Tribute to Campbell
While hunting through my various writings of mine and Campbell’s time together, I came upon this tribute from a couple years ago. It touched me so that I felt I must share it with you all.
Campbell is my guide. His single purpose in life is to guide me from place to place safely, and without allowing me to run into or fall over obstacles. He is to keep me from getting hit by cars, and he is to make certain that I keep on the right path as much as is possible. I am to remember where we are to go, and how we are to get there, and the two of us are a real team.
When he is at home, and out of his harness, he is a big baby. A well trained pet if you will. He gets into trouble just as any other, and at times it seems as though he is behaving like a pastor’s son. You know? Trying to prove he can do the worst thing possible, just because he is not supposed to?
In short, he is my very best friend, and I hope the below writing conveys that.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
Four years ago this week, I experienced an event that would forever change my life. I had spent months readying myself for that day, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened on April 2, 2011. As many of you know from reading my book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, I arrived at The Seeing Eye ® in Morristown, New Jersey nearly four hours late. I was frightened half to death and ready to turn and run. Now I have to say that even though I have faced many trials since that long-ago day. I am ever so glad that I did not run. Without a doubt, it would have been the worst mistake of my life—possibly even a deadly mistake.
Once there, I was introduced to my Seeing Eye instructor, Mr. Drew Gibbon, He began the life-changing process with that very first handshake, and for me, there has been no going back from that moment. Again, I am ever so glad.
However, the true new beginning and forever change did not take place until what I have dubbed ‘the most wonderful day ever.’ (In fact, that’s the title of Chapter Three in my book.) The day was April 4, 2011. What happened, you ask? On that day, I met Campbell, a big black Labrador. As Drew Gibbon placed that leash in my hand and I began the process of getting to know this magnificent beast, my life began to turn in a new direction. For me, nothing has been the same since.
Since those long-ago days, which often don’t feel so long ago at all, my partner Campbell (or Campbell Lee, as I have renamed him) have been through both triumph and trial. We have been on top of the mountain and down in the very darkest valleys. Right now, we’re somewhere in between, but we are still together and standing strong.
Just this day, March 31, 2015, I sat with him in my arms, and I cried. I cried tears of sorrow for those who are no longer in our lives for mistakes made, and for loves lost. I cried tears of sorrow, because when I came home with my boy, I had the most awesome hopes and dreams that a young lady like me could possibly have. (Young lady was what Drew often called me.) I believed my future was bright and beautiful, that it would be filled with love from a man I thought would love me forever and from my family, who I thought would remain forever by my side. But many parts of that dream have not come to be.
Campbell and I have been through many, many changes within our four years together. But the one thing that has never changed, the one thing that never will change, is the love the two of us have for one another.
As I sat with tears running down my face earlier today, I said to Campbell, “Bubba, I’m sorry. Had I known of all the horrible things that would befall me, I would not have brought you here and exposed you to them.” As if he knew the meaning of every word I spoke, he raised his head from my lap and took my hand in his mouth. He’s been doing that as a way to reassure me since day one.
It was as if he were saying, “Really, Mom? Do you seriously think you could’ve gotten through any of this without me? And do you really think I’d have missed any of it? Wow! How much awesome love you give to me each and every day! How many awesome and fun adventures we go on! And wow! Oh, wow! The neat people we do meet!”
He loved on me, nuzzled me, and then got up and ran around the room, barking and wagging his tail, asking to play ball. So play ball we did. Once again, my tears were gone, and once again, I found the strength to stand up from yet another puddle. Once again, I found myself able to go forward.
So thanks to you, The Seeing Eye. Thanks to you, Mr. Drew Gibbon. But most of all, thanks to you, my awesome, beautiful, loving, and ever patient King Campbell Lee. You are my friend, my partner, my keeper of secrets, and my protector. For you I am ever grateful, and I will love you forever more.
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