lakoliccjc

22 mars 2010

Back to School, as an Adjunct

I have written several pieces for Home Fires these last couple of years. I have talked about my journey back from Iraq and my road to recovery. I have also opened up and let you into the side of my life that is haunted by demons. I have enjoyed writing and it has allowed me to face some of the things that have inhibited my growth as a person. In this post, I would like to talk about something not quite so serious, but very close to my heart: my guide dog, Brittani.

Many of y’all have read about Brittani in previous posts. She is very important to me and my family. Brittani is more than just my eyes. It is true that she helps me get around and does one heck of a job of it, but she is also the family dog and one of my best allies in my struggles.

I got Brittani in the spring of 2007 from Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto. Fla., as part of their Paws For Patriots program. It is a program that provides guide dogs for veterans who have become visually impaired serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. The program has been so successful that they have opened it up to other veterans who are in need of a guide dog. We have even placed therapy dogs at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Courtesy of the Southeastern Guide Dogs

Brittani and I have been all around the country together. In addition to all of the traveling, she assists me at school. We have attended classes at Northern Virginia Community College, Georgetown University (by far the most challenging) and the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. We have been walking up and down Santa Monica Boulevard, strolling through the gaming floor of Ceasar’s Palace, down the halls of Congress, Yankee Stadium and many points in between. Unfortunately, many of these travels have not been with my wife and son. But when I travel by myself I am never truly alone. Brittani is always by my side.

I have a very supportive family and we always include Brittani in this family. When I am alone on my daily tasks of going to school, navigating the city or even in a hotel room far away from home, Brittani is there to support me. She knows how I feel at all times. If I am feeling down she comes up to me and curls up at my feet to keep me company. Often she’ll bring me a toy and want to play. It is very hard to feel sad when you are playing with a puppy. She gets so excited that it melts my sorrows away. She stands by me no matter what the circumstances. Having Brittani is like having a counselor right there next to me all the time.”

When I first met my wife, Leslie, she told me that she had a son. Caleb was 10 years old at the time. He had always wanted a dog but had never had one. He and Leslie lived in apartments that would not allow dogs. Leslie bought him a cat (Sherlock) but it was not the same. Brittani, with her rock star status of a guide dog, could go to the apartment and stay without a worry. She is allowed to go anywhere that I go. Caleb and Brittani became good friends very quickly. He would take her for walks down to the tennis courts to play ball. He would also play with her in the apartment and they would sit together and watch television. It was wonderful — Caleb wanted a dog and Brittani was our loophole in the lease.

Leslie and Brittani also share a bond. Brittani loves Leslie very much. She is always trying to get Leslie to play with her. She also knows that if she looks at Leslie with her sad puppy face there is a better chance of getting what she wants. I am just as guilty of giving in, maybe more.

Brittani also knows how to work both me and Leslie. If she wants something — to play or to go for a walk — and I am not paying attention to her, she will go get Leslie. Leslie will look at me and say, “I think that Brittani wants something.” She usually gets what she wants.

Brittani also enjoys watching the Bravo channel and Lifetime movies with Leslie. I do not know if she does this for Leslie or if she knows that I am not a fan of that stuff — I prefer “Law and Order” and NCIS.” (Yes, I do watch television. Ironically, I even have a high-definition TV in the bedroom. ) Either way it works out. Leslie will jokingly say to Brittani, “Us blondes have got to stick together!” and Brittani will shake her head in confirmation.

Brittani has not only impacted the life of Leslie, Caleb and me — she has affected the entire family. My mom, Tracey and my step dad, Bob have raised two guide dogs. They wanted to get involved with Southeastern Guide Dogs when they saw the difference that Brittani made in my life. They started with Ted, an amazing yellow lab. Ted is a special dog in our family. I donated money to the school and was able to name a dog. Ted’s full name is Col. Theodore J. Willis, U.S.M.C. I named Ted after my grandfather. He was a man that meant a lot to me and taught me many things about manhood. Ted became a career change dog. He has received all of the guide dog training but has a higher calling. He travels with my mom and dad and helps raise funds for the Paws For Patriots program. They also raised Bart. Bart is also a yellow lab who did not receive all of the guide dog training but was selected as a breeder dog. The school decided that Bart is so good that he should do his part to make guide dogs for many different blind people in the future.

卡通花束 小熊公仔花束 华华卡通花束 卡通花束代理批发 高档化妆镜 化妆镜 化妆镜子 金属化妆镜 艺术化妆镜 施华洛世奇化妆镜 茜瑞化妆镜 XURUI化妆镜 金属艺术化妆镜 音乐盒 八音盒 水晶音乐盒 水晶八音盒 水晶钢琴音乐盒 水晶心形音乐盒 心形玫瑰音乐盒 发光抱枕 梦幻发光抱枕 七彩发光抱枕 心形发光抱枕 珍爱梦幻发光抱枕 黄金玫瑰花 黄金玫瑰 金箔玫瑰 999黄金玫瑰 24k黄金玫瑰 黄金康乃馨 金箔康乃馨 遥控飞机 遥控飞机模型 遥控直升飞机 遥控直升机 遥控飞机玩具 航模 遥控车 遥控汽车 法拉利车模 遥控车模 电动遥控车 油动遥控车模 遥控汽车价格 遥控船模 遥控船模型 环奇遥控船 电动遥控船 生日礼物送什么好 生日送什么礼物 浪漫的生日礼物 最浪漫的生日礼物 最具创意的生日礼物 创意的生日礼物 生日礼物送什么 生日礼物送什么好 有创意的生日礼物 生日礼物送啥好 创意生日礼物网 最有创意的生日礼物 女友生日礼物 女友生日送什么礼物 女朋友生日礼物送什么 女朋友生日礼物送什么好 给女朋友的生日礼物 送生日礼物给女朋友 送女友浪漫生日礼物 送女友创意生日礼物 女朋友的生日礼物 送女友什么生日礼物 送女朋友的生日礼物 女朋友20岁生日礼物 女朋友18岁生日礼物 创意女友生日礼物

Brittani has been the best battle buddy a man could have. She sticks with me when times are good and even closer when the times are bad. Leslie, Caleb and I could not imagine our lives without Brittani. Brittani has given me the freedom to regain my independence. We know that she is a member of the family and always will be.

key local king knowledge information ikn life better best kong kitchen data music more health hook land more music Kootenay

Kurt dog doctor donkey dozen lesson Boston book business Hannah henna Linda babe board Kootenay kentucky loop list length 

lens anyone veer et kernel kooky km million may kid Keith

 Such adventure and such responsibilities are truer because they originate not by decree, but from our humanity — from nature or nature’s God, as it were. More is required to be successful and more is awarded when we are.

 After about a year of waiting, I hereby tendered my unqualified resignation.

Posté par lakoliccjc à 04:07 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]