I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Friday, February 5, 2010

Visualeyes 15

In my last Write From the Soul post, I talked about visiting a friend's goat farm on Thursday. I left out some other animals we encountered. Kay and Glen have two huge, and I do mean humungous, dogs named Smith and Wessen. Wessen didn't give two hoots about us, but Smith was gentle and sweet and did I mention huge???? As you can see in the photo, Smith was the size of a small horse only with long, shaggy hair.
She is a Pyrenees Mountain Dog (I think I got the breed correct) and if she stood up on her back legs, she'd
be taller than me! What's so marvelous about this photo to me is that I am truly
comfortable with her. That amazes me because prior to two years ago, I was afraid of huge dogs and up until about 6 months ago, I didn't really care for dogs at all. A little back story...... As a child I was stocky and not very athletic, and I had to outrun a greyhound, the dog, not the bus! Now the dog was long and lean, and built for speed so you can imagine how motivated my stocky legs were to run their hardest! The only reason I managed to escape being a greyhound munchie snack was I'd  had a good head start. As a result, most of my life, I was afraid of big dogs. They, of course, always seemed rather fond of me. This led me to not really liking any dogs. I tended to look at them with disdain as if I couldn't find the time to even give them a pat. (Yeah, I wasn't fooling any of the dogs, just keeping myself from from panic.)

Six months ago, I started giving some thought to losing more of my sight and what that would mean. I decided rather than always walk around with a cane, I'd prefer to have a guide dog. Of course, it's difficult to convince a guide dog school that you're a candidate if you don't like dogs:-)
That started my campaign to learn to like dogs. I've made a concerted effort to interact with dogs since then. I admit that really huge ones, like Smith, still give me pause occasionally, but I can safely say that I'm no longer afraid and I appreciate their companionship and their love for their humans.

So..... a picture of me and a big ol' dog is quite an accomplishment. Thank goodness,these dogs aren't used as guide dogs. I have a feeling that the only way I could walk around with this guy is if I were riding him, not holding a harness. Not a pretty image!


  1. Oh, what a beautiful dog! I think guide dogs are often Labrador Retrievers and they are SO sweet and gentle.

  2. I love that picture. One of my dreams is to train guide dogs--I think you'd be a great candidate! You'd fall in love.