Written by Patty L. Fletcher
Told by, King Campbell Lee The Seeing Eye Dog AKA Bubba
Spring and summer 2016
THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The Seeing Eye, Inc.
### 1. The Journey Begins
All the wee pups gathered round. Their mothers helped to settle them in, and then drifted back to let the king tell his tail. They knew it was time for them to know. The large black Labrador sat quietly waiting for them all to snuggle up close, and get quiet. When all was silent, and you could hear nothing but the wind blowing softly through the trees outside he began to speak. His voice was gentle and deep. His eyes were kind and shown full of love in the flicker of the glow of the nightlight, shining through the darkness. He was rugged and very handsome. His fur shown black and beautiful. All the pups longed to grow up and be just like him.
Hi, my name is Bubba, well, Bubba is the nick name made of love that my human mother gave to me. My real name is King Campbell Lee Seeing Eye Dog. I have come here today to tell you a story. A story of an ancient magical place called The Seeing Eye. Now, many times when ancient magical places are told of, the stories are not real, but this story is real, and I am a real fur sure Seeing Eye Dog telling it to you. So let us begin. There are lots of things for me to tell you, and the sun will soon be coming up and my human mother will be awake. She must not find me gone; else she will be lost and afraid. Something I must tell you though is this. I was not always a king. It was not until my mother loved me that I became so.
A long, long time ago, when I was very small you know, I was taken from my dog mommy and given to a family. I thought I would stay there. I thought they’d be my forever people, but that was only the very beginning of my journey. I had many people there to love me, and they all taught me lots of neat things. They helped me to learn to sit, and come. They helped me learn to lay down, and to rest. That means to stay. They helped me to learn to go into big stores, ride in cars, plains, and trains, and to not be afraid. They helped me to learn how to lie quietly in places to eat, and while watching plays at the theater, and just all sorts of neat things. These neat people even took me on all their vacations. I tell you I couldn’t imagine a better life than the one I had with them, but turns out I didn’t even know the half of what was to come. Now, all this time, my family had been working with trainers. Trainers are very wise humans who teach dogs to use their different powers.
The puppies gasped.
A wee golden puppy spoke up shyly. “Powers? We have powers?”
King Campbell smiled. “Oh! Yes, all of us have powers. Some have powerful noses, and can sniff out bad things or people, or find lost ones. Those dogs grow up to work with Policemen, to do things like hunt down bad humans who have broken the law, or to help when small human pups are lost. Some have powers of direction though, and that is the kind of dog a ‘Seeing Eye Dog’ is. A Seeing Eye dog’s whole reason for being, is to make absolutely certain that humans who are blind can get to and from all the places they need or want to go without being harmed by things like stairs that could make them fall, or car monsters that might come roaring by when they’re really supposed to be sitting still.”
One day the family I’d lived with all this time began to talk about a special trainer I was going to go away with to a place called ‘The Seeing Eye.’ I did not want to do this. I wanted to stay with my family. I loved them. We even had a beautiful cat. The family who would raise me had gone out and gotten a wee kitten just the same age as me, so I would know how to live around a cat without frightening or hurting it. Try as I might now, I can’t remember her name. I remember we grew up together, and we were very good friends. We played many games of tag and hide and seek together, and there were many nights when she would sleep on top of my crate. I can still remember the sound of her purring.
I did not want to go, but one day I had no choice. I was taken away and I would never see those people again. I wanted to whimper. I wanted to howl, I wanted to bark and bark, but still I had to go. When I got to this place, ‘The Seeing Eye,’ everything was strange to me. I lived in what was called a kennel, and with lots of other dogs. Now, these dogs had all had families like me, and they had all been taken away from them like me, so they all understood me and how I felt. I was very very sad, but there was nothing to do about it. You see us doggies we don’t get much of a choice. The only way at all ever that we can say we don’t want to do this work is to simply refuse to do so when asked, and I have to say that once I got started I liked it.
Now, when I got to this place called ‘The Seeing Eye,’ like I say things changed lots. I had to give up living in a house, and having lots of people to play with, and pet me. I had to give up sneaking onto furniture, and laying on people’s laps and such. It was a hard thing to get used to, but after a while it was not so bad. There were neat people at this new place too. One of the wisest and ancient of them was called, Trainer Drew, and it turned out I would get to do lots of great stuff with him. Why, pretty soon we were going out almost every day. He was teaching me to play the neatest games, like leading him around while he had on a blindfold. Now, at first I did not understand this game. Soon however I was learning I was supposed to help him find steps and other things he could not see. While he had the blindfold on he might fall over and get hurt on. I learned I had to disobey him sometimes too, and that it was ok. That part was very hard, because I had to know just when to not mind him. The most important time to do this was when a big scary car monster was coming. When those came roaring by it did not matter how many times he said “Forward!” I could not do it. Even if it meant I might get into trouble cause he did not understand why I would not go, I could not make a mistake and do it because that was the most horrid thing ever! It could cause us to get killed. That just could not at all happen. Cars are the worst kinds of monsters, and we must never ever run in front of them while they are moving! It is OK to ride inside them, but walking in front of them when they’re moving is a big Pfui!
The puppies all gasped! This was a very bad word. Even they, as young as they were, knew this.
Every day Trainer Drew and I would go out. We would go here and there. We would go into places like ice cream shops, and stores. Big malls, and on busses and even on subways under the ground we would go. At first, I did not like to go underground onto the subway, the door to that thing scared me. It moved open and shut so fast, I was afraid it might get my nose, or tale. but after a while I got the hang of it, and Trainer Drew was so great about petting me and telling me what a very good good boy I was when I did things like that, pretty soon, I could not wait to do them. Oh! It was neat fun finding things to keep him away from. He would try and trick me, but I am a very smart dog, and I always have been, so pretty soon I became wise to those tricks, and it was he that got tricked in the end cause he would expect me to keep going when I was supposed to stop, but I was smart and I would make him think I was not gonna do it, but at the very last second I would stop, and he would have no choice but to praise me.
I cannot remember all we did. It has been quite a long time ago, but I know it was scary, important, and great fun. He did things like brush my fur and play fetch with me. He always smelled the most awesome of any human I ever did know. It always seemed to me that he had a cloud of chocolate all around him, and it was sometimes very hard to stay out of his pockets. I just knew there had to be treat treasures in them!
Let us never forget wee ones, that chocolate is poison though and no matter how wonderful it smells to us it could if eaten kill us. So we must never! Ever! Touch it!
King Campbell paused for just the smallest moment as he thought of those special long ago times. He took a deep breath as if to scent the air, and then continued.
After a while I got to thinking that I might just stay there always, and maybe Trainer Drew was my forever person. Once they tried to put me with another human, but we did not get along very well. I never quite understood what that was all about. I was very young, and didn’t think of it much. I was soon back in the kennel playing those fun games with Trainer Drew, and hanging out with my doggy friends, so it was ok.
Then, all of a sudden! something strange started happening. Seemed to me that, 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. So 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 did not 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 he 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?”
I sat there a minute thinking about all that. Even for a smart doggy like me it was a lot to put inside my brain. “Yes, I understand, but when we go with these people will we not get to come back here anymore, won’t we still get to play games with Trainer Drew?”
“Oh! No!” She barked. Fluffing up her beautiful fur. “No No and No! We will go with our new human and they will be our forever humans.”
“But I love Trainer Drew!” I yelped! “I do not want to go away again! I don’t want to go to another new place! I am tired of that!”
She gave me kisses and said, “Oh! Pup it’s ok you will learn to love your new forever human, you just wait.”
“I don’t wanta!” I said, and I was about to really howl, so I turned around and ran away.
All the pups looked at him with big wide eyes. They could not imagine this magnificent handsome King being scared and running away. Seeing their little faces with such big surprised eyes, King Campbell chuckled again.
I was young, you see. I just did not understand all about what wonderful things I could and would do. I only knew the thoughts of having to leave another home, and leaving someone else I loved, scared me and made me very sad. So I did all I knew then to do and that was to run. I ran and ran. I panted, and barked, and ran some more. Finally, the gate stopped me. Just then I smelled Trainer Drew, and turned to see him coming. I was relieved. I thought we would go out and play more games together.
“Hi their big guy!” he said, as he opened up the gate. “Today is a very very special day! We’re going to start getting you all ready for you to meet your forever human.”
I pulled away from him. I was still panting a bit from my running, and he petted me a bit, and I almost whimpered. I did not want to do this.
“Come on. What’s wrong with you? It’s ok.” He smoothed all my fur with his big strong gentle hands. Soon his loving gentle way had tricked me in to feeling better and I let him put the leash on my collar, and we were off. I looked back over my shoulder and I saw Zelda watching me. She gave me a smile and a wag, and that did make me feel better.
When Trainer Drew and I got to the groomer he told the lady there I had to have a bath, and he was going to get some of his other dogs. He told her they had something called a class there and he thought this time he had found my forever human. Oh! I cannot tell you how upset and afraid I was. Then, I had an idea. I
“Humph! I will just pretend to not like this human and Trainer Drew will not make me stay with them. Why, he has never let anything happen to me, never let anything make me feel sad or afraid. Surely if I let him know I am not happy he won’t make me stay.” I thought to myself with a doggy smile. “That is just what I will do.”
I let the ladies there give me a bath, and fuss over me. Much as I hated to lose my great doggy smell it did feel good to get petted all over, scratched in all the right places, and loved. So that part was not so bad.
Finally, all us dogs that were to go to this thing called a class were bathed brushed, and ready to go. Trainer Drew was back, and soon he had us all gathered up and crated in our crates in the back of his van. We drove only a little way, and then, one by one Trainer Drew took dogs away with him. I watched as my friends Trooper, Gavin, and Zelda all went away with him. When Zelda had gone, she’d looked back over her shoulder at me, and although she too was a bit frightened, she gave me a wag and a smile. She was so brave, and beautiful, and I was frightened I’d never ever see her again. I felt all by myself and very afraid. Then Trainer Drew was back, and hooking a leash to my collar.
“Come on big guy. You’re really gonna like this young lady. She is real nice, and sweet. She has a beautiful loving heart, and I just know she is going to be so very happy to have you. She, like you needs lots of love and one of the important things you will do, is to love her. You will keep her safe, and not let anything happen to her. She is new at this. You will be her very first guide ever, and so you will have to be patient, and not think she is a dumb human when she doesn’t give the right commands, or know just what will happen next. I think you are a very smart doggy and you can do this.” He petted me all over and loved me to him. “You are a very very good boy, and you have been a very good dog for me, learning all the things you’ve had to learn, and now you’re going to make me very proud.”
He told me he loved me. I licked his face all over. I chewed on his hands and arms, and then I almost howled right then and there! My heart was pounding, I just did not want to go, but soon we were going into this really big building, and I could smell all kinds of new smells. Much as I wanted to stop and smell every one, I knew I must not. Trainer Drew had taught me not to do such. Not even when my harness was not on, and I knew this was an important day and he wanted me to be good, so good I must be, even though it was very hard.
The King stopped and looked round him. The puppies were starting to get sleepy. He saw a few Labradors had found their mothers and were starting to nurse. He smiled and stood up stretching as he did.
I will come back another day and tell the rest. For now, I must go. The sun will be rising soon, and my mother must not find me away.
The puppies all ran up to him. They yipped and chattered excitedly. They sniffed and licked him and he stood patiently letting them do it until their mothers came to collect them.
Finally, they were all gone away and there was only he and one other dog in the room. She was an older dog, and he wondered who she was. As he stood there looking at her, her fur began to shimmer, and suddenly he smelled the beautiful smell of love. Then, he realized she was a spirit dog, and for a moment he could not speak.
“Dog Mother?” he said ever so softly.
She ran to him then, giving him the sweetest kisses he had ever ever known.
“Oh! My big beautiful most wonderful son!” She nearly howled with happiness. “I am so very very proud of you, and what you have become. You are ever so special, and you have done such wonderful things. I have heard all of them and I am so proud of who you have become. Why, there are even things written of you.”
He stood silent. He really did not feel special. To him the things he did were just the things he had always known he was to do, and he loved doing them. Finally, he lifted his nose, and gave a wag of his tale.
“I love my human mother. She is good, kind, and always smells of love just as you do now.”
The old spirit dog gave him one last lick, and as she did the first morning birds began to sing.
“I must go.” He said. “I love you Spirit Dog Mother. Thank you for giving me this life.”
As he spoke he began to fade, and soon he was back in the bed he shared with his human mother. He stretched out beside her and sighed a contented sigh. She seemed to have heard him, and reaching over in her sleep to give him a pet.”
“I love you my Bubba. You are ever special to me. You are truly a king.” She said.
Later that morning, King Campbell and his human mother took a walk in the yard. The morning birds were singing and a gentle rain was falling all around. As they walked, and he sniffed, she sang.
“Listen to the birds sing.
Listen to the chimes ring.
Listen to King Campbell’s bell ringing.
Listen to the rain fall.
Listen to my heart call.
Listen to King Campbell’s bell ringing.”
They walked back into the house together, and as she knelt to dry him she threw her arms around his neck.
“Oh! My Bubba, I do love you!” He snuffled her and nuzzled her with love.
“My human mother, I love you too,” he replied, in his very best doggy language
To Be Continued
King Campbell, or Bubba if you please and I hope you have enjoyed chapter one of our magical tail.
Now, should you wish to do so, you may visit the link shown at the beginning of our story and should your heart be so moved, you may donate to this most wondrous organization. It is our greatest desire that you would find it within your heart to donate, and when you do that you would let them know the money is to go to either their breeding program, or their puppy raiser program. We also hope you will let them know of this tail and in what way it has touched your heart. We’d like to thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity as well.
We invite you to come back next week for yet another chapter of this magical and love filled tail.
Thank you for reading. May harmony find you. Blessid Be.