Paws on the Street – 13-Years-Ago Today – King Campbell A.K.A. Bubba and Chief Seeing Eye Dog Blue

Paws on the Street – 13-Years-Ago Today – King Campbell A.K.A. Bubba and Chief Seeing Eye Dog Blue

13-Years-Ago Today – Pathway to Freedom

By, Patty L. Fletcher

Moon Phase Waning Gibbous

I’d like to invite you to enjoy the following.

Then, because there are others out there suffering in silence as I did, I’d like to invite you to share.

Good morning, everyone.

I hope you are all doing well.

Today makes 13 years since I brought home my first guy dog Campbell.

13 years ago, at this time of day I was sitting in the common lounge at The Seeing Eye with my classmates, sharing a bit of breakfast, exchanging excited and terrified conversations, readying to take a step into a new part of my life.

Those who knew me then, and know me now, will tell you, I am not the same person I was then no, not at all.

13 years later, and with my second guide, I know what it means to be raised to a new level of consciousness, I know so much more and realize even more still about myself, my body, my spirit, my mind, my soul.

I have healed certain parts of my mental illness with the help of the Holy Spirit, and a lot of supported friends. I have been brave, and walked away from things which were unhealthy people which were unhealthy places which were unhealthy, even parts of worship, which were unhealthy for me.

I have allowed myself to find the place for me in my life at this time. I struggle yet I am gratified. I am blessed with the gift of being able to find a wonderful, shiny nugget of gold in the midst of a whole lot of nothingness. Rocks, sand, slimy, water, surround, burned out shells, ash, yet the shiny nugget of gold shines and sparkles.

I know that I am alive because I can look behind me and see the wreckage of my life.

I am able to laugh in the face of adversity.

I am able to find beauty no matter where it is.

I speak the truth.

I have been described as someone who “does not mince words “?

I never could see the point.

Speak true, be impeccable with your word.

It took a long time for me to learn to do that.

Now I am hole in that respect.

I am learning, temperance, guidance, gentleness. I am learning those things while continuing to be assertive.

I am learning to stand up for me and who I am.

I am learning not to be afraid of that.

I have done wonderful things, stupid things, scary things amazing things and really really really really messed up dumb things.

I am alive to tell about them all.

I have learned from them all.

I am so happy to be alive.

I am so happy to be free to be me.

I say to you all of you whoever you are wherever you are whatever you are doing.

Be true to yourself. Follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid. Take those steps. Reach out, leave your comfort zone.

I did that.

Here I am!

😅. Happy face icon

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Originally posted at: https://www.facebook.com/patty.fletcher.108/

More about Patty L. Fletcher and her work…

The cover of "Pathway to Freedom". 
A garden with rocks and pebbles, surrounded by grass and trees. To the left, a bench sits below a tree with a seated dog silhouetted 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 darker gold and with black shadowing.

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.

Excerpts…

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.

Chapter Fifteen: A False Start

Ring Around the Runway…

Once we were on the plane and settled in our seat, I began to arrange my things for the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Then the fun began. For the next three hours, we made our way from one part of the runway to another. There were bad storms in the area, and our flight had been delayed. For a while, I dozed. When Campbell got restless, I requested a cup of ice for him. Since I had no seatmate, I allowed him to stand and gave him a good ear rub while feeding him pieces of ice. He happily took them from my hand and gave me thankful kisses in return.

“You’re welcome, Bug,” I laughed.

Finally, the pilot made the announcement we’d all been dreading. Our flight had been cancelled, and we’d be going back to the terminal. Eventually, the flight attendant appeared beside me, ready to escort me off the plane.

I put Campbell’s harness back on and got him into position—which, as Drew had predicted, was no easy task. Finally, I had him situated, and then I learned we wouldn’t be exiting the airplane via the jetway since it was already in use by other planes. The ground crew was bringing a large set of stairs. The stairs were put in place, and when it was time for us to leave, I didn’t think there would be any problem.

Afraid and on Our Own…

Boy, was I wrong! It turned out that these stairs were very high, and the platform at the top was grated and see-through.

Campbell, having been trained to avoid such things, sat down in the doorway of the plane and said in his best doggie language. ‘NO WAY! Aint nothin’ good gonna come from that,’

Knowing I had to get us down, I began a gentle dialog. “Come on, Bug. Hup…Hup… Let’s go now. Let’s get on back to the airport.”

“Ma’am?” one of the security guards called, “would you like us to carry him down for you? He looks a little flipped out.”

I thought the idea over and shook my head. “I’d best try and talk him down. We might encounter this some other time, so we may as well overcome it now. Besides, if he got really freaked from being picked up, he might jump from your arms. A fall like that could end his career before it even begins. Spot me, and let me know when I’m coming to the edge of the stairs.”

“All right, but be careful.”

My fear of heights nearly overtook me. I knew the stairs were possibly as much as twenty-five feet off the ground. Neither Campbell nor I were the least bit happy about our situation, but I tossed my terror aside and turned myself around, so my back was to the stairs. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The wind blew hard, shaking the metal platform beneath us. Campbell shivered with fright, and panic bubbled inside me…

Chapter Twenty-Two: A Double Life

The Nightmare Begins…

Sitting there, trying to compose an email to my volunteers, people who were so much a part of my life, they felt like family. I didn’t know how much longer I could go on pretending everything was all right. If Lynn had doubts… But I had to force those things from my mind. Drew would be here soon, and as much as I loved Donnie, Drew’s visit meant the world to me, and I wanted nothing to ruin it.

Just as I poised my fingertips over the keys to begin my email, the phone rang.

“Hello? 2 1 1, how can I help…”

Donnie’s voice interrupted me. “Patty, the police are here. They’re allowing me to phone you to let you know they’re taking me into custody.”

My heart leaped into my throat, and for a moment, I couldn’t breathe. “What… What do I do?” I asked in a choked whisper. “Donnie, what do I do?”

“Honey, take a breath. Calm down. As soon as we hang up, call my lawyer. Tell him they’ve picked me up and have him come to the jail. We’ll be leaving as soon as they catch Rocky.”

“Rocky? What do you mean?”

“When the officers opened the door, Rocky took off. A couple deputies are chasing him.”

I suddenly felt like I’d been dropped into a poorly written episode of ‘Cops.’ “Do you mean to tell me they’re chasing that dog?”

“Yes, they can’t very well go off and leave him loose. I have to secure the house. Listen, honey, I love you. Don’t be afraid. I’ve got to go.”

With that, he hung up. For a moment, I simply sat, unable to do anything more than hold the phone in my hand. When it began to buzz with a busy signal, letting me know the line had disconnected, I put the receiver back into the cradle and sat there at my desk, my face buried in my hands, trying hard not to fall apart.

When I finally got myself together, I made the call to the lawyer’s office. Then I pressed the intercom button for the conference room where Lynn was holding a meeting. When his voice came onto the line, I said, “Lynn, I’ve got an emergency at home. I’m going to call the volunteer on duty after me, let her know I must leave, and then I’ve got to go.”

He didn’t question me. We’d been waiting for a day such as this, and to confirm, he asked, “Are you sure Donnie can’t help you with this?”

Taking a breath to steady my voice so those in the meeting wouldn’t be alarmed, I answered, “No, sir. I’m sorry, but he’s been detained for the evening.”

Get this and all Patty’s other books here.

https://www.amazon.com/stores/Patty-L.-Fletcher/author/B00Q9I7RWG?


Patty L. Fletcher

Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled

Favorite Photos of King Campbell.

*Note*

These photos were provided by Plaisted Publishing House.

King Campbell sitting outside. This is the image used for the digital art of King Campbell with his robe and crown.

Campbell wriggling on his back.

Campbell Sitting in the sun Campbell wriggling on his back

Campbell resting with his head on a pillow

Campbell in the garden looking dirty.

Campbell with his head on a pillow A dirty looking Campbell

Campbell asleep in his arm chair.

Campbell looking serious, lying on the carpet.

Campbell lying in an arm chair Campbell lying on the Carpet

Photos of Blue and Patty…

Patty and her guide dog Blue. Patty has her hair tied back in a low ponytail and rests her right hand on Blue's head. She wears a white shirt with a pink and purple butterfly on the front and light blue shorts. Blue is a handsome black lab. He wears a brown leather harness with a handle attached to the back and is smiling at the camera as he sits in front of Patty. In the background is a brick building with white, windowed doors and a flowerpot overflowing with pink and yellow blooms.

4 Comments

  1. The book is wonderful. I love you, Patty, and I’m proud of the astounding progress you’ve made in thirteen years. Getting out of and healing from an abusive relationship is incredibly difficult. I know of what I speak.

    1. Domestic violence is a hideous thing and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. People think it’s always husband and wife, but that is not true.
      Thanks for reading. I’ll share to your page.
      Love and hugs.

  2. Robbie Cheadle Reply
    May 3, 2024

    Hi Patty, this is a great post. A lot of people can find encouragement from your words.

    1. Hi, Robbie.
      I’m always hopeful when people read my work, whether it is fiction or nonfiction that they come away with something which helps to strengthen them.
      I was so alone during parts of what I write of here. I know part of that was by choice. I mean, I chose to hide those parts of my life. But having a book a place where you can take your secret self and read that there are others in similar hells as you, that’s helpful and I learned that through reading similar works. Afterward, I just decided I had to tell my stories.
      I hope I can keep telling them forever.

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