Author Archive | smartin

Quan and Sue approach the crosswalk at the bottom of the hill.

A Piece of Work, Or, Follow Your Dog

In ordinary circumstances, Seeing Eye® dogs are trained to walk straight down a sidewalk and stop when they encounter an intersection. Recently, Jim, Quan, and I went for a walk around Bar Harbor. Towards the end of the walk, I felt Quan veer away from the sidewalk and into the adjacent park. We learn a […]

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A view of Allied forces storming the beaches of Normandy from a ship used to transport soldiers in. Multiple soldiers are wading through the surf and some are climbing over the dunes to carry out the invasion.

A Crossword Puzzle Revealed D-Day Code Words, Panic Ensued

June 6, 2022, is the 78th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy during World War II, also known as D-Day. In this article, we explore the growing alarm as, one after another, secret code words of the invasion began showing up as answers to crossword clues. Escalating Concerns In April of 1944, the London Daily […]

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Sue and Quan navigate the tricky trail up Schoodic Head.

You Did What?

  Last week, we climbed a mountain. It was Schoodic Head and it was quite the challenge. I climbed with my guide dog, Quan, leading the way. Jim had our pet dog, Soldier. Soldier is getting up there in age and petered out as we neared the summit. “Want to go to the top on […]

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Mama at our wedding in 1985

Thinking of Mama

  I find myself thinking of Mama a lot this time of year. The eleventh anniversary of her death was May 5. Her 99th birthday would have been yesterday, May 7. And tomorrow, May 9, is Mother’s Day. The picture is of Mama, at our wedding in 1985.   I find Mama’s obituary a perfect […]

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The author with "our three sons"

Two Eagles, Three Dogs, and Some Mountains

When you think of a walk around the neighborhood, you probably think of walking past houses on a sidewalk, right? Not here in Maine! Our favorite “walk around the neighborhood” involves climbing a large hill or a small mountain, take your pick. We head up the driveway, hang a right, walk about a quarter of […]

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Sue, wearing a mask with Quan observing

A Dog’s Eye View

    In my 35 years of handling guide dogs, they’ve all seen some pretty bizarre things! This is about how dogs react to seeing or hearing something unusual. The first time I noticed such a reaction was when I was training with my first dog. Seeing Eye employs security guards who patrol the school […]

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Daddy and me in our dining room in Mountain Brook, Alabama

He Saw the Need

  In the first weeks and months after I became blind I struggled to find things to do, things that would interest and engage me. Even before my rehab teacher, now called a vision rehabilitation therapist, came to see me for the first time, I learned something infinitely precious from my father. Daddy had lots […]

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Quan guides me between branches

Watch Out For That Tree!

        Have you ever wondered about guide dogs and clearance of overhead obstacles? We usually go for a walk in the woods every day. A couple of days ago, Jim said, “Did you know about that tree over the trail?” “What tree?” I replied. The tree over the trail was well above […]

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The author skiing with her dog, Quan

Cross Country Skiing: A Mirror of Life

We’re just back from a ski trip to The Birches Resort on Moosehead Lake. The best – and maybe the worst – skiing was on our first day there. How can something be “the best” and “the worst” at the same time?   The conditions were tricky. There was plenty of snow but it had […]

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