Guide Dog Tales Vol. 19

In the photo, Iva targets the pick-up button at Walmart.


By Carolyn Dale Newell

I didn’t expect this. Exhilaration flowed through my veins. As soon as Iva found our driveway, the race ended. No, Iva and I were not being chased. The amazing thing was we were jogging for fun.

I am not athletic at all! Running was never something I enjoyed. How many years have passed since I ran? No idea!

It began when I would drop Iva’s harness and allow her to leash guide me from our mailbox to the driveway. I do not want to use my nice harness on the beach, and I want both of us to get accustomed to leash guiding at home first. One day, after a long walk, I said, “Let’s run!” After that, I was hooked. Iva loves it too.

We also race across the back yard when she is off-leash playing. You should see how fast Iva runs! Me, not so much, just a jog.

I am in awe of the wonderful blessings I share with Iva. She is definitely a gift from God. Honestly, who would think I would want to do anything faster than speed walking?

God continues to open more doors of independence for us. I depend on God for my independence. We take the bus at least once weekly for appointments, lunch, or just to explore new routes downtown. This surprises me because I was content with isolating myself at home and writing.

Last week, we made our first solo trip to Walmart. I love shopping with my Walmart app. Sometimes, we get free shipping, or I can choose to do a store pickup. I have taught Iva to target the pickup button at Walmart.

How do blind people shop? I asked for someone to help me shop at the service desk. Afterward, we got our pickup order.

I crossed the traffic lane in front of the store to take Iva to the mulched area to potty. On our way back to the sidewalk, a car refused to stop for us. It was a close call. A gentleman who had been on the bus with us yelled for us to stop. At the same time Iva stopped. He was God’s guardian angel for us that day. His shout stopped me quicker than Iva’s brake.

Crazy people appear everywhere, but God keeps His protective hand over us. Each independent step seems to incur some small attempt by the enemy to keep us homebound. We continue moving forward and trusting God.

God has blessed me with an amazing life. Psalm 37:4 says,

Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

First, let’s burst our bubbles because this Scripture does not mean He gives us everything our flesh craves. God places His desires in our hearts. Therefore, we desire what He desires.

I did not desire a guide dog until I began experiencing mobility issues. God allowed those problems, those thorns in my flesh, to create my desire for a guide dog.

Like a child waiting for Christmas, my heart pitter-pattered with excitement as the days grew closer to the moment I met Iva. What freedom!

Never, no never, did I imagine all the things we would do together.

When God places desires in our hearts, they are good desires. They are great desires. They exceed anything we can think or ask (Eph. 3:20). I wonder what new adventures God has in store for us now.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.


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