on Jan 5th, 2011Welcome

photo of Carolyn Wing Greenlee

I picture this site as an electronic version of my filing system, which is piles. There are lots of things I’ve been wanting to share—handy hints for blind people, nutrition and exercises to help strengthen eyes, stories of puppy raisers and guide dog handlers, observations from my life, and stories that will eventually go in books that I have on schedule to write, but are still several years from being published. I want to share my favorite photos, interviews, videos, resources, and songs. I want it to be informative, educational, fun, encouraging, helpful, and maybe even inspirational. It’s not meant to be the last word on anything, the source of the cutting edge latest and greatest, scholarly, meticulously researched, or definitive in any way. There are lots of sites that do that beautifully. I’m not the scholarly type. I’m more a living room kind of gal. If we were sitting in my living room (or yours), I would be telling you these types of things. Please know that everything I post on this site is intended to make your life better in some way. Thank you for visiting.

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on Sep 16th, 2014Morning routine with Hedy

This is what I do almost every morning with Hedy. Contrary to popular opinion, guide dogs are not just naturally submissive and well-behaved. Yes, they are superbly trained from puppyhood to graduation, but the handler has to keep up on that training every day after that. It’s easy for a $65,000 guide dog to deteriorate into a $65,000 pet just by letting them do whatever they want. Then, when you need them to guide you, they won’t. If you don’t do the maintenance on your Ferrari, you can’t expect it to perform up to its capability.

Multitudes of people invested their lives and love and finances in my little Hedy Girl, and I feel responsible to them to keep her fulfilling the job for which she was bread and born. Our morning routine provides structure and sets the tone for our day. Hedy knows I expect her to listen to me, and routine and reward give her security. As you can see, she doesn’t look downtrodden, beaten into submission and cringing obedience. She does what I ask because we have a relationship, one that is mutually beneficial, one that makes us happy.

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on Sep 16th, 2014Sunrise

Sunrise from the Deck

Sunrise from the Deck
photo by Carolyn Wing Greenlee

 

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on Sep 13th, 2014September Update

It’s been a wild summer.

1. Hedy suddenly stopped working

I called Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) and talked with Marc Gillard, who is one of my favorite instructors there. He gave me a number of suggestions, including that Hedy’s enjoyment of movement needed to be associated with her harness. Older dogs have more limited energy and we have to use it wisely.

I don’t think of Hedy as an older dog. At seven, she still has quite the puppy brain. Still, there is that white under her chin, and she does like to sleep every chance she gets. Marc told me they breed their dogs to be able to switch off like that. He said that’s the sign of a successfully bred guide dog.

After several months of working with Hedy, paying more attention to her behaviors, I was able to have consistently good work from her, and called to give Marc the report. We are back in business. She will not have to retire and be left home while I go out with another dog (I think that would kill her!). And all is well.

2. I finished access technology training

I am not an expert by any means, but what Jacques from the Earle Baum Center of the Blind taught me will become my new way of writing from now on. VoiceOver (on the Mac) reads everything including punctuation because I can’t see what I wrote, and punctuation is crucial for clear communications, but it makes the hearing of “Playback” cumbersome. Still, I’m happy to be writing again.

3. New projects

Because of my friendship with Maria (Zornes) and Hal Baker, my life has taken a sudden swerve into a fascinating new project. Actually, there are two… or three. The long-term new project is a documentary on Betty Davenport Ford, a 90-year old artist best known for her elegant animal ceramic sculptures. Maria grew up in the same neighborhood as the Fords, an unusual grouping of extraordinary artists living in Padua Hills near Claremont, California. I grew up seeing the beautiful animals in public places and now, because the Bakers introduced me to the Fords, I have made three trips to Southern California in the past six weeks, interviewing and filming at museums, and getting to know the delightful creator of those distinctive sculptures, and her warm, engaging family.

We’re also working on a book of the animal sculptures of Betty Davenport Ford. It will be a small, hand-bound book, a perfect presentation of those distinctive works.

Here are a couple of photos. Better than words.

ceramic sculpture of a snow leopard by Betty Davenport Ford

Snow Leopard by Betty Davenport Ford
photo by Gene Sasse

ceramic sculpture of a raccoon family by Betty Davenport Ford

Raccoon Family by Betty Davenport Ford
photo by Carolyn Wing Greenlee

 

4. Treating with microcurrent and energy stress release

The other major activity in my life now is another surprise. Over the years, I have been treating friends and family with microcurrent and energy stress release techniques. Now it has become a weekly thing of seeing clients, most with fairly impossible conditions. And, surprisingly, I’m seeing some remarkable improvements. I suppose it helps that I grew up hearing from my TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) father that there are no incurable diseases in acupuncture. There are only imbalances that need to be corrected. I go on that principle, and it works.

Photos

I hope you enjoy the photograph I took of the sky over the lake, the view from my deck. We are now going to share a variety of photographs on this website. I’m so grateful I can still see well enough to enjoy the stunning beauty around me and even manage to capture it so you can see it too.

pine tree dark against a sunset sky

Pine against Sunset Sky
photo by Carolyn Wing Greenlee

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on Feb 14th, 2014Celebrating My Special Valentine

Who is this adorable baby black Lab? Why, it’s Hedy!

Puppy raiser, Heather Findley, and her patient, loving family, took in this sweet, little puppy nearly seven years ago, carefully socializing her to have good house manners and to be unafraid and ready for training to be a guide dog for a blind person.

This Valentine’s Day, 2014, Hedy is seven years old. We have been a team for four years, and she has become my partner in ways I didn’t know were possible.

To celebrate, I’m sharing these early Findley photos of Hedy.

Findleys picking Hedy up from the puppy truck

Hedy the party puppy

And here she is all grown up.

Hedy all grown up

PS: Thanks to the Findleys, and all puppy raisers who make it possible for us to have these wonderful partner dogs in our lives.

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on Jan 31st, 2014The Meaning of Happiness

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