Guide Dog Tales Vol.16


By Carolyn Dale Newell

Are good people rare these days? In a time, where crime runs rampant and the news never fails to shock us, are there any kind people left? Yes! In my experience, they are the majority.

Sadly, the stories of good Samaritans fail to compare with the evil deeds of society, whether it is heard on TV or by gossip. I am guilty of this myself. The ridiculous and unkind stories want to slip into the forefront, leaving the good guys behind.

Iva and I have met many good folks. Encounters with the unkind are rare.

First, thanks to the multitude of parents who tell their children they cannot touch a service dog. I hear their detailed explanation as they pass by. Hats off to you!

Most people remark about Iva’s beauty. Some ask to pet her, and sometimes I oblige. Other times, I decline. Some inquire about her duties. I appreciate the opportunity to educate society.

Most people are helpful. We stay at a hotel full of angels when we visit Gatlinburg. Every time, I take Iva out, someone is there. It began to feel as if God had people readily available if I needed them, and sometimes I did.

Their housekeeping staff went above and beyond to aid us. They got the elevator for us and opened our room door. Not because I was struggling, but just because they were kind.

The Starbucks staff in Gatlinburg assisted Iva and I getting a table and finding a trashcan. I forgot to mention that on our last Gatlinburg trip, Iva and I learned the route to Starbucks all by ourselves. Wonderful freedom for me and hubby can stay in the room resting.

There are the rare occasions when we have met the unthinking, uneducated, and unhappy. Iva can cut through a crowd, except a crowd of people looking up in the air and not watching where they are going. Iva stopped, but they still did not see us (since we were not in the air), and they almost knocked me over. Perhaps the sky was falling?

Another time, a girl ran up and without asking, she began hugging Iva. When I explained how her actions were distracting (Not to mention against the law) she became argumentative.

The funniest story was when I shared a bench with Mrs. Miserable. She greeted me by saying she hoped Iva and I were gone before her husband returned because he was afraid of dogs. I told her that Iva was a highly trained guide dog.

“That’s what they all say.” She replied. She repeated the sentence each time I explained how Iva would not bite them.

Finally, I told her I would move to make her feel more comfortable. Within minutes, she gave up her seat and told me I could return. I thanked her and wished her a happy Easter, since it was the next day. I guess I was the one showing kindness that time.

Many kind unbelievers exist. God’s children should “out-kind” them all. As you go about your activities today, look for opportunities to extend the love and kindness of God.


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