Trip into the Big City
Written by Patty L. Fletcher
Told by, King Campbell Lee ‘The Seeing Eye Dog’ AKA Bubba
Spring and summer 2016
### When last we left King Campbell, he was settling in with the pups, after a frantic search for the wee golden who had run away had proven successful. Now, let us join him as he continues to tell his story to the wee pups at The Seeing Eye Puppy Nursery. For, soon and very soon they will leave, and go to be with their Puppy Raiser Families, and we know not what might happen afterward.
Once all the pups settled down round King Campbell, he began to speak.
Now, when last we left off, it had been decided I would indeed go home with my new human mother or mommy as I had begun to call her. During the class there had been human and dog teams which were called retrains. This meant those humans had been there before and had other dogs. They were there to get new dogs because their others had become too old to work for them anymore. Well, those teams had all gone home, and the only ones left were those of us who were all brand new. This meant the trainers had more time to work with just us. My Zelda had gone with her new human, and while I missed her very much, I had begun to really love my mommy, so I did not worry about it too much.
We worked very hard each and every day. Sometimes mommy, Trainer Drew and I would go out on two or three trips a day. We would get very tired, but we were really starting to get good at doing things together.
One day I learned that we would be going to the big city. This was a very large place, with all sorts of people places, and things. I had been there many times, and knew just what to expect, but my mommy had never been to such a place. So even though she had said yes, that she would go, I could smell she was very much afraid of it. As I curled up in my crate the night before we were to go I decided I was going to make fur sure my mommy had the time of her life, and learned just everything she could about this wondrous place.
Suddenly King Campbell felt a slight itch, and paused to scratch, just at that moment the small group of chattering shepherds asked,
“Well, what happened in the big city? Tell us…tell us!”
King Campbell laughed. “w’w’w’w’w’w’woolf! You young ones! You haven’t any patience at all!”
He rubbed his paw across his nose, and continued.
Now, that next morning after mommy had fed me my breakfast, and taken me outside, we went down to the dining room where the humans ate. After she settled me under her chair, Trainer Drew came, and began to tease her. He was trying just as was I to make sure she relaxed, and enjoyed herself. Now, although mommy laughed at all his silly jokes, which by the way I never did think were all that funny, she did not seem to be feeling all that sure about going. So when she and I headed outside to wait for Trainer Drew in front of the school, I tried to make her feel better by giving her my very best slimies ever! This did make her laugh, and soon she was scratching me behind my ears.
“Oh! Campbell you really are a beautiful love bug.”
I wanted to tell her to get new material, everyone knew I was a beautiful love bug, but on this day I just let her enjoy herself. It made her fear smell less, and I knew this was making her feel better about our trip into the big city. Soon Trainer Drew was there, and we were on our way.
Once we got to the city, Trainer Drew parked our van, and we all got out. He explained to her that we were going to go down several flights of stairs to the subway platform. Now, one of the things my mommy had been having trouble with was going down flights of stairs. Even though she knew I was trained to stop at their tops, she was frightened of falling down them. I wanted so very much for her to trust me, and was glad to see on this day she seemed to be doing better at it. Her fear smell did not get strong again until we reached the subway platform. When we got there, Trainer Drew began to explain what would happen when the subway train pulled in. He told her about the big noise it would make, and of how it would shake the platform. He told her there would be a big whoosh of air, and this must have really frightened her because I could really smell her fear. Even though I nudged her hand with my nose, she only stood there with big eyes chewing on her lip, and did not say or do anything.
Trainer Drew said, “OK we will just stand here and let a couple trains come and go, just so you can see what it will be like.”
I hoped this would make her feel better, but somehow I did not think it would. Well, after the first one came and went, her fear smell was stronger than ever, and when Trainer Drew asked her what she thought.
“I’m not sure,” she said in a small voice.
He told her we would let another come and go, and we waited. I watched as she reached out to touch his arm, and wished she would pet me instead. Trainer Drew and I both knew just how important it was for her to learn to get her strength from me, and not our trainer.
I nudged her again, and this time she understood and petted my head, but it did not seem to help as it usually did. Just then the next subway train came roaring into the station. Now, let me tell you, those are monsters too, and we must never get on to the tracks, and must always go quickly through the door of the car when they open, but if it is done right, there is nothing to fear. My mommy did not know this; I knew that where she lived they did not have them. I’d heard her say it at lunch the day before. This reminded me that Trainer Drew had not been there, and I sent a thought about it to him, in hopes he would figure it out.
You see us doggies can, if the humans are willing to hear us, send our thoughts to them. Sometimes this worked very well for Trainer Drew and me. To my happy delight just at that very moment he spoke.
“Well, I do not think you will have these in your everyday ramblings, and so I am just going to let you take my arm, and I will guide you. This way you do not get so frightened you cannot enjoy your trip.”
I was ever glad he had understood what I was thinking, and mommy must have felt better, because her fear smell all but disappeared.
Once we had gotten into the subway train car mommy relaxed, and when it was time to get out, she forgot all about being afraid, and let me take her straight out, and we stood proudly together on the platform waiting for Trainer Drew. I could smell his pride, and I was feeling very proud too. Mommy’s having done this meant she trusted me more and more, and my wish to help her learn all she could this day, and to trust me more was indeed working.
As we walked through the streets of this big city – the humans called New York, Trainer Drew was explaining all sorts of things to mommy. I could smell and feel her paying close attention, and I could tell from time to time she was afraid, but it was never very bad, and soon we were all having such fun. It seemed as if most of mommy’s fear smell was gone.
After a while Trainer Drew asked her if she were hungry, and what kind of food she liked. I remember thinking I wished he would’ve asked me, but I knew already doggies did not eat in the restaurants with their humans. They were to go inside, and lie quietly under the table or chair until the humans were finished, and that was that. I also knew begging was not allowed. Not at all! So when we got to the place we were going, even though it smelled quite yummy, I did not at all try and ask for anything. I simply lay down, and rested as mommy told me to do.
When the human man Trainer Drew called The Server, came up to the table to see what they wanted to eat he said, “Oh! What a beautiful dog.” I listened as my mommy talked to him about me, and I could hear the love and pride in her voice as she spoke. Oh! How proud this made me feel, and so happy too. I was ever so glad I had not played that horrible trick on Trainer Drew to make him think I did not like this human. As I lay there listening I learned a powerful lesson.
The little golden pup looked at him, “What did you learn King Campbell?”
He smiled a gentle smile at her, “Come here wee one, and I will explain.”
He patted the floor right next to him, and when her mother nodded her permission the wee pup scooted into his arms.
“Now,” he said, “whatever do you think I learned?”
All the pups sat quietly and looked up at this magnificent dog, and none of them spoke.
“I learned young ones that it is always best to be honest. No matter how frightened you are, no matter what you think might happen you should tell the truth. Honesty is always best. Do you understand?”
“Oh! Yes!” They all said together, “Honesty is always best!” King Campbell smiled.
While Trainer Drew and my mommy ate their lunch I took a little nap. I was a bit tired from all the walking, and keeping up with my mommy in the big city of New York. I really did need a bit of a snooze, but when they were all finished, and ready to go, and my mommy tugged my leash, I got up and took her straight away to the outside, just as she commanded me to do.
Once outside, Trainer Drew told us we were not going to ride the subway at all on the way back to the van. He said we were going to walk so we could really get a feel for what it would be like to walk together in such a big busy place. This made both me and my mommy very glad. We had come to enjoy walking together very much, and even when Trainer Drew was not teaching us, we had started doing as much of it together as we could.
Soon we were walking along, with Trainer Drew walking behind us, and at first he was describing everything to mommy so she would know what she was passing, but soon he fell silent, and at first I thought maybe he was just giving her a chance to listen to everything going on around her, but suddenly I could barely smell him. I tried to look behind me, but there were so very many people I could not do it and keep my mommy safe. All of a sudden, mommy started to turn and look behind her, and I knew this was not a good idea. I did not think Trainer Drew was far back, but I had a feeling he was not right behind us anymore. So just as she started to turn round to speak I gave my harness and leash a firm tug, and pulled her quickly along. She, not being used to me taking such control turned quickly around, but rather than correcting me for this, she told me I was a good good boy for keeping her safe while walking among all these people, and soon we were having such a good time working and walking together that we both simply forgot all about him.
Soon we had come to a street crossing, and there was Trainer Drew, right behind us after all.
Just then mommy spoke up, “For a moment there it did not feel as if you were back there at all. I suppose Campbell and I were really enjoying ourselves.”
Trainer Drew just laughed softly and said, “If I aint saying nothin it means you are doing a good job.” Mommy laughed, and I knew that everything was fine, and that we had indeed done a good job.
All too soon our trip to the big city was through, and we were back at our van, and ready to go back to the school. Just as we reached the van Trainer Drew spoke to mommy.
“Well, how did you like your first time in the big city young lady?”
Mommy said softly, “I liked it just fine, and I can’t think of anyone I’d have rather had my first trip with.”
Once again I could smell that smell of love and the golden light of love were shining bright and beautiful all around her.
That night as mommy and I began to get ready for bed she knelt down in the floor with me.
“King Campbell, I love you, and if you will be so, you can be my guide for as long as you wish.”
I gave her kisses and chewed on her hands and arms, and wagged my tale, all at the same time, and she laughed and laughed. We were going to make a fine team, and I knew it.
As King Campbell finished his story the storm began to calm. All the puppies were very tired. It had been a very long night, and so he helped their mothers get them into their beds, and as he tucked the wee golden into hers.
“Now, wee one, you’re not going to get frightened and run away again are you?”
“Oh! No! King Campbell I won’t do that anymore.”
“Very good, do you know what you should do if you become afraid about something?”
“Yes, Yes.” She said softly.
“What should you do?”
“I should go and talk to someone, and if there are no dogs around, or any other animals to talk with I should go to a human who loves me and will pet and love me.” He smiled down at her and gave her a kiss.
“You’re going to do just fine. Very good girl.” He gave a wave to them all and as the thunder faded off into the distance, so did he fade.
As the sun rose over The Seeing Eye the puppies all slept, and Campbell returned to his mother’s side.
To Be Continued
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