Tag Archives: children

Guide Dog Tales Vol. 18

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL. 18

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Iva attended Vacation Bible school at our church Tuesday night for a guide dog presentation. The kids, divided into three groups, loved Iva. I began by telling each group how Iva became a guide dog.

Bred and born to work, Iva spent her puppy days with Rachel, her volunteer puppy-raiser. Rachel taught her obedience and socialization, and she did a terrific job. All guide dog handlers owe an unpayable debt to our selfless puppy-raisers.

Then Iva returned to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and they taught her how to guide blind people. Once I arrived at school, Iva spent three weeks with me in my dorm room, as I learned to handle her.

Iva and I did some simple obedience like “sit” and “down”. The kids seemed amazed when Iva guided me to several doors and back to my chair on command.

Next came the “bad kid”. Mrs. Bobbi plays that part well since she loves Iva. We demonstrated how someone can distract a guide dog from her work. Distractions come in several different packages. They can be anything from petting her to talking to Iva while she is in her harness, working. With the older group, I allowed some of them to play the “bad kid” and Iva did excellent at avoiding distractions.

All three groups participated in walking across the room so they could see how Iva keeps me from bumping into people. Iva did a fantastic job as always.

Finally, the kids got to ask questions and pet Iva while she was out of harness. When the last group left, Iva looked longingly at the door. Iva whined when no more children came through the door. She truly enjoyed interacting with the children.

The lesson that night was about David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45—50). We all face giants in our lives, but just as I trust Iva to guide me safely, we trust God to overcome our giants.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust. Psalm 91:2 NKJV

David trusted God, and he went out to face the nine-feet giant alone. Goliath wore heavy armor, but David wore faith. David overcame Goliath, the giant by the power of God using a slingshot and five smooth stones. I overcome the giant of blindness with Iva on my left side and God on my right.

Last night, we attended the Bible school commencement. Iva enjoyed the kids and music. The kids learned something because none of them tried to pet her or talk to her once I harnessed Iva up.

One drawback to living in a rural area is being the only guide dog handler here. I try to educate people with these presentations. A knowledgeable public helps me. They know what to do and what not to do. People find it interesting because they never see the life of guide and handler up close. Even some adults from church noted that they learned something they never knew before.

God blessed service dogs with intelligence and ability to learn to help sightless people. Other service dogs perform such tasks as helping people with mobility issues and detecting the onset of a seizure. Our amazing God created some amazing dogs.

A Bundle to Love

 

A BUNDLE TO LOVE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no Children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”

Genesis 30:1 NKJV

At age twenty-three, that longing hit me. You know the one. The desire to have a child is strong by nature. Some women elect not to have families, but for the rest of us, a life without a child is empty. The yearning is so strong because it is God’s plan for us to be fruitful and multiply. When that overwhelming longing hits, nothing will satisfy it, but a little bundle of joy.

Discovering that becoming pregnant is difficult can create despair. I went from taking my temperature every morning and faithfully keeping the charts through all the infertility tests. Each month, I eagerly awaited the good news, and each month, the doctor started the process over again. Pills to jump-start my cycle, and fertility drugs followed. For six months, that was the routine.

Strolling through the baby department, gazing at the adorable outfits, the tiny sleepers, and all the baby gear was thrilling. So soft and so cute! Then my eyes sprang a leak, and I made a quick exit, leaving the store to cry.

I prayed nightly for a child. It could be a boy or a girl. It did not matter. I just wanted a bundle to love. I wasn’t attending church. Wasn’t reading my Bible. Wasn’t living for God. The truth was that I did not know Jesus Christ personally at that time. I prayed, unaware that my prayers never hit the ceiling. After I was genuinely born again, I learned that God does not hear the prayer of a sinner, except the genuine request for salvation. Once I was gloriously saved, I struggled to accept the fact that God did not hear those prayers because He answered them. Yes, I finally became pregnant, but it had nothing to do with my prayers. It was part of God’s amazing plan.

Scripture is filled with barren women whose wombs eventually carried babies. Sarah miraculously bore Isaac in her old age (Gen. 18:10-11). Rachael’s need for children was stronger than life itself (Gen. 30:1). Not only did Hannah weep for a child, she endured the biting words of Elkanah’s other wife, who became pregnant easily (1 sam. 1-20). God blessed all these women with newborns, but that may not always be the case.

Your answer to prayer may come in the form of adoption or a foster child. Some couples remain childless. We can’t wrap our minds around the fact that potentially good parents cannot conceive, but many unmarried women have multiple births. It is not for us to understand, just trust God.

That is much easier said than done. I wish I had the answers you long for, but Jesus is the answer. He is the source of life, the master of miracles, and the carpenter for the broken.

  • This is an excerpt from the chapter “When a Mom Hurts” in my memoir, “Believe: A Journey of Faith” which I am currently writing.

Heavenly Father, we lift up barren wombs to You today. Throughout Scripture, You brought life to many who were dead: Sarah, Rachel, and Elizabeth, just to name a few. Please open the doors to give mommas and daddies a bundle to love. Until then, or if it is not Your plan, shower them with amazing grace. We thank You and we trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 30:1-24.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Infertility is difficult year-round. Don’t allow a national holiday to overpower you with despair. Pray, guarding your heart through Mother’s Day and throughout the year. There is always hope with Jesus. The impossible becomes possible in prayer.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.