Thirty Years With Harness In Hand I brought my first dog home to Birmingham from The Seeing Eye in 1985. Her name was Sadie and she was a yellow Labrador. Since then one dog or another has been guiding me everywhere: at work, on leisurely walks, on mountain trails, through busy airports, and on […]
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“Can you…” “Do you know…” “How do I…”
And Gavin always had an answer. For almost four years I shared an office with Gavin Wiggins. While neither of us rates a private office this semi-private office was a compromise. For Gavin it was to ensure the privacy of his work and for me it was a reasonable accommodation. Gavin is […]
“Never forget.” “Where were you?”
Jim and I lived in Ellsworth, Maine on September 11, 2001. Jim was on the road downeast of Ellsworth. I was in the Ellsworth Career Center. I was talking with Jean who was, then, the director of services for blind children when the line went silent. It didn’t go dead – Jean just abruptly stopped […]
Say It Out Loud — Suicide
“S U I C I D E” There, your computer didn’t blow up. Your phone didn’t burst into flames. I guess it’s no secret that people are afraid of blindness and, by extension, blind people. But what about suicide. If you want to empty a room in ten seconds flat start talking about suicide! Towards […]
You Can’t Make This “Stuff” Up!
The First Student I’ll call him Robert. Robert had been a high powered attorney in Connecticut until he threw it all in and moved to Maine. He bought quite a bit of property on a mountain in Maine and moved into a sort of shack. He lived in the shack while he built his house. […]
The End Of An Era
Caring. That’s what Ben Branscomb did. Ben was a second father to me and he wasn’t alone. Lee McGriff Jr. (Daddy Pete) was my other second father. Daddy Pete died several years ago and it was pretty devastating. He had always been there solid as a rock. And then he was gone. We celebrated […]
Veterans Affairs Gets It Right!
I began teaching speech-recognition 15 years ago. At that time, I was employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a subject matter expert. Many veterans have multiple disabilities such as an inability to use their hands and blindness. They find speech-recognition is the most effective way to work with the computer. In […]
My “Quandary” It’s a boy. It’s a *big* boy. When Joan handed me his leash and told me his name, Quan, I was, what? What does it feel like when somebody gives you the next decade of your life? I have to admit my first feeling was that of humility. Seeing Eye was trusting […]
Kismet Crosses The Rainbow Bridge
First post to “Whirlpool” since late November… I’ll never be a “professional” blogger! Here’s the personal side of that post. On November 4 I had my first ever “Juno” walk. What? You’ve been handling Seeing Eye dogs for over thirty years and it was your first Juno walk? The Seeing Eye admissions […]
Glad I Didn’t Have to Adjust To Gradual Sight Loss!
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But it’s true. My blindness was unexpected and I lost all of it at once. And, if I had to do it all over again, I’d opt for becoming blind exactly the same way. All that was over thirty years ago. So why am I bringing it up now? Regardless […]