Pathway to Freedom. How a Seeing-Eye Dog Retrieved My Life – Broken and Healed, Book One.
A garden with rocks and pebbles are surrounded by grass and trees. A bench sits below a tree with a silhouette of a dog sitting on the grass in front of it. An ethereal glow of gold and green shines through the middle of the picture with the title of the book written in fantasy style lettering in a darker shade of gold with black shadowing.
Pathway to Freedom, Book Cover
In this, the first book in her memoir trilogy, Pathway to Freedom – Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, Patty shares how her decision to gain complete independence with the help of ‘The Seeing Eye Guide Dog’ school in Morris Town, New Jersey, reveals to her a glimpse into worlds she had never before known existed.
Once home from ‘The Seeing Eye’ she soon begins to realize all is not right in her world.
Watch your step as you journey down the pathway with Patty and Campbell, for there are many obstacles along the way. There are triumphs and tribulations, tears and fears, but through it all that forever guide by her side, King Campbell works tirelessly to keep her safe from harm.
Chapter Two: Journey to the Seeing Eye
No Good Excuse…
April second, 2011, finally arrived, and it was time to go. My dad was in the driveway waiting; my luggage was loaded. I stood at the door with tears in my eyes, saying my goodbyes. On what should have been one of the most exciting days of my life, I was upset. Why? Because as had become the norm more and more of late, Donnie was putting himself before me. Furthermore, he had no good excuse for his selfishness.
I’d asked Donnie to come with us to the airport, and he’d refused. His excuse was he had his son that weekend, and his son had a friend over. My dad had told us more than once it wouldn’t be a problem; he’d even offered to let the boys hang out and watch planes take off and land after I’d gone, but Donnie still wouldn’t go. I asked him why, but he never gave me a straight answer. Considering we’d argued about my going the night before, to me, the answer was obvious. Though he’d never admit it in front of his son or my dad, he simply didn’t want me to go. He was pissed off because I was going ahead against his wishes.
As I started to step out, I decided to try once more. I loved him so very much. Why could he not enjoy this with me? What did I have to do to make him realize I wouldn’t stop loving him or needing him once I had this dog?
“Donnie?” I pleaded. “Please, come with us? This is one of the most important days of my life. I want and need you to share it with me.”
“No!” he exclaimed in a low, gruff voice. “I told you last night, if you do this, I won’t be here when you get back.”
“Fine. I’d suggest you get packed, and don’t bother leaving anything behind to come back for later,” I growled in a low, harsh whisper, suddenly furious. He wasn’t bullying me out of this. “I’m done dealing with you and your bullying ways. Just one question.” I sneered.
“What?” He snapped.
“What are you going to do without my income once I’m back and reclaim my job? The stupid idea you’ve got they’re going to want you more than me, well, it’s just what I said, stupid. Lynn would never fire me and hire you, and he’d never demote me and put you over me. You’re just full of horseshit. Stay here; be an ass. I don’t care. This time, I’m having my way, and if you don’t like it, fine. I’m not your mom. You can’t throw a hissy fit and make me change my mind.”
I stood for another minute, but finally, there was nothing to do but go on without him. So, I wiped away my tears as best I could, said goodbye, and was on my way.
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020, she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is her hope to return ® to The Seeing Eye one day for a successor guide.
Patty is excited to report she will be returning to The Seeing Eye on July 19, 2021 where she will be paired with her second Seeing Eye Guide Dog.
Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.
WHERE SHE LIVES AND WORKS…
Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.
She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.
Patty writes with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.
King Campbell was such a loved dog, and Patty would like to share some of her memories via Photos. These images were taken over the early years, and some of those stories will be in book two. Enjoy.
Campbell Sitting in the sun Campbell wriggling on his back
Campbell with his head on a pillow A dirty looking Campbell
Campbell lying in an armchair Campbell lying on the Carpet
Bio for King Campbell aka Bubba
King Campbell was born in Chester, N.J. November 28, 2008.
He lived with his Dog Mother and Litter Mates until he was approximately eight weeks old, and then he went to live with his Puppy Raisers.
Then, when he was just over a year-old, he was taken away from his Puppy Raiser family by a wise and ancient trainer, so he could go and live in the magickal and ancient land of The Seeing Eye, where his training began.
After only four short months, on April 4, 2011, he was chosen to become the guide of his human Mother Patty L. Fletcher.
He went to live in the land of Kingsport, Tennessee, with her. There they lived a wonderful life together from April 29 of 2011 until September 24, 2020, during which they had many magickal and at times challenging adventures, but through it all, King Campbell did his very best to keep all he loved safe from harm.
King Campbell is survived by his human Mother Patty Lyne Fletcher, human sister Polly Telucia Fletcher Hensley, and her husband and six children, Grandfather Earl Fletcher JR. Aunts Mary Fletcher, and Joan Norris. His adopted Uncle Dave Light, his now-retired trainer Drew Gibbon and various staff from The Seeing Eye. As well as many friends worldwide, including his editor and publisher Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing House Services, his attending veterinarians DR. Hyatt and DR. Gray, and other beloved staff from Colonial Heights Animal Hospital. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
If you would like to honor him, donations in his name, Campbell Lee Fletcher, may be made at http://www.SeeingEye.org