This Writer’s Life:
It’s Ari’s Birthday!
Twelve years ago I made the big decision to get a Guide Dog. You see, we had moved to
A different neighborhood here in Salem, and not only were my daughter and husband walking or riding their bikes to work every day, a lovely park was situated not too far away. I remember feeling like everyone was soaking in all this sweet Oregon fresh air and strengthening their bodies… everyone, that is, except me.
After a spell of self-pity, I told my family how I felt.
“Okay, we’ll just start taking walks together once in a while,” my husband offered.
So that is what we did. But it quickly became apparent that his pace was not my pace.
“Slow down,” I panted, feeling my resolve to exercise diminish heave by heave.
“Aw, you can do it. Keep pushing yourself,” he urged, “you’ll be fine.”
But the day finally came when I realized I wasn’t going to be fine. In fact, if my pace didn’t fit me better, I was going to quit.
I remember we were rounding the bark path at the park, and I was panting my way up the long. Long hill.
“This is where you should speed up,” my coach advised.
I couldn’t speed up, and I didn’t want to start another argument…so I just let go. I let go of his arm which I had been hanging onto for dear life lo these many weeks…well it felt like many weeks to me.
Then one day I got the idea to check out Guide Dogs for the Blind on the internet. Their website was so encouraging, so inviting, so exactly what I needed…that I couldn’t resist. I applied. Yes, I applied to get a Guide Dog, to be part of a mobility team
*to be continued*