Guide Dog Tales Vol. 4


By Carolyn Dale Newell

We deviated from our usual schedule when the winds blew arctic air into the area. Friday, we took our first bus ride for Iva’s pedicure at the vet. This is a hometown version of a big city bus. If you have a disability, and you live within a certain distance of the bus route, the ADA law allows the bus to pick you up at home. There were only a few riders, and everyone, drivers included, were helpful.

More people offer help when they see Iva than when I used the white cane. I thank them even if I do not require their assistance. I never know when I will need it. I believe for the most part, people with disabilities and challenges are happy for someone to offer a helping hand. You do not have to have a disability to lack the ability to do something. Many people are challenged by a short height, a medical condition limiting the weight they can lift, and so forth. Hey, it is Christmas, offer a hand to someone today!

Saturday, I held a book signing at the Virginia Horse Center during the Hoofbeats Christmas Show. Iva was amazed at the horses. She watched them non-stop for several hours. Usually when she is on harness, sitting with me, she naps. I wondered if she thought they were giant guide dogs, but someone said that dogs recognize different animals.

As temps gradually rose Sunday afternoon, we briskly walked. Iva eagerly guided me. Her happiness was apparent. Iva loves to work.

Iva is extremely intelligent. She is smarter than me. Possibly, she is a better guide than I am a handler. At church, I felt her pulling me to the right. I continued to stop and direct her to go forward. I assumed she was trying to visit one of her friends. No, I should have followed Iva. My friend told me how close Iva came to a table getting me through there. She had been pulling me to the right to give herself room to clear the table.

On our afternoon walk I slowed down, thinking it was our point to turn. We crossed, but she did not go further. Then I realized that I had caused her to stop too early.

Iva is not always correct, and I guess that is why I messed up, but I need to put more faith in her.

There is one who is right every time – God. How many times, do we refuse to follow His lead? How often do we think we know better than God? Yes, Lord, You can take my vision, but don’t touch my vacation. Sound familiar?

God is in total control, but many people think that means everything is His will. He allows us to make decisions. We can go our way or His way. When we go our way, we are only on a detour to His way. Sin is not His will, but He allows us to stumble at times. Pray that you are on the path God is guiding you on and not the one you assume is right.

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.


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