Paws on the Street Part Twenty-Seven – Bouncing Through the Raindrops, Clay Building and V*T in the Afternoon
By Patty L. Fletcher
Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue
April 14, 2022
This week has been amazingly busy. We went to our favorite grocery store/deli which also contains a Starbucks® on Monday, did a little bit of shopping, making sure to grab a pack of chocolate chip muffins, then, after checking out we went upstairs to sit in their little eating area overtop the store and the tradition of ‘Muffin Monday’ was reborn.
We also enjoyed visiting with our good friend Uncle Dave who does a live radio show there each day, featuring nonprofits and some
small businesses who make a difference in our community. He also reads the community calendar of events coming up in the area, most of which are put on by those nonprofits and small businesses he’s interviewing.
It was great fun and as it turned out, thus far, the entire week has been so.
Tuesday, we attended what was for us, the first cookout of the season here in our apartment complex. It was such fun meeting folks I’d not gotten to know yet and catching up with friends I’ve made but hadn’t seen in a while.
We had hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, pasta salad and cake for dessert.
There were also chips and other salty munchies but because I’m trying to avoid salt, I stayed away from them.
I did snag two chocolate chip granola bars for late night book reading munching but, well, you know a girl’s got to have her priorities.
Blue’s behavior during the cookout was exceptionally good. We did have a couple of moments when he was staring down someone who was eating a burger, but I quickly brought him in line with a soft correction with the leash accompanied by a stern, “Leave It!” from me. After that, we heard no more from the chief.
Wednesday was the busiest. Our day began at just after 5:30 in the morning, with the making of coffee, washing face, brushing teeth and hair and then, climbing back into bed, propping up on pillows and doing a little work on the computer before getting ready for Clay Building later in the day.
Later in the morning, Blue bounced happily through the raindrops which sprinkled all around us as he took care of his morning’s necessary and enjoyed a little free time, sniffing and shoving his head into bushes to see if any birds still slept in their nests. When I scolded, he puffed air out of his nose demanding, “Look, I must do my job. These birds cannot lay about sleeping all day. If I’m up everyone else ought to be as well.”
During my Clay Building class, Blue’s behavior was incredibly good. Since we’re there for three-hours, I’ve begun removing his harness and tying him to the table I use for my main workstation. He doesn’t get up or move around as much when he is able to lay there without the harness and doesn’t mind whatsoever when I move about the room doing things to my clay at the various workstations if he can see me, and I must admit he makes me quite proud.
After Clay Building, we headed quickly back home, where we had barely enough time for us to take a walk so we could stretch our legs and allow blue time to relieve.
After he was done, we headed back inside, and I took a moment to scarf down a small bowl of salad.
Soon we were flying back out the door and getting on the van again. Blue was as always excited to be going somewhere but it would become apparent that he wasn’t thrilled with our destination.
I’ll leave off here and let the chief tell the next part of the tale for I believe he’ll do a much better job than I.
Hey everyone! This is Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue, back on the case.
I must say, my mother has done quite well telling the tale so far. We did have a real busy week with lots of important work for me to get done. Just so you know, being a Seeing Eye® dog is a lot of work. Even when we’re at home just lying about, we must be on alert because we never know when our humans might need us.
I totally enjoyed taking mother to the store on Monday. I’d heard tell of this ‘Muffin Monday’ thingy but had never experienced it for myself. Though I was not allowed even so much as a tiny crumb of muffin, I did enjoy working through the store, making sure to keep track of everywhere our helper was going and working hard not to sniff along the way.
The highlight of that day was when I got to sit and visit with our Uncle Dave. Mother says, we’ve not been getting out enough because of her sicknesses and winter and I must agree. I mean, taking walks in our neighborhood, visiting with friends, and playing lots of ball inside our apartment are all fun things to do but there’s nothing better than slipping into my harness and hitting the street.
Now, Miss Linda and my mother are always bragging about how good I am when mother goes to play in the clay but really, that’s kinda my morning nap time so for me it’s nice to lay there and doze while they laugh, talk, and create the morning away.
When we left the house again that afternoon, I was excited fur sure. We hardly ever go places twice in one day, so this was a real treat. At least that’s what I thought.
When the van monster stopped in front of the building where Doctors Hyatt, Gray Arnold and all their friends work I began to be wary. The last time we’d gone there mother had left me for a whole lot of darks, and I wasn’t about to do it again any time soon.
I am however, a very responsible Seeing Eye® Dog so I made sure to work all the way up the ramp and to the door without one problem. Well, at least not until we got to the top. For some reason, I couldn’t find the door handle for mother to use to let us in. I walked back and forth but there were so many windows there I just didn’t see what I needed. I was about to get mad because this was twice, I’d had this problem, but our friend Melanie came to the door and opened it calling, “Hey Patty, you all missed this door.”
Boy was I glad, we’d already been out all morning and had three walks besides and I was starting to want a big, long nap on my bed in the sun. I also wasn’t all that thrilled with being back at the V*T. I didn’t feel sick, I wasn’t in need of a bath so I could see no need to be here.
As we settled down at our seat, mother said, “Good boy Blue. Thanks for bringing mother to pick up Prince Edward’s Ashes.”
This made me feel a bit sad, I’d forgotten about picking up the ashes of my furry friend, so I pushed away my grumpy feelings and stretched out to wait.
When the lady finally came out to say we could see the doctor we got up but as we were leaving the room, I saw another dog and starting over to say hi I heard, “No Blue, Pfui. Leave that.” And feeling the tug of the leash started to turn away but then, the other dog barked rudely to me and though I knew I shouldn’t I barked back a quick reply.
My mother was not pleased. She grabbed me and turned me around and then, gave me a little tap on my rump. As we walked through the door into the examination room I sneezed saying, “Humph! You didn’t have to go that far.”
The next thing I knew, Doctor Arnold was in the room, and I suddenly felt afraid. I let her check me but stayed right by mother while she did and when she left, I turned and began nudging mother saying, “Hurry mother, let’s go.”
She petted me and said, “No baby, we have to get your nails clipped.”
I didn’t want to go with the lady who came to take me to clip my nails. I just knew it was a trick and they’d put me in the kennel instead. Well, I wasn’t having it. I tried to get underneath the chair, but it was no good. I tried to stand on my hind legs and hold onto mother with my two front paws, but she made me get down. Then she handed the lady my leash and said, “Just take him. He won’t go any other way.”
My heart was broken. Mother had given me away.
“No!” I whimpered as we left the room. But it did no good.
But then, they put me up onto the big table and they did clip my nails. Then, it was all over, and we were headed back to where we’d left mother and I pulled with all my might, running all the way.
When I burst through the door, the lady who had been holding my leash let it go and I ran straight to mother, buried my face in her chest and begged, “Oh mother, don’t do that ever again. Please? May we go home?”
Thankfully, she began gathering our things and putting me back into my harness and I was so glad, I made not one effort to speak to anymore animals for the rest of the time we were there.
Later, when the van monster began beeping outside to let us know it had arrived, I stood up and when mother gave the “Forward! Outside!” Commands I was happier than ever to obey.
Soon, we were home, I took a minute to relieve myself and then pulling with all my might took us to the door of our apartment.
When we got inside and my harness and leash were put away, I ran around shaking, stomping, and sneezing from the shear relief of not having been left at the V*T. I ran around for so long and so noisily mother finally said, “OK Blue, enough.”
Running to her in her bathroom, where I hardly ever go, I gave her a big kiss and said, “Mother I love you and I love taking you places but let’s stay home for the rest of the day.”
Now, as I’m lying here in the bed across the feet of my mother telling her everything to type, I’m a happy dog. Mother says we’ve no where to go today and I must admit I’m glad.
For now, this is Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue saying, Thanks for reading mine and mother’s tales, may Harmony find You and Blessid Be.”
*A note from Patty*
Though it is not taught as much as it once was, I learned the old school methods of using one’s knee to turn a dog. It in no way hurts them and neither did the soft tap to Blue’s rump hurt him.
When in training to get Blue one day, I did this very thing to turn Blue and my trainer said, “No, don’t do that.”
When I asked why he said,” The public doesn’t care for seeing dogs manhandled so we’re discouraging that.”
I replied, “If the ‘Public’ knew anything about the power and strength of these dogs and the fact that they have our lives in their paws they’d understand and quite honestly, I learned and like the old school ways much better. To be blunt I don’t give a fig what the ‘Public’ thinks, but I will try to reframe from doing so as much as is possible.”
In a situation such as what I’ve described in this tale, I must tell you it was warranted. We were in a small space with several dogs, and I wanted no part of a dog fight.
This is the end of my disclaimer and again, to be blunt I’m disgusted that I must write it. This world and those who live within have become soft and lazy. It is my opinion, that if there were a bit more discipline and people and animals knew what was expected of them across the board, there would be a lot less chaos, confusion, and violence in the world.
As Blue says, “Thank you for reading, may Harmony find you and Blessid Be.
About Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue Fletcher…
Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue was born in Chester New Jersey, October 4, 2018.
After only eight short weeks, he was taken from his dog mother and given to a puppy raiser family, where he would live and train for the next year.
When the year was over and he’d passed all his tests with flying colors, he went to live at The Seeing Eye® Guide Dog School and there he began to learn the rest of what he must know to become a Seeing Eye® Guide.
After a few months of arduous training, he was matched with his human mother as her second guide.
Now, he lives in the mountainous land of Kingsport Tennessee where whether working in harness guiding his mother safely from place to place or playing with his beloved doughnut ring he is always on the case.
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
To learn more about Patty and her Big Blue Dog visit: https://pattysworlds.com/
To learn about The Seeing Eye and all it does to continue the independence of blind persons everywhere visit: https://seeingeye.org/
If you do, please tell them Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue sent you by making a donation and mentioning his name.