Paws on the Street Part Fifteen – Blue, Dad and the Imaging Center
By Patty L. Fletcher
December 13, 2021
Moon Phase Waxing Gibbous
Blue and I caught the door-to-door van at just before 9 this morning. We’d already had our walk and Blue and Eddy’s feed time, but the animals and I all felt a bit discombobulated because my morning’s routine hadn’t been quite the same.
I had to fast, which meant no coffee or food was made. My appointment time being as it was, meant I didn’t attend the morning’s ACB Presents the Daily Schedule Community Call.
Somehow, having those holes in my routine threw the morning’s balance off but when Blue saw the van waiting at the curb all other issues were forgotten.
Blue’s tail was wagging a mile a minute as he bounced his way to the van leading me along in his wake and when we reached the door and steps he bounced up and onto the van so quickly, I could barely keep up.
Earlier my dad had surprised me by texting at just before 8 saying, “I’m awake and am going to get up, get dressed and meet you at the imaging center to sit with Blue while you have your test.” So, I was a bit concerned about how Blue would behave when we got there, and he saw dad. You see, Blue keeps forgetting he is not a puppy and can at times become a bit over exuberant. But when we got to the Center and the van door opened, I said, “Hi dad, remember, don’t talk to Blue until we get situated.”
And that my friends was that. Blue led me carefully down the steps and onto the ground. Then, when I said, “Forward, Inside.” He went quick as a flash to the door and when it opened, he took me inside and then stopped to await further instruction.
“So, how can I best help?” Dad asked.
“I’ll have him follow you and we’ll go onto the counter to sign in.”
As it turned out, we had to go to three different check in counters before I was all signed in and ready to wait for my test, but Blue’s work was amazing and when we were done and I said, “OK Blue find a seat.” He went over and laid his nose in an empty chair. Then, he looked up at me as if to say, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I petted and praised then we all sat down to wait.
We sat idly chatting for several minutes when suddenly, a woman’s voice called, “My husband and I were here earlier, and we sat there to wait. My wedding ring has fallen off and, well, may I have a look in the chairs?”
“Certainly.” I said as I stood and heeled Blue around having him sit on my left side out of the way. As she leaned down Blue stretched his neck to have a sniff but feeling his movement, I snapped the leash saying, “Pfui! Leave! It! You do not sniff people without their permission.”
The lady laughed but I could hear the despair in her voice as she and my dad looked but continued to come up empty.
Just when I thought she might give up and cry my dad said, “Hey! Look there!”
“Oh! You found it!” The woman nearly shouted with glee and relief. “Thank you so much! Oh, thank you! Merry Christmas.”
Settling back into our chairs I said, “Well that was great.”
“Yeah.” Dad agreed. I’ve done my good deed for the day.
“Actually, you’ve done two back-to-back.” I praised.
“Oh, you don’t count.” Dad said with a chuckle tapping me on the arm with a paper he’d been reading.”
Soon they were calling my name and as I stood, Blue stood as well. Handing the leash to my father I said, “OK Blue, you stay here. Rest.”
Blue complied by lying down at dad’s feet, but it was more than evident he disapproved.
When I came out and dad handed me the leash as I reached down to pet Blue, I could feel his muscles tensing to spring up onto his hind feet, but I gently petted saying, “Good boy. Mommy’s back. Let’s just rest and love.”
After a few minutes of snuggling which is Blue’s most favorite thing in the world he was calm and ready to work again. As dad stood to leave, he asked, “Are you riding the van back home, or do you want me to take you?”
“I’ll just call the van and have them come back. It’s easier to ride in the van with Blue.”
“OK. I’ll wait with you until they come and then I’m going to get gas for the car and go home to take a nap.”
We laughed as we started toward the front lobby.
Once again Blue’s work was great. He followed dad perfectly except for a couple times when he saw a better way at which point, he took charge of navigation.
“Now, you see why I call him Chief Blue.” I laughed as Blue slipped in front of dad to take me to a row of seats.
“He is doing an excellent job Patty. I think if you give him time, he’ll be a great dog.”
This nearly brought me to tears. It’s been a long road getting my dad on board where my guide dogs are concerned. He’s read my books and not only does this make me proud it helps him to understand being with me.
When we arrived home, Prince Edward met us at the door with a loud, “Meow! Hello! I thought you’d never get home. Meow! My bowl is empty. How dare you stay gone long enough to let my bowl become empty.”
“Oh Eddy, you’ve still got kibble.” I said as I petted him with one hand and scratched round in his bowl of kibble with the other.
“Meow! Kibble! What? You expect me to eat that stuff that looks like gravel out of the driveway! Meow! Canned and Neow!”
Laughing, I complied with his wishes, cleaned out the bowl for his canned food and as I popped the top on a fresh can Eddy said, “MURRP!” in the sweetest voice he could muster.
“Yes, there you are master. Your second meal of the day.” I cooed as I sat the food before him, and he began noisily scarfing it down.
“Goodness, you’re surely not starving. Slow down.”
“MURRP!” He said round a mouthful of food.
Just then, Blue came bouncing up on his toes. “BARK!”
“Now, what do you want?”
“Alexa. What time is it?” I asked.
“The time is 10:06 AM.”
“Ah, time for our mid-morning walk. Sun to sun, a guide dog handler’s work is never done.”
Updated – October 2021
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. In July 2021, she returned to The Seeing Eye® and was paired with a Black Labrador Golden Retriever cross named Blue.
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.
Patty’s hobbies include reading, music, and attending book clubs via Zoom.
Some of her favorite types of tunes are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country.
Patty enjoys fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. She loves books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Norah Roberts, and many more. Some favorite books include Norah Roberts’ Hide Away, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
Patty describes herself as a spiritual Walker. She says she knows both Mother Goddess and Father God and embraces all they have to offer.
AUTHOR PAGES AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS…
Patty & Pals
Bob Cat & Friends
A most excellent interview
My Anthology Links
December Awethology Light https://www.books2read.com/u/3yPZvB
A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaAML
Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The
Seeing Eye, Inc: www.SeeingEye.org