Tag Archives: guide dog team

Guide Dog Tales Vol. 29


By Carolyn Dale Newell

It is surprising how people offer assistance when I walk with Iva more than when I walked with a white cane. I needed more help as a cane user than a guide dog handler.

On our drive to the beach, we stopped at Cracker Barrell, one of our favorite restaurants. Iva rested quietly under our table. One year ago, to the day, (October 8) Iva and I graduated from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her table manners are remarkable. I recall how much she moved around during meals at school. Plus, she had a taste for the chairs. I covered that in prayer, and God answered.

I finished my salad, so Iva and I headed towards the restrooms. Iva looked for an opening to turn left as I commanded her. Skreetchingg witches, autumn displays, and customers obstructed the aisles.

Joy, the hostess, approached us, inquiring about Iva. Joy’s love for dogs shone like the mid-day sun.

She offered to escort us to the lady’s room as the crowd thickened. I have never been so grateful because she warned us about a puddle of water the toilet splashed out in the handicap stall. Iva prefers it. I coaxed Iva into a smaller one, and Joy waited for us. Joy noted how Iva watches and protects me as she walked us to the door leading outside. She chatted a few minutes. I assured her we were fine waiting for my husband. Joy slipped inside, but she returned shortly to check on us.

We never require that amount of aid, but I could not deny her. I thought of all the times I have wished someone would help. Finding someone willing to go the distance like that is rare. I prefer it to the folks who walk right by thinking I see nothing. Yes, I see some of them.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) like joy. Kindness costs us nothing. A smile to a stranger. A friendly greeting to someone at the check-out. A hug to the lonely lady at church. A few encouraging words to the cancer survivor. The hand supporting the gentleman unsteady on his feet. The arm that leads the blind.

Kindness appears to be minimal, and we forget to offer it. Our busy schedules restrain us from the few minutes that mean the world to someone else. Sacrificial moments enable us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who can you be kind to today?





By Carolyn Dale Newell

The unknown frightens us. We find ourselves in waters we have not traversed before.

Although my vision loss began at age seven, the rapid decline at age fifty stirred up fear. Life goes on after sight loss, but we do things differently, and until I learned the new techniques, I was on edge. Once I became proficient in doing things differently, it became natural. I discovered a new friend in a talking computer, and a black Lab.

Today, Iva and I faced a traffic problem. We raced through our route, and we were heading home at a slower pace. We approached an intersection with a car across the street. Iva stopped. We waited, and we waited some more. I raised up my sunglasses. I could tell the vehicle was not parked on the side of the street, but it was ready to pull out. There was no reason for it to continue sitting. I waved them on. I considered crossing, but I played it safe by giving them time to move. I motioned for them to go again.

Finally, I gave Iva the command to go forward. After crossing, we walked pass the idling vehicle. I shook my head in disbelief. Was the car unattended? Was the driver too engrossed in something that they were not watching their surroundings? What if another car pulled up behind them? A sighted person would have had insight into this, but Iva and I were clueless.

Sometimes life is like this confusing traffic situation. God knows what is going on in our lives, but we do not. I don’t like it when God keeps me in the dark. Maybe He has you there today. Is there something the doctors don’t understand? Are you facing unexplainable storms? Do you wonder why? What is this roadblock in your path?

We lack answers, and if you are like me, you struggle with that.

Christians are saved by faith. We live by faith. We trust God for everything, including the things we do not understand. We might not know the answers, but we have to confidently leave it in His capable hands.

Easier said than done. Living in calm beats living in chaos. We trust God to turn our chaos into calm.

When a driver abandons their car in the middle of the street, we must trust God. When life takes a turn for the worse, we must trust God. When the checking account hits zero, we must trust God. Isn’t it wonderful that we can rely on our divine Father to know what goes on in our crazy world?

Friend, whatever unknown faces you today, face it head on with God. Mr. Unknown, meet God. He will handle you.