Patty L. Fletcher
Told by King Campbell Lee Seeing Eye Dog AKA Bubba
Spring and Summer 2016
THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The Seeing Eye, Inc.See: www.SeeingEye.org
### 2. Learning To Use Team Power
One late night as King Campbell lay curled on the foot of his human mother’s bed, he heard the faint tinkle of dog tags off in the distance. He new it was time to travel again to the puppy nursery. It was time to tell the next part of his tail. He stretched himself out, and after making sure to clean his human mother’s hands and give her a good night kiss while putting his cold nose into her ear he let himself drift away.
Soon he was in the nursery and little puppies were yipping, chattering, and running all over. They’d grown since he’d been there last. He was surprised to see just how much. There was so much yet for them to understand. They would leave this place soon, and go to be with families like he had, and then they would do all the things he had already told them of. He wanted to tell them more about it so once they were all in different places, they would be ready for what was to come.
As the dog mothers settled all the puppies around him, he sat himself down.
“Shush now, King Campbell wants to talk with you. Let us have quiet.” He said.
All the puppies grew very quiet and still. One very small female golden retriever puppy came creeping up on her tummy. He could see she wanted to be near; he reached out a big paw, drawing her closer. He began to speak.
When I left off, I was telling you of how Trainer Drew was taking me to meet this new human. I knew he wanted this human to be my forever human, but I did not want this. I’d already made up my mind that I was not going to like her, no matter how kind and loving Trainer Drew said she was. I had already decided I’d just let him know I was unhappy and I believed he would take me back to the kennel and let me live there and play games with him forever!
A small group of excitable chattering shepherd pups spoke all at once.
“That isn’t right is it? Didn’t happen like that did it? What did you do? How come…?”
King Campbell raised a paw, and smiling said, “Rest now! I shall tell you all!”
The pups grew silent again, and again King Campbell began to speak.
Well, let me tell you all, I just was not ready at all for what happened next. 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 said “Come in!” 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 that was alright because it was her smell I wanted to know more of. I tugged at the leash trying to show Trainer Drew I wanted to go forward and sniff this human.
He brought me to her and said, “This is Campbell. C A M P B E L L.” He had spelled my name for her. This made me feel way important.
“Oh! What a neat and interesting name for a dog.” She said.
Her voice was beautiful too. To me it sounded like love would sound if it had a voice, and suddenly I knew that smell. That was the smell of loving. I went to her then, and we began to explore each other. She felt of me, and I smelled and tasted of her. Soon Trainer Drew was leaving, and although I was just a bit afraid for him to go, I was so curious about this lady – he had called Patty – that I did not really mind if Trainer Drew left for a while. I decided I kind of well, I thought I might like this lady like Trainer Drew had said. She had already gotten in the floor with me and was snuggling and loving on me. She knew all the very best places to pet, and when she found my favorite spot on the very first try I was way surprised, and happy. I showed her by wagging my tale round and round as fast as I could, and it made her laugh. Her laughter made me wag even more, and to me it sounded like beautiful music.
We sat there on the floor with each other a while. We were just trying to get to know one another, and even though I was feeling kind of scared, and I could smell that she was too it was still ok. After a little while she spoke to me.
“Campbell, do you want to be my guide?”
I was really surprised. I had not known anyone would ask me. I thought about all the games Trainer Drew and I had played to help me get ready for this day. Then I remembered what Zelda had said to me, and I looked up at this lady, and wagging my tale put my mouth around her hand, and gave her my very best slimies. I hoped she would know this meant I’d like to give it a try.
We stayed like that together with her petting me, and me smelling of her, just getting to know one another for how long I do not know. Somehow time had stopped, and it was as if a magik spell had been put upon us, but then suddenly there was Trainer Drew. It seemed as though my new human and I had both sensed him at the very same moment, for just as he came inside and spoke we both turned our heads to look at him.
“Oh! It is as if I have always loved him.” My new human said.
It seemed as though I could hear just the faintest whisper of tears in Trainer Drew’s voice when he replied.
“I think he might just feel the same about you.”
Then I learned I was going to walk with her. She put my harness on me and somehow she already knew how. She and Trainer Drew talked about what she should do when we began together, and soon we were walking. Trainer Drew had been right though. She did not seem to understand about this game at all. We made it through the door and out into the hall without even one missed step, but as we started down the hall, she reached out to touch the wall beside her. This confused me, but Trainer Drew was there and he explained to her what she should do.
“No! Don’t touch the wall. You’ll encourage the dog to run you into things if you do!”
She seemed mixed up and sad. For a minute I thought I smelled tears. She looked up at Trainer Drew.
“But, Mr. Gibbon if I don’t touch the wall, how can I see where I am going?” she asked in a shivery voice.
For just a minute I thought Trainer Drew would laugh. I remembered how it felt when Zelda laughed at me. Although I’d learned later she couldn’t help it, and had meant no harm, it had hurt my feelings at first, and suddenly I did not want this human’s feelings hurt at all. I wanted her to understand the game.
Trainer Drew made the laughter smell go away, we were walking again, and pretty soon we were at a door leading to the outside. Then to my surprised delight there were Trooper, Gavin, and even my beautiful Zelda! I wanted to bark hello to them, but just then Zelda turned from looking up at her human and gave me a wink, and somehow I knew to bark hello might not be the right thing to do.
As we started through the door, my new human tripped, and almost fell. I did not want this, and before I knew what I was doing I was making sure to stop at every step for her, and making sure that if she did fall, because either she did not know what I wanted of her, or I did not know for sure what she wanted of me, to give her gentle kisses. You know? Just so she would know it was alright.
Soon this new lady, Trainer Drew and I along with my other friends and their new humans were going out to the same places where Trainer Drew and I had played games together. The neat part about this was, I was getting to teach her the games. It was starting to become great fun for me. Especially when we did it right. She would get so excited and pet and love on me so much when we did. Sometimes I thought I might burst with love for her. By this time I’d forgotten all about my plan to try to trick Trainer Drew into believing I did not like my new human, and instead I was simply learning to love her more and more each day.
Just then the little group of chattering shepherds said, “We knew it! You did love her!”
Their mothers came quickly to shush them, and when it was quiet again King Campbell continued.
She was scared sometimes, and I did not like that smell. I did not like the tears she cried either. She would cry them when she would become confused about what to do, or when she was feeling not so sure, but soon we were learning to really help each other, and we were becoming what Trainer Drew called a team. I realized this was more of the power I had. I realized she had it too, and I wanted to show her how to use it right.
Just then the wee golden asked, “Humans have powers too?”
King Campbell smiled down at the wee one.
“Oh! Yes! Most times humans have many powers they don’t even know they do.”
One day we had been out in the rain for a very long time. We were working harder and harder with one another each day. We had many things to learn together, and Trainer Drew knowing this was taking us out on long trips together making sure to teach us everything we needed to know to work safely together, if we should indeed go away with one another to the far away land where my new human lived.
On this day my new human was feeling tired, and I could smell pain coming from her too. She had fallen many times already that day, and many times I had smelled tears, but still Trainer Drew made her do things over and over. Suddenly she tripped! Even though I had stopped and tried to show her a big crack in the way she had still fallen. I knew it hurt. I could smell her pain and tears. Trainer Drew finally seeing my mommy was too tired to play anymore games reached to help her up.
“Come on honey, let’s go back to the school and get cleaned up for dinner.”
Now, like I say, she had been having a very hard day, and she pushed Trainer Drew’s hand away and shouted at him.
“I can’t do this anymore! I am tired, and…” Then she had put her face into her hands and begun to cry.
Now, this scared me. I could smell Trainer Drew becoming upset with her, and I could smell her tears. Oh! I did not want this. Before I could do anything I heard him say in his most fierce Trainer Drew voice,
“OK then, let’s get you back to the school, and I will make arrangements to send you home!”
The puppies gasped! And the little puppy snuggling with him whimpered into his thick shining fur,
“Oh! No! He wouldn’t have done it?”
King Campbell raised his paw, and a hush fell over the room. All the puppies looked at him with huge eyes and open mouths, waiting for him to go on. Finally when all was still again he again began to speak.
Well, let me tell you I did not want my new human to go home without me. Even though I was still very unsure of all I felt. I knew for sure I loved this human and I did not wish to be away from her. I nudged her with my nose, and gave her kisses. I kissed her all over, and suddenly I smelled the most beautiful smell of them all. I smelled strength and love mixed all up together, and the beautiful smell was coming from my new human. The light of shimmering gold was shining brighter than ever before around her.
She stood slowly, and took my harness handle in her hand. She turned us around.
“To heck with that!” and said to me, “Campbell! Forward!” and Oh! How we did go! She gave me left hand signals, and right hand signals, and she made all of them just right, she did not miss one step. I wagged my tale round and round faster and faster! I wanted to make sure she knew that I was proud of her, and that she knew she was doing right. Soon we were right back at our training lounge, and going inside. Why, we had done such a great job, we had run right off and left Trainer Drew far behind. I was so proud of my mommy and she of me that we had a big love fest right then and there, and when Trainer Drew finally did come inside he told her what a great job she had done, and darned if she did not pet me all up all over again.
That was a great day to be sure, but scary too. I almost lost her that day and I never wanted to feel that scary feeling again.
All too soon, there was new talk in the air. Trainer Drew had started talking to mommy, (That’s what I’d started calling her by that time) about what would happen for she and I when she took me home with her. Now, this made me feel a little afraid. I’m not ashamed to say. I knew that she lived in a very faraway land, and I did not know if I would ever see any of my friends again.
As it turned out, both of us were unsure and it seemed – for a while at least – to cause a bit of trouble. I was starting to feel a bit confused myself. On one paw, I loved this new lady very much. She could and would – if I let her – be my mommy, and my handler. On the other paw I’d become very close to Trainer Drew. I loved the kennel, and I was not sure I wanted to go, but I also knew just how much this new human mommy of mine wanted me to go home with her. So near the end of our class I began to work harder than ever, doing all I could to make it happen. I’d decided I loved her, and well, I did love an adventure. This going to a faraway land seemed like an adventure, and so it was decided. I would indeed go home with her.
Soon the night was slipping toward day, and King Campbell stood and stretched himself. He knew he must get back to his mother before the morning’s light. As he prepared to go the littlest pup, who had been snuggled close to him all that night came creeping up close again,
“King Campbell?” She said in a small shy voice. He turned and looked down at her.
“Yes, my wee one? What is it?”
“Please? King Campbell, can you not stay just a bit longer? We do love your stories so very much, and our mothers tell us it won’t be long before we too will be going away to live with families just like you did.” Her wee voice shivered as she spoke.
He crouched down in the floor and leaning in close, he said, “I promise to come back again before you go and finish the entire story. Do not be so afraid wee one. You are going to do great things. I just know it.” He gave her a little kiss and standing said gently, “Now run along to bed. I will see you again very soon.”
He watched as she scampered off to find her mother and then once again as the morning birds began to sing he faded away. Again he reappeared beside his human mother, and snuggling close to her and fell fast asleep.
To Be Continued