Everywhere, LOL I was born in Missouri. I call Colorado my spiritual home. I loved it there and would move back in an instant. I’ve lived in California, Montclair, New Jersey, and now Virginia. I love mountains and college towns. Virginia gives me both. Even though I live an hour from Charlottesville, Virginia, I consider that home too. I’m a history nut so much history to glean from this area!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Tag team with my daughter and hubby in homeschooling my three precious grandbabies! If not a nose in a textbook, I’m sewing and working with my crafts. I love to get outside and dig in the soil with my gardening. My youngest grandchild loves mother earthing with me.
When did you start writing stories?
I wrote stories when I was a child. I got serious as an adult but put it on hold so I could enjoy my biggest achievement, mothering my daughter. I would always jot down notes about stories that were in my head for years. I was a single mom. I had to be the breadwinner. I worked in a corporate world until I met my hubby.
Since the pandemic, I found myself having time to re-visit my thoughts of getting serious in my writing. It was my daughter Nikki that kept me on track making it happen.
It also was the pandemic that made me realize I needed to write a children’s story about Covid-19 from a child’s point of view. Watching the concerned looks on my grandbabies’ faces, I just had to do something. Noah just popped in my head. Even his name conveys our surviving the pandemic. It is the new norm. Perhaps even a new beginning. With all the stories that were already in my head, it took a pandemic to shake me loose.
What or who inspired you to write stories?
Children. Even when I was one myself, I was compassionate about little people’s feelings, their thought patterns. I wanted to be heard and it would come out on paper.
What is your favourite genre to write and why?
Children’s literature at present. However, I have some notes that I plan to dabble in someday.
What is your favourite genre to read?
If I do not have my nose in a children’s book reading to my littles, I am reading the school curriculum for lesson planning. However, during my downtime, I love historical, paranormal, and fantasy stories.
Who is your favorite Author and why?
Nicole Strycharz. She is a multi-genre writer and I just get lost in her books!
There are other amazing authors I love too. There is Daisy St. James and Lisa K Miller. They both write paranormal romance. Reading these talented women’s works is like a vacation away from the real world for me!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
LOL As a child there was Humpless, the Humpless Camel. I dare say I was very little. In reality, it was Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween.
What happened to it? Did you save it or trash it, and why?
My amazing illustrator, Mara Reitsma,has joined forces with me to publish Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween. Mara turns my world of characters into the exact picture I have in my head. It is like we are of one mind.
My little character Cynthia has been a part of me for years. All I did was tell Mara, and she got me. Then there is you, Claire. You have the talent to frame it to perfection. I am happy to say Cynthia will be a reality hopefully in time for 2021 Halloween. As for Humpless, well, he is still in the file. LOL.
Are there any sub-genres that you would consider pairing together?
Not sure just yet. Possibilities way back in my mind at this time.
Do you have more fun writing the scenes, or creating the characters?
Creating the characters because for me they create the scenes.
You’re an Indie Author, so tell us, why go Indie? Why choose to self publish?
Why not? There is a world of amazingly talented authors out there but cannot reach the goal or luxury of being published. Hats off to the authors who have been traditionally published. After all, they are and have been our inspiration. I choose to support my pen and paper with the Indie world because the drive is for our work to get out there and be read. Without both traditional published and self-published, we would not have such a world of choices to choose from. Makes the reading world so rich!
Tell us how you work. From pen and paper, to your fingers dancing across the keys, do you find yourself cozy and warm with a cup of tea and a blazing fire? Or do you hide in your dungeon, slaving away on your latest masterpiece; the words of wisdom flowing from your fingers as the story is born? Tell us how you write?
LOL, I am usually working side by side with my daughter, Nicole. Our desks are next to each other, with a bookshelf in the middle. Both computers are ticking away with yes, a cup of tea or, most likely, coffee in the early morning. If it is further on in the day, most likely there are children running back and forth screaming at each other or calling Mom, Grandma…Not sure to this day how we do it, but we do. Chaos keeps you on your toes or, for us, our minds working our fingers on the keyboard.
Jenzy, a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, has lived in many parts of the United States throughout her life but settled in Virginia with her family.
She homeschooled her daughter and aided many moms with their journey in homeschooling. She assisted with and tutored children of special needs in phonics, reading, and math.
Now, grandma to three precocious grandbabies. She joins her daughter in homeschooling them.
Jenzy’s been telling stories from childhood to grandmotherhood.
She prefers being in a cubby with pen and paper, capturing the thoughts of children. She shares that hearth of imagination with her daughter, who is also a writer. The only other place to be, she says, is enjoying her brood of three in their little classroom where she teaches!
Now, Mommy is my schoolteacher and school is at home. We have to stay home ‘cause there’s a sickness that hurts people. I keep forgetting the name of the sickness, so Mommy has to remind me it’s called Covid-19. I don’t like that name, so I just forget it! We have so many rules now.
We have to social distance from people. We have to stay six feet apart. That’s like as long as my dad lying down on the floor. The sickness can jump that far! Everyone wears masks. I don’t like not seeing faces, only eyes. Are they smiling or are they sad? I sing happy birthday every time I wash my hands, and it takes forever!
A windy start for October, just perfect for Halloween, thought Cynthia. She was the new member of the haunted house on the hill, at the edge of town. Even in the ghost world, a little ghost needs a family, and this house came with one. It wasn’t easy being a ten-year-old little ghost who just moved in and getting a new family too.
Just a few weeks ‘till Halloween. She must practice being scary. The moon would be full this year on Halloween, and her name meant moon. She had to be the best fright ever!
It has always been my belief that hard work shouldn’t go to waste. I also believe that if something is not a good fit in one place, there’s always a place for it elsewhere.
The following showcase was deemed incorrect for a magazine I submitted to, so I’m sharing it here with you.
Greetings to All…
Before I begin to share the first book in my memoir trilogy, ‘Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life’ with you, I’d like to say thank you for reading… And now, my Book Showcase.
From the back text…
In this, the first book in her memoir trilogy, Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One, How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, Second Edition, Patty shares how her decision to gain complete independence with the help of The Seeing Eye Guide Dog school in Morris Town New Jersey reveals to her a glimpse into worlds she had never before known existed.
Once home from The Seeing Eye, she soon realizes all is not right in her world.
Watch your step as you journey down the pathway with Patty and Campbell. For there are many obstacles along the way.
There are triumphs and tribulations, tears, and fears. But through it all that forever guide by her side, King Campbell works tirelessly to keep her safe from harm.
Before I begin my tale, both old and new, I want to thank you for reading this book. I want to thank those who have been reading my story from the beginning and continuing, and I hope you will be with me for many years to come.
To new readers, I thank you for joining me. Good times and bad, so far, it has been quite a trip.
I’ve faced trials and enjoyed triumphs. I’ve had sickness, and I’ve had healing. I’ve learned lots about myself I didn’t know and discovered things I both loathed and adored. I am what I am, and the best part is that I’m finally learning how to love all of me.
Why have I Written This Book?
There are many reasons. But mostly, I want to help people know more about me and those like me in the hope that after you’ve read what I have to say, you’ll understand how persons with multiple disabilities work.
I’m a middle-aged, single, blind woman who has other disabilities as well. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and short-term memory loss. Over the years, these things have, at times, been real problems for me and those I love and care for.
The good news? For the most part, I have all of the issues firmly in hand, and other than a slip-up every now and then, I’m doing quite well.
It was an unusually warm spring afternoon in May of 2010. My good friend Phyllis, her guide dog Emmy, and I were out for the day. We’d been shopping and had gone to lunch in the mall. We were returning to the store where Phyllis had left her packages when I came to the realization that yes, I really did need a guide dog.
We had just left Ruby Tuesdays, and not ten minutes before, while finishing lunch, I’d asked her how we would stay together. She told me to simply listen for the bell on Emmy’s collar and stay right behind her. I was cane traveling at the time and had no idea what was in store for me. I’d been around plenty of guide dogs and their handlers, but I’d had some sight then, and I’d never tried to follow a handler in a crowded area—and certainly not while cane traveling totally on my own. So, I had no clue what was about to happen to me. I would come to see what happened next as a true epiphany.
We were going along quite well when suddenly, we came to a very crowded area in the mall; Emmy found an opening in the crowd, and with Phyllis following along, took it. I was left eating their dust, saying, “Where the hell did they go?” I stood for a moment, letting what had just happened sink in, and then realized I had not one clue how to get to where Emmy and Phyllis had been going. I’d never walked through this mall—or any mall, for that matter—alone, and so knew nothing of how it was laid out. I was forced to ask for and accept help from someone who honestly annoyed me. The person had this ‘poor little blind girl’ attitude that always gets under my skin.
Once Emmy, Phyllis, and I were reunited and outside waiting for the bus, I asked what had happened. She explained what Emmy had done and apologetically admitted she hadn’t realized we’d been separated until they’d gotten where they were going.
“You know,” she joked. “These things wouldn’t happen if you didn’t go round chasing a stick.”
I went home that night and gave what she’d said some serious thought. The next day, I phoned her to ask how I could get more information about applying for training at ‘The Seeing Eye.’ I’d wanted a guide dog for years, but somehow, something always seemed to be in the way.
I was a single mom, and when my daughter Polly was very young, my mother didn’t think it was a great idea for me to be away from her for so long. Then when Polly got old enough, she could’ve been left. I wasn’t in a place that would’ve been safe for me to work a dog. Nor did I go anyplace where I could work one because I’d ended up where there was no public transportation. I’d had an orientation and mobility instructor visit me once while living there, and his opinion was that I simply wasn’t ready to own and handle a guide dog. I must say, since having the whole experience, I’ve often wondered how different my life and Polly’s might’ve been had I ignored everyone’s well-meaning advice and changed my situation in the necessary ways so I could’ve gotten a Guide Dog.
Eventually, in 2005, I moved to another apartment complex, where I lived until October of 2010. There, with my then Fiancé Donnie’s help, I rehabilitated myself a little.
Rehabilitating myself meant I needed to relearn some of what I’d forgotten when I’d ended up in an apartment where I had no public transportation. I needed to relearn some cane skills. I had to learn how to navigate the bus system and get reacquainted with doing things I’d always done but had forgotten during my years of living in isolation. It wasn’t until then I began to seriously consider making the change from cane traveler to guide dog user.
Suddenly, I knew I could wait no longer. I knew in my heart that, without a doubt, it was time for me to take this step. I was also quite sure ‘The Seeing Eye’ was where I wanted to train.
Chapter Two: Journey to the Seeing Eye
No Good Excuse…
April second, 2011, finally arrived, and it was time to go. My dad was in the driveway waiting; my luggage was loaded. I stood at the door with tears in my eyes, saying my goodbyes. On what should have been one of the most exciting days of my life, I was upset. Why? Because as had become the norm more and more of late, Donnie was putting himself before me. Furthermore, he had no good excuse for his selfishness.
I’d asked Donnie to come with us to the airport, and he’d refused. His excuse was he had his son that weekend, and his son had a friend over. My dad had told us more than once it wouldn’t be a problem; he’d even offered to let the boys hang out and watch planes take off and land after I’d gone, but Donnie still wouldn’t go. I asked him why, but he never gave me a straight answer. Considering we’d argued about my going the night before, to me, the answer was obvious. Though he’d never admit it in front of his son or my dad, he simply didn’t want me to go. He was pissed off because I was going ahead against his wishes.
As I started to step out, I decided to try once more. I loved him so very much. Why could he not enjoy this with me? What did I have to do to make him realize I wouldn’t stop loving him or needing him once I had this dog?
“Donnie?” I pleaded. “Please, come with us? This is one of the most important days of my life. I want and need you to share it with me.”
“No!” he exclaimed in a low, gruff voice. “I told you last night, if you do this, I won’t be here when you get back.”
“Fine. I’d suggest you get packed, and don’t bother leaving anything behind to come back for later,” I growled in a low, harsh whisper, suddenly furious. He wasn’t bullying me out of this. “I’m done dealing with you and your bullying ways. Just one question.” I sneered.
“What?” He snapped.
“What are you going to do without my income once I’m back and reclaim my job? The stupid idea you’ve got they’re going to want you more than me, well, it’s just what I said, stupid. Lynn would never fire me and hire you, and he’d never demote me and put you over me. You’re just full of horseshit. Stay here; be an ass. I don’t care. This time, I’m having my way, and if you don’t like it, fine. I’m not your mom. You can’t throw a hissy fit and make me change my mind.”
I stood for another minute, but finally, there was nothing to do but go on without him. So, I wiped away my tears as best I could, said goodbye, and was on my way.
Chapter Three: Dog Day
That First Meeting…
Time wasn’t moving for me as I sat on the floor, petting and talking to Campbell. Even as trained as he was, he was trying to accept yet another new person into his life. If he heard a noise in the hall, he would get distracted and whine for Drew. I snuggled him close, telling him in a soothing voice he was safe in my loving hands. As the afternoon went on, he began to trust me. We both had a lot of love and faithfulness to give. My heart opened to him and his to me. Then and still today, I knew and know a dog, either guide or pet, requires love and reassurance just as any other living being does.
Chapter Four: The Walk
Knowing and Triangle of Energy…
I’m not sure how much time passed while Campbell and I sat in each other’s arms, getting to know one another. I couldn’t tell you when Drew knocked on my door and came back into my room. It seemed to me Campbell and I had escaped into our own private world, and for us, no other people or animals existed.
After some time, I began to come back to myself and my surroundings. I realized Drew was there and raised my head, turning to him as if returning from a long distance.
With tears in my eyes, I said, “It’s as if I’ve loved him forever.” I still had one arm wrapped snugly around Campbell; it was as if I were afraid that if I let go, he’d disappear.
I could hear the emotion in Drew’s voice when he said, “I’m pretty sure it’s the same for him.”
We stayed like that for a moment. It was simply a feeling I wasn’t ready to let go of. Holding Campbell in the crook of my arm, the energy I felt from him was unlike anything I’d ever felt. I could feel his longing for Drew. I could feel his wanting to love me but being frightened to do so.
I could also feel Drew’s energy. It, too, was rather scattered. I could feel his love for Campbell, but I could feel his hope this match would work as well. Friends, I simply can’t describe the moment any other way than to say for a time, brief though it was, there was a triangle of connection, linking Campbell, Drew, and me.
Then, shattering the spell, Drew asked, “What do you know about harnessing the dog?”
I stood and took the harness from him. In fact, I did know something about this. Phyllis had made sure to teach me how to put the harness on and take it off. She had said she didn’t want me to go to class, not knowing anything at all. I remember it felt good to know something in this new world.
Drew went over all the parts of the harness with me and made sure I understood their functions.
“As you slip the harness over his head, you’ll notice how his chest fits into the curved part at the front. Once he’s settled, you’ll find a strap with a buckle hanging down on his left side. That goes under his belly and attaches to a hook behind his right leg.”
Running my hands along the various straps, I soon figured out how the system worked, ending with everything fitting snuggly across Campbell’s chest and connecting securely around his middle.
“You look good in your working clothes, Bug.” I bent and ran my hands over his body, and he gave my face a lick with his big slimy tongue.
“That stiff U-shaped handle lying on his back is the part you hold,” Drew explained. “You’ll feel everything you need to know right through the handle.”
Once I’d put my handsome boy in his harness correctly, we were ready to begin.
As we started out the door Drew Advised, “First, you want to remember, always keep him on your left. Heeling or guiding. Except in specific circumstances, that’s his side. Now, let’s have you heel him out the door, to begin with. There’s always a chance, what with the two of you being so very new to one another, he could run you into the door frame. We don’t want the first reaction he gets from you to be a correction.”
“Makes sense to me,” I agreed. And then we were off.
I heeled Campbell through the doorway. But to Campbell, it was business all the way. He did such a good job bringing me through; he might as well have been working. I fairly cheered, going into the hall.
“Yay, Campbell! Good boy!”
Drew walked behind me; he seemed to be amused by my happiness regarding how we had performed together for our first time.
As we started down the hallway, he instructed me to pick up the harness handle. Doing so, I instinctively reached out with my right hand and touched the wall, then began to trail it, as I’d always done. Drew immediately removed my hand. Putting it firmly back at my side, he said sternly, “No! Don’t do that. You’ll encourage him to run you into things if you do.”
This stopped me in my tracks. I turned and looked up at him. With my eyes misting up and my lip trembling, I said, “But Mr. Gibbon, if I don’t touch the wall, I can’t see where I’m going.”
He took what I’m sure was a steadying breath to keep from laughing and then said more gently, “Honey, that’s what the dog is for.”
Chapter Fourteen: Endings and Goodbyes
Campbell’s Comfort Zone…
Sinking onto my bed, I buried my face in my arms and began to cry. Just then, Campbell came bumbling out of his crate, where he’d been resting with the door open and nudged me. “Hey, Bug. Momma’s okay. Just feeling a bit sad. It’s alright.”
I petted his soft fur, and he began washing away my tears and nipping my chin as if to say, ‘Don’t cry. I got you, mom.’ I had no way to know, but this was only the first of many times when Campbell would comfort and reassure me, making me feel safe and secure.
Later as I put last minute things in the suitcase, Campbell followed me around the room, sniffing everything and wagging his tail furiously all the time. He wanted to help me pack—or, as it turned out, unpack. As soon as I put the things in, he tried to take them out again. Finally, I had no choice but to shut the big pest in his crate with his bone, in the hopes he would chew himself to sleep for a while. But no way! He decided if he couldn’t distract me by unpacking my suitcase, he would lie on his back in his crate, toss his bone up in the air, and let it make lots of noise banging around. When I told him to knock it off, he simply moaned a big moan and tossed it up in the air again.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Campbell, you really are just like your mother, and you sure know how to chase the blues away.” I knew in my heart Campbell, and I would make a successful team, and I was proud of what we’d already accomplished together. I just hoped Drew and the rest of my training team were proud of us, too. After this morning’s disagreement with Donnie, I’d all but given up on hoping he’d be proud of me.
Chapter Fifteen: A False Start
Ring Around the Runway…
Once we were on the plane and settled in our seat, I began to arrange my things for the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Then the fun started. For the next three hours, we made our way from one part of the runway to another. There were terrible storms in the area, and our flight had been delayed. For a while, I dozed. When Campbell got restless, I requested a cup of ice for him. Since I had no seatmate, I allowed him to stand and gave him a good ear rub while feeding him pieces of ice. He happily took them from my hand and gave me thankful kisses in return.
“You’re welcome, Bug,” I laughed.
Finally, the pilot made the announcement we’d all been dreading. Our flight had been canceled, and we’d be going back to the terminal. Eventually, the flight attendant appeared beside me, ready to escort me off the plane.
I put Campbell’s harness back on and got him into position—which, as Drew had predicted, was no easy task. Finally, I had him situated, and then I learned we wouldn’t be exiting the airplane via the jetway since it was already in use by other planes. The ground crew was bringing a large set of stairs. The stairs were put in place, and when it was time for us to leave, I didn’t think there would be any problem.
Afraid and on Our Own…
Boy, was I wrong! It turned out that these stairs were very high, and the platform at the top was grated and see-through.
Having been trained to avoid such things, Campbell sat down in the plane’s doorway and said in his best doggie language. ‘NO WAY! Ain’t nothin’ good gonna come from that,’
Knowing I had to get us down, I began a gentle dialog. “Come on, Bug. Hup…Hup… Let’s go now. Let’s get on back to the airport.”
“Ma’am?” one of the security guards called, “would you like us to carry him down for you? He looks a little flipped out.”
I thought the idea over and shook my head. “I’d best try and talk him down. We might encounter this some other time, so we may as well overcome it now. Besides, if he got really freaked from being picked up, he might jump from your arms. A fall like that could end his career before it even begins. Spot me, and let me know when I’m coming to the edge of the stairs.”
“All right, but be careful.”
My fear of heights nearly overtook me. I knew the stairs were possibly as much as twenty-five feet off the ground. Neither Campbell nor I were the least bit happy about our situation, but I tossed my terror aside and turned myself around, so my back was to the stairs. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The wind blew hard, shaking the metal platform beneath us. Campbell shivered with fright, and panic bubbled inside me. But I couldn’t show any of my own fear to him. I knew it was essential for me to handle this situation carefully because what I did would affect us as a team for the rest of our lives together.
I began to back up, squatting down and murmuring to Campbell. He was crouched down and whimpering, afraid to move.
I started to pull him and continued talking very calmly and softly to him. “All right, Bug. Almost there. That’s right. Just a little more. Come on, boy. Hup…Hup…
He was as scared as I was, and it was obvious he didn’t want to do it, but he came slowly across with me. I couldn’t imagine what must have been going through his mind. But I could imagine how happy he would have been to see Drew appear at that moment. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings any, either, but we were on our own. What I didn’t know then was it was the first of many times we’d be afraid and on our own.
When I reached the steps, I stood, turned us around, and heeled Campbell into position beside me. I petted and praised him up and down. He’d done a fabulous job of obeying me, and it no longer mattered to me how frightened he and I had been moments before. What mattered was we had made it.
“Campbell, you ready?” He sneezed and gave a big, jingly-jangly shake. I picked up the harness handle and proudly walked down the flight of stairs with my dog. At the bottom, I knelt down and put my arms around his neck. “Good boy. Oh! That’s Mommy’s good boy. I love you. Good boy.”
The flight attendant was in tears. I was in tears; I hugged him tightly and buried my face deep in his fur. As I took a deep breath and filed away the memory of his smell, he nuzzled my neck with his nose. That was the smell of trust, of love. It’s a smell I hope I will never, ever forget.
Suddenly the people at the bottom of the stairs were clapping. Campbell, of course, thought it was a party for him. He began to wag his tail, spinning it furiously around and around. He licked my face all over with his big tongue, and I knew we were good again.
He then guided me beautifully through the airport.
Chapter Twenty-Two: A Double Life
The Nightmare Begins…
Sitting there, trying to compose an email to my volunteers, people who were so much a part of my life, they felt like family. I didn’t know how much longer I could go on pretending everything was all right. If Lynn had doubts… But I had to force those things from my mind. Drew would be here soon, and as much as I loved Donnie, Drew’s visit meant the world to me, and I wanted nothing to ruin it.
Just as I poised my fingertips over the keys to begin my email, the phone rang.
“Hello? 2 1 1, how can I help…”
Donnie’s voice interrupted me. “Patty, the police are here. They’re allowing me to phone you to let you know they’re taking me into custody.”
My heart leaped into my throat, and for a moment, I couldn’t breathe. “What… What do I do?” I asked in a choked whisper. “Donnie, what do I do?”
“Honey, take a breath. Calm down. As soon as we hang up, call my lawyer. Tell him they’ve picked me up and have him come to the jail. We’ll be leaving as soon as they catch Rocky.”
“Rocky? What do you mean?”
“When the officers opened the door, Rocky took off. A couple deputies are chasing him.”
I suddenly felt like I’d been dropped into a poorly written episode of ‘Cops.’ “Do you mean to tell me they’re chasing that dog?”
“Yes, they can’t very well go off and leave him loose. I have to secure the house. Listen, honey, I love you. Don’t be afraid. I’ve got to go.”
With that, he hung up. For a moment, I simply sat, unable to do anything more than hold the phone in my hand. When it began to buzz with a busy signal, letting me know the line had disconnected, I put the receiver back into the cradle and sat there at my desk, my face buried in my hands, trying hard not to fall apart.
When I finally got myself together, I made the call to the lawyer’s office. Then I pressed the intercom button for the conference room where Lynn was holding a meeting. When his voice came onto the line, I said, “Lynn, I’ve got an emergency at home. I’m going to call the volunteer on duty after me, let her know I must leave, and then I’ve got to go.”
He didn’t question me. We’d been waiting for a day such as this, and to confirm, he asked, “Are you sure Donnie can’t help you with this?”
Taking a breath to steady my voice so those in the meeting wouldn’t be alarmed, I answered, “No, sir. I’m sorry, but he’s been detained for the evening.”
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Dec 29th, 2020
I met Patty last November and was immediately intrigued by her authenticity and witty personality. Over the past year, we have become great friends, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her on a personal level. When I heard her new book was ready for purchase, I immediately ordered it! Due to my busy schedule, I read a little here and there, until finally, during the holiday, I was able to sit down with book in hand, really delve into the book, and I was captivated! Patty’s story is one of trauma, perseverance, and overcoming. Her writing style draws you in and will leave you laughing one moment and crying the next, all the while standing in awe of her honesty and transparency. As a person of sight, I had no idea of the vigorous training it took to pair someone with their service animal, and I completely appreciated every single detail Patty shared of her training with Campbell at The Seeing Eye. As someone who has also suffered from domestic violence, I appreciated Patty’s willingness to allow her readers to see inside her personal battle with the mental and emotional trauma that you experience at the hands of an abuser. Anyone who reads this book will be informed, educated, and inspired!
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Dec 31st, 2020
I had the privilege of editing and proofreading “Pathway to Freedom: Broken and Healed: Book One How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life.” The true story details how a highly trained dog helps a strong blind woman step through an open door into the freedom she’s been longing for.
The thing about open doors, though, is that they open to everything–the beautiful and the tumultuous, the issues we’re eager to take on and the ones we’d rather not deal with. Through the changes that shatter the toxic status quo, Campbell is the rock Patty needs to weather the storm.
This book is an educational read about Seeing Eye dogs and their training. More than that, it should be in the library of every women’s shelter across the country. Patty’s story of strength and tenacity is one that will inspire others.
Jo Elizabeth Pinto
Review for – Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Nov 25th, 2020
I helped with the publishing and interior design; reading the story of Patty’s life and how she lived, how it changed, and how she is moving forward is wonderful to see.
She is stronger than she thinks and, at the telling of this story, stronger than she knew. As a reader, you could see straight away how different Patty was once out of her home and at the Seeing Eye. She grew and learnt many things to help herself with her guide dog—King Campbell. It was wonderful to see how supported she was, though I’m sure many of us will wish she opened up a little bit more about her life at home. This woman certainly has skills, and many of them she shares with us throughout the memoir.
The book is relevant to those who are blind and shows the training journey needed to have a See Eye Dog at your side. This book also deals with mental health and domestic abuse issues. It is an enlightening read and will make you cry and gasp in various places. Patty, thank you for sharing your life with your adorable dog, Campbell and us. He is sorely missed by those who know you.
Claire Plaisted Plaisted Publishing House
Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020, she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness, on September 24, 2020, King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge, where all is peace and love. It is her hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.
Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.
Where she Lives and Works…
Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.
She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine, and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.
Patty writes to bridge the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.
Patty’s hobbies include reading, music, and attending book clubs via Zoom.
Some of her favorite types of tunes are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country.
Patty enjoys fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. She loves books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Norah Roberts, and many more.
Some favorite books include Norah Roberts’ Hide Away, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
Patty describes herself as a spiritual Walker. She says she knows both Mother Goddess and Father God and embraces all they have to offer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Book Showcase and that if you read my book, you’ll take the time to review it either on Amazon or Goodreads.
Unfortunately, Campbell didn’t survive to see me finish this book. Below are his obituary and biography.
Campbell Lee Fletcher, a.k.a. Bubba
®Seeing Eye Dog
November 28, 2008-September 24, 2020.
King Campbell Lee A.K.A. Bubba Retired ®Seeing Eye Dog Died peacefully on September 24, 2020, at approximately 3:30 P.M. at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital, 209 Colonial Heights Rd. in Kingsport, Tennessee, after battling illness for some time. His human Mother Patty Fletcher and good friend Christy McMakin were by his side.
Patty with Campbell at the Vets moments before Campbell went over the Rainbow Bridge.
King Campbell was such a loved dog, and Patty would like to share some of her memories via Photos. These images were taken over the early years, and some of those stories will be in book two. Enjoy.
Campbell Sitting in the sun Campbell wriggling on his back
Campbell with his head on a pillow A dirty looking Campbell
Campbell lying in an armchair Campbell lying on the Carpet
Bio for King Campbell aka Bubba
King Campbell was born in Chester, N.J. November 28, 2008.
He lived with his Dog Mother and Litter Mates until he was approximately eight weeks old, and then he went to live with his Puppy Raisers.
Then, when he was just over a year-old, he was taken away from his Puppy Raiser family by a wise and ancient trainer, so he could go and live in the magickal and ancient land of The Seeing Eye, where his training began.
After only four short months, on April 4, 2011, he was chosen to become the guide of his human Mother Patty L. Fletcher.
He went to live in the land of Kingsport, Tennessee, with her. There they lived a wonderful life together from April 29 of 2011 until September 24, 2020, during which they had many magickal and at times challenging adventures, but through it all, King Campbell did his very best to keep all he loved safe from harm.
King Campbell is survived by his human Mother Patty Lyne Fletcher, human sister Polly Telucia Fletcher Hensley, and her husband and six children, Grandfather Earl Fletcher JR. Aunts Mary Fletcher, and Joan Norris. His Adopted Grandmother Phyllis Staton Campbell, adopted Uncle Dave Light, his now-retired trainer Drew Gibbon and various staff from The Seeing Eye. As well as many friends worldwide, including his editor and publisher Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing House Services, his attending veterinarians DR. Hyatt and DR. Gray, and other beloved staff from Colonial Heights Animal Hospital. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.