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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, December 16 2001

Happy birthday - continued from last Sunday

When I left off last Sunday, I was walking with my guide dog Lucky down Main Street in Johnstown on a hot, hazy day. As we approached the intersection with Franklin Street, the hot summer sun melted its way through the haze. Lucky stopped us at the curb and I listened to the traffic flow to determine when to go.

This intersection is fairly easy. since the walk cycle stops all vehicular traffic. At the appropriate moment, I commanded Lucky, "forward" and away we went across Franklin and on down Main. The sun quickly heated the pavement and I noticed Lucky keeping us close to buildings to walk in their shade.

We continued to Bedford Street without problem and crossed to the north side of Main Street to walk back to where we started. We were soon back at the corner of Main and Franklin. When I commanded Lucky to go, he made a move on his own contrary to my desire. He crossed the intersection at a diagonal.

I am not sure whether he did this because he saw people walking that way or whether he was trying to get back to a shadier side of the street. I didn't fight this move, since I knew it was safe. Nevertheless, when the next walk cycle came, I made Lucky cross back to the north side of Main Street. As I commanded him to continue up Main Street, he pulled another contrary move and we were walking through Central Park. By now, I realized that Lucky was getting too hot, so I found a bench in the shade and allowed him to cool down.

Later that night on the evening news, I learned that a canine officer with his dog was in the park at the same time that Lucky and I were there. Lucky sees every dog as a potential playmate, so that may have been another reason he pulled me into the park. Also, there were many children in the park. Lucky never met a kid whose face he didn't want to lick.

After a half hour's rest in the shade, I directed Lucky back to the north side of Main Street and we made our way without further incident back up to where my wife was waiting for us. This independent or, perhaps, contrary streak that occurs in guide dogs is actually a positive trait. On this day, he was acting in his own best interest. However, if I should unknowingly direct him toward danger, he would defy my command and take me a safer way. He is my eyes, so I hope he is with me for many more birthdays.


A man of few words

A teenaged girl won a prize trip to Washington to meet President Calvin Coolidge. As she shook his hand, she said, "Mr. President, my dad bet me ten dollars I wouldn't get three words out of you." President Coolidge replied, "Dad wins."

—Sent by Bud Macfarlane

Advent thought for the day

Jesus was born into the family of men, that we may be Born Again into the family of God.

— Billy Graham
Sent by George Dilling

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