Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life

Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
How the author obtained her first guide dog, Campbell: what motivated her, the extensive training she had, the special relationship she developed with her trainer, and the good friends she made. Challenges awaited her back home, including domestic abuse. With honesty, courage, and humor, Patty Fletcher tells an inspiring and informative story of personal development. More

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Words: 65,090
Language: English
ISBN: 9781310227486
About Patricia L. Fletcher

Patty Lyne Fletcher in her own words (February 2015)

About me and my crew

I'm a 46-year-old single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am very proud. I have a great son-in-law and four beautiful grandchildren. They range from one year to eight years of age: two girls and two boys. I hope to be able to write more about them later on.

I own and handle a Black Labrador from The Seeing Eye™ named Campbell Lee—a.k.a. Bubba Lee or King Campbell, to give just a couple of his nicknames.

I also have a tom named Kitty Bob.
***UPDATE!!!*** Feb 2017 Kitty Bob is no longer with me. He left to be with his kitty sister Celine Kitty in the summer of 2016. Also my daughter and son-in-law have blessed the family with another addition. They now also have another little girl. So they're up to #5. Awesome!
When and where I was born

I was born on November 9, 1967 in Kingsport, Tenn., where I also grew up.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Where I live and work

Currently, I live and work in Kingsport, Tenn.

I used to work for CONTACT-CONCERN of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. I left that position in order to spend time with family and pursue my writing full time.

Why I wrote this book

I wrote this book to tell the story of how going to The Seeing Eye™ and getting Campbell, learning to love, handle, and work him, then coming home and adding him to my life, gave me true freedom.

I tell of how changing from being a 31-year cane user to being a guide dog handler taught me things about myself I had never known before. I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.

A major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. I also want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges.

I also tell how training affected me physically as a result of the fibromyalgia I deal with, along with the side effects of the medications I take.

I focus on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not. Then I show how hurtful it can be when a person is completely rejected, made to feel as if they have been tossed out with the trash, when they become sick as a result of mental illness.

Another thing I have attempted to show is how, in certain institutional settings, attachments can develop—and how those attachments can become unhealthy for all concerned if they are not handled correctly.

Most simply, I want others to know more about me.

My hobbies

My hobbies include reading, writing, music, and standup comedy. I also like nature walks, light hiking, tent camping, and fishing. No, I am not afraid to bait a hook.

Music I enjoy

My favorite types of music are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country, as well as some present-day country music. I also like meditation music.

My favorite books and authors

I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. I love the books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more. My favorite books include 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.

My spiritual faith

I am a spiritual walker. I claim no particular faith, either Christian or pagan. I simply know that there is God and Goddess, or Mother Father God, as some call her/him. I lean toward the natural approach, or Druidism (Druidry), as it promotes harmony and respect for all beings, including the environment. I am also very interested in herbs and their healing properties. I recently enrolled in a course that will allow me to earn a certificate in the field of working with herbs.

Reviews

Review by: Charla Lawson on July 30, 2016 :
This book is one of the most touching stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. As a guide dog handler, I was amazed by the author's skill in capturing the deep bond between a guide dog and the blind person whose life has been forever transformed by his or her canine partner. Whether you are blind or sighted, your spirit will be lifted long after you have finished reading this beautifully written book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Leonore H. Dvorkin on Dec. 08, 2014 :
A very informative and touching book. Roughly the first half of the book deals with the sometimes grueling training that the author had with her guide dog, Campbell, at the Seeing Eye, in Morristown, New Jersey. As a sighted person, I knew nothing about what that training would entail, and so it was quite an education for me. The second half of the book has to do with the author's life after she returned home to Tennessee. Thank goodness she had Campbell to protect her from her abusive partner! She also talks frankly about her struggles with bipolar disorder and some about her employment; kindly and courageously, she works helping others. In fact, the beautiful cover photo was taken at a work-related event honoring the victims of domestic abuse. The author's courage, passion, and frequent humor shine throughout this book.
(reviewed 80 days after purchase)

Review by: Bro89 on Aug. 06, 2014 :
I thought this book was very interesting regarding the personal struggles that were overcome throughout the process of training with a guide dog. The independence of the character seemed to really flourish after going home with Campbell, and it was nice to read how a dog can affect a person's life in such a significant way. I was left wanting more about Campbell's journey during the process: E.G., his experience in bonding with the new handler, what he liked and disliked, what he struggled with and what he excelled at, etc. Also, more information about Campbell's training and his relationship with his new handler would have been fascinating. Good start for a new author, and quite brave to write about such an emotional and difficult period in one's life. However, the relationship between instructor and student was a bit confusing and inappropriate at times. For future works, maybe read "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print ". It is a great guide for avoiding common structural and compositional pitfalls that many beginning authors experience, and it is helpful for all aspects of writing: not just fiction.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)

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