Photo is found on the cover of this book
It shows Patty and Campbell standing at the edge of the water where they were participating in a Safe House Domestic Violence Shelter event during which flowers were being tossed into the water in memory of victims of Domestic Violence.
If you should find yourself in the midst of domestic violence get help immediately at…
Welcome to a series of stories I’m calling ‘The Land of Ago’.
Over the next few days while I make up my mind about which direction to take my blog, I’ll be sharing some of mine and Campbell’s best memories.
A few will be happy. A few will be sad. A few will make you laugh and one or two may make you mad. But if you read them, you’ll know just what a wonderous life King Campbell A.K.A Bubba Seeing Eye Dog and I had.
“For the time of ago is now”
Come with me back in time. Back to the Land of Ago.
Before into my new life together we go.
Enjoy a tale (Tail) or two. For some they will be old and for some they will be new.
Watch your step as we open the door of memories and step through.
Good morning to all.
As I gently close the door on what has been so far the very best chapter of my entire life, I’ve decided to share my first book with you. As I do so, I’m writing a second edition which is to be book one of a Memoir Trilogy called, ‘Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed’.
That book will be out soon and will contain a much deeper look into my life but for now, I invite you to take a trip down memory lane with me.
In loving memory of CAMPBELL LEE FLETCHER A.K.A. BUBBA ®SEEING EYE DOG
NOVEMBER 28, 2008-SEPTEMBER 24, 2020.
Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
By: Patricia L. Fletcher
(Editor’s note: In her writing, the author prefers to spell the words blessed and magic thus: blessid and magik.)
It’s late in the evening here; all is quiet. Campbell is sleeping the peaceful, happy sleep of a satisfied Labrador, dreaming dreams filled with fun at the lake and chasing rabbits, or maybe dreams of leading me along a busy street or across a congested intersection. In either case, he’s snuggled up on the foot of Phyllis’s bed, sound asleep. It’s only fitting that I would sit down here in this house at this time to rewrite the first few pages of my book. After all, it was Phyllis Stevens and her black Lab, Emmy, who led me to go to The Seeing Eye and get Campbell, my first–ever guide dog. It’s also just as fitting that we are here this weekend, because Phyllis is going to be leaving tomorrow to go get what will be her fifth guide dog from The Seeing Eye. (Emmy Dog left for the Rainbow Bridge shortly after Phyllis got her new dog.)
And so we begin.
It was a nice spring afternoon in May of 2010. Phyllis, Emmy, and I were out for the day. We’d been shopping and had gone to lunch in the mall. We were returning to the store where Phyllis had left her packages when I made the discovery that yes, I really did need a guide dog.
We had just left one of our favorite places to eat, and not 10 minutes before, I’d asked Phyllis how we would stay together in the mall. She told me to simply listen for the bell on Emmy’s collar and to stay right behind her. I was cane traveling at the time and had no idea what was in store for me. Yes, I’d been around plenty of guide dogs and their handlers, but I had had sight then, and I’d never tried to follow a handler in a crowded area—and certainly not while cane traveling totally on my own. So I had no clue what was about to happen to me.
We were going along pretty well, when all of a sudden, we came to a very crowded area in the mall. Emmy found an opening in the crowd, and with Phyllis following along, took it. I was left eating their dust, saying, “Where the hell did they go?” I stood for a moment, letting what had just happened sink in, and then realized that I had not one clue how to get to where Emmy and Phyllis had been going. I’d never walked through this mall—or any mall, for that matter—alone, and so knew nothing of how it was laid out or where to go. So I was forced to ask for and accept help from someone who truly annoyed me. They had this “poor little blind girl” attitude that really gets under my skin.
Once Emmy, Phyllis, and I were back together again and outside waiting for the bus, I asked what had happened. She explained what Emmy had done and apologetically admitted that she hadn’t even known we’d been separated until Emmy and she had gotten where they were going. She teased me in a serious sort of way saying, “You know, these things wouldn’t happen to you if you didn’t spend all day chasing a stick.”
I went home that night and gave what she had said some really good thought. The next day, I phoned her to ask how I would go about getting more information about applying for training at The Seeing Eye. I had wanted a guide dog for years, but somehow, something always seemed to be in the way.
I was a single mother, and when Polly, my daughter, was very young, my mother didn’t think it was a great idea for me to be away from Polly for so long. Then when Polly got old enough that she could have been left, I was not in a place that would have been safe for me to work a dog. Nor did I go anyplace where I could work one, because I’d ended up where there was no public transportation.
Eventually, in 2005, I moved to a better location, to another apartment complex, where I lived until October of 2010. That was where I met Donnie, who was my neighbor. There, with his help, I rehabilitated myself a little. We dated the whole five years I lived there.
Rehabilitating myself meant that I needed to relearn some of what I’d forgotten when I had ended up in an apartment where I had no public transportation. I needed to relearn some cane skills. I had to learn how to navigate the bus system and basically get used to doing things I’d always done, but had forgotten over the years of living in an isolated location. It wasn’t until then that I began to seriously consider getting a guide dog.
Suddenly, I knew I could wait no longer. I knew in my heart that definitely, without a doubt, it was time for me to take this step. I also knew without a doubt that The Seeing Eye was where I wanted to go to get my first guide dog. As I said, I’d had many different experiences with people and their guide dogs. I’d seen dogs and handlers from many different schools. But I knew in my heart of hearts, and also in my gut, that this was absolutely the right decision.
To Be Continued…
Can’t wait to find out what happened next?
By the book at: https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG
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May Harmony find You, and Blessid Be.