing I 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 wanted others to know more about me.
After I wrote all that, those who have followed me from the beginning know that for a long time I fell into a very dark place. Got lost inside my head, and that it took years for me to come out of there.
So, when I began to think about all the love, and goodness that Campbell has given me over the years, especially during those dark days I wanted to show that goodness.
It is so much more than that and today I want to share that with you.
The book synopsis reads:
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?
In the book, King Campbell A.K.A Bubba tells all about where and how he came to be.
Let’s start with the where.
The Seeing Eye was incorporated in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 29, 1929.
That’s right Tennessee. Right here in our great state all those years ago.
Go to: http://www.SeeingEye.org to read more.
Now to the why.
Every-day when I sit and talk to Campbell I feel his love. It is as if all the goodness in the entire world is wrapped up inside him. It is as if he holds the very key into my soul and without that love and kindness he gives to me each day I would simply wither away and no more would I be. I’m not the only one who feels such about their dogs. It is that love I wanted to share, and when I wrote my first book that was part of my hope.
It got so lost in the darkness that a lot of the goodness got lost too.
When I wrote Bubba Tails I was able to find that goodness. I was able to find it because I gave Campbell his voice and let him speak.
Not only did I want to show his goodness, but I wanted to help youngsters understand about being blind.
So many times, when I go to schools and other places the first thing the children ask is about my blindness.
In the section, Learning To Use Team Power King Campbell tells of our meeting and explains how he came to begin to understand blindness. Here he is in his own words…
“As Trainer Drew and I turned down a long hallway, I began to smell a beautiful smell. It was not like any other smell I’d ever smelled before. I sniffed and sniffed the air as we walked, and in spite of my fear, and determination to not like this human, I began to wag my tale. I just could not help it. That smell was somehow better than Zelda’s smell. It was like magik. I felt confused. I was afraid and happy all at one time, and I just did not understand how this could be. As we came closer to the other end of the hall Trainer Drew gave me a little pat.
“Very good boy. Now here we are.”
Just then he reached out and knocked on the door in front of us. That smell I smelled that sweet awesome beautiful smell which made me want to wag my tale was coming from in there. We waited, and from inside came a voice.
It sounded as excited and scared as I felt. Trainer Drew opened the door, and there sitting on a bed was a lady. She was beautiful! She had a bright shimmering of love all around her! It shone with a beautiful golden light and the scent was the sweetest and most awesome I’d ever known! And as I stood looking at her, I also began to understand about what being blind was. When I looked at her, even though her eyes were very kind and filled with love, she did not look back at me, but it was alright because it was her smell I wanted to know more about. I tugged at the leash trying to show Trainer Drew I wanted to go forward and sniff this human.”
You see how King Campbell tells this? He talks about the eyes and how they did not see him. He also shows another way for me to be known.
Another reason I wrote Bubba Tails was to explain in a way that everyone could understand and enjoy no matter who they were, or what their reading level or understanding the purpose of a Guide Dog. So many people, both adults and children alike are quite confused about just what our dogs do for us.
At the very beginning of the book the description begins.
When in the first section, The Journey Begins King Campbell becomes curious as to why all his doggy friends begin to disappear we begin to learn. Here again is Campbell and his friend Zelda to explain.
“Then, all of a sudden! something strange started happening. It seemed to me a whole lot of my doggy friends began to go away. They just suddenly began to disappear.
They would go away with their trainers, and even though the trainers would come back and play games with other dogs, those dogs who went away, never came back. This was a real mystery to me, and so one day I found another dog who had been there a while like me to ask. Now, she was a beautiful dog to be sure. Her name was Zelda, and I tell you she made my tale wag and wag. She made my ears prickle just by thinking of her at night. It was puppy love fur sure!
The wee puppies giggled.
“Go ahead and laugh wee ones, it will happen to you one day I promise.”
He smiled as he spoke.
Just the smell of her made me happy. It was kind of scary for me to just walk right up to her and ask, but I just could not stand to not know what was going on. One day I gathered up all my courage, like when Trainer Drew and I were going to cross a busy street filled with roaring car monsters, and I walked right up to her. We sniffed each other and circled around a couple of times.
“What do you want? I know you want something. I can tell.” she said.
I stood there and for a minute I thought I might just turn tale and run. Then I said,
“Well…Well… UM? I want to know where all the doggies go when they go away and don’t come back.”
For a minute she just stood there, and then she tossed up her head gave her collar a jingle and laughed!
“Woolf! Woolf! Woolf!” She laughed. “You silly pup! Why that’s not such a mystery. Those dogs are going to work. They are doing all the stuff Trainer Drew is teaching you and me to do with their forever people. Did no one explain this to you?”
I sat down on my haunches and looked at the floor. My ears drooped, and I tucked my tale underneath me. I felt silly and dumb. All this time I had thought I was a smart dog, and here this girl dog was laughing at me, and I just wanted to understand, and I did think she was ever so beautiful, and she was laughing. Suddenly I realized she had come over to me and had started to lick me. I lifted my nose, and when I did she gave it a lick. Right on the very tip. That did make my tale wag. In spite of how silly I felt I couldn’t help it. I let my tale come out from under me, and I wagged and wagged. Wow! It made my fur ripple all over when she did that.
“It’s ok pup.” She said sweetly, “I didn’t know when I first came either. I wouldn’t have found out like I did if Trainer Drew had not thought I was asleep in my crate in the back of that van we were in while we were out playing our games, but I was only pretending and I heard him and another trainer talking about how we were ‘Seeing Eye Dogs,’ and all the things we would one day do. You see, we have to learn all this stuff because one day some humans will come here, from faraway lands. They will need us to do the things we do for Trainer Drew for them. Only they won’t be pretending not to see, they will not see. They might have some sight, but their eyes will never work all the way right, and so it will be our job to make sure they get where they want and need to go without getting hurt by things like monster cars. You understand?”
There it is. Simple and clear. Without fuss or muss.
There are so many reasons I wanted to write this book. I cannot even begin to tell of them all. The long and short of it is that I want the entire world to know how important these dogs are. I want everyone to understand that these dogs do not really get a choice. They do not have a voice, but they’re special, they’re magnificent, and they do a job like no other animal or person on this whole earth can do.
I want people to understand they must allow them into their businesses. I want them to understand that they must be left alone when they are out in the public working, and I want them to have the honour and respect they so very much deserve.
I want people to know of The Seeing Eye and to help to keep it alive forever, and I want persons from other Guide Dog schools to be honoured and respected as well.
Yes, The Seeing Eye was the first. Yes it is the oldest and largest in the world, but all Guide Dogs everywhere are most important and this movement must live forever.
Now, here we are living in a country with a leader who disrespects such. Who is allowing those who work with and for our government to take away more and more of our rights, and it must stop.
When I wrote this book, I had no idea what was coming for our world and those who live within as blind persons who handle and love Guide Dogs and now more than ever this book holds immense importance.
So, I ask you. Please? Help me tell everyone about this book and its most important story.
There are many places the book can be found.
If you like, you may go online to: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765BWDJF
And pick up either a Paperback or eBook. Please, buy a copy this very day and help spread the word. Your children will love it and you will too.
Campbell and I thank you very much for reading, and we hope that if you have read our books that you will let us know.
Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The
Seeing Eye, Inc.See: http://www.SeeingEye.org