So last entry I updated everyone on some recent trips around CT and New England. Of course being the slow and retired person I am I had to take a rest from all of that activity so I finally talked the wife into a trip up into the New Hampshire State Parks for a few nights of Loon therapy.
Before we could do that though we had to get through our great nations birthday. My American Legion Post 111 out of Woodstock, CT takes part in the East Woodstock 4th of July Jamboree. The Post is the Color Guard for the annual event leading the parade off so Mike and I had an opportunity to march with the other members of Post 111. It was a great time had by all with lots of food and music some would say a perfect old time classic Americana town party. I look forward to many more and hope that the citizens enjoyed seeing and hearing about Mike in my talking to people while mingling during the day.
Sunday Morning My wife Mike and myself got up and moving to a beautiful day, where we finished the final loading and jumped in the truck camper to head North to Pillsbury State Park. This is one of the best kept little gems in the New Hampshire State park system. The day after the 4th of July on a holiday weekend you would expect to find the park packed just like almost every other campground in New England yet when we pulled in we found that in our loop there were 3 other campsites taken. Because it is a rustic gem, the park rangers shed does not even sport electricity only a rotary dial telephone. Our site was bustled up against the "pond" more like a lake in CT standards but who knows how the naming of these things are done.
We did not see our first person for the first couple hours and had a great opportunity to relax and unwind after allowing Google Maps take us on a different route then I would normally have taken. To say it was a much bumpier ride would be putting it mildly. I think Google was looking for every possible road construction and side road they could run us down. Needless to say I used my internal map to get home and it was a much smoother ride and quicker to boot. So much for getting detoured ;) back to the campground festivities. When our nearest campers did show up they were very friendly folk who we found out had been staying there since fathers day. The gentleman was a Vietnam Vet who had his other half with him and they both had so many questions about Mike.
Questions about Mike never cease to amaze me and I have learned so much more now that I have been back through the VetDogs class a second time. Yes I guess I truly am a slow learner. I am so grateful that I have the video's that I shared a few weeks ago in the blog because it makes it so much easier to explain in order exactly what Mike is capable of. Once someone see's the video's then the conversations really get going and invariably someone knows someone or as in this case the Veteran I was talking to himself may end up putting in an application for a dog. His other half also had a father who was a Veteran that is legally blind and has mobility issues and may be a candidate for a dual purpose dog.
Having been involved with other Veterans such as Brian Pearce, who I have seen (yes I am sure there is a pun in there somewhere) use the dual purpose dog to give him his life back by both help him in the guiding areas and service areas. Watching him grow and now get ready to move on to his second dog due to his first one having an illness has proven that the sight and insight the dogs are able to pass on to us the users is amazing. If you all have never read Brian's Story I will ask if I can share it here in a special edition. It is an amazing story and gave me the ability to speak with confidence to this young lady at the campground about her father. To watch her eyes light up with the potential of hope finally after watching her father slide into depression over the loss of his site and mobility was wonderful and it was Brian's story that I was able to share that made that happen.
There are so many other great hero's that I have been blessed to meet in my travels while speaking about how these dogs change lives I hope that I have a chance to share more with all of you. Over the next few weeks Mike and I will be a tad busy. We have the CT State American Legion Convention going on This weekend and next week another trip to New Hampshire early in the week. Later in the week I have something I have been looking forward to for a few months now as a Photographer, the South County Balloon Festival. How many people are willing to wager on me talking to a couple people about service dogs and veteran issues?
Alright time to sign off for now hope everyone has a great week and always remember follow your dream.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman
Now for the shameless plug to insure other Veterans have the same opportunities I have had Here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog.