There was a full house at the Main Street Gallery where three of us with dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind shared what life was like with these special canines. We were there to celebrate my latest book, A Gift of Puppies, and Shelby Posada, Director of the Lake County Arts Council, made it a festive occasion with food and wine, flowers on eggplant-purple tablecloths and live classical guitar music by Lindy Day before and after the presentation.
Jeanette Frey brought 4-month-old Adora, a golden/Lab cross, and Patty Sambrailo brought 11 month-old, black Lab King. Hedy was there, of course. She’s been my guide dog for three years now. The group of dogs showing the full range of Before and After the raising happens.
I always learn something when I’m around puppy raisers. Some behaviors that I thought were simply Hedy’s good temperaments or “gifts” turn out to have been carefully trained into her—including her nonchalance about “doing her business” on snow, asphalt, or any kind of surface. Patty and Jeanette were the first puppy raisers I met after leaving GDB. Their stories opened my eyes and were the start of the idea for the new book.
My neighbor, Betty Helf, introduced the puppy raisers to me, so I tell her it’s all her fault. She is one of those precise people who notices punctuation errors on billboards, so I hired her to help edit the book. One of the stories is told by a mischievous Lab puppy named Hibachi, and it came to me without capitals and arbitrary punctuation. Betty told me she wasn’t annoyed about the number of errors she had to correct, saying, “Puppies don’t type very well.”
The talk and booksigning was also a benefit for the Arts Council, which has always been so encouraging to me. My jewelry is now starting its sixth month on display there. When I first started showing it, I wondered if anyone would like it. I was surprised when people started to buy it. That does a lot for my confidence.
Here is a picture of us standing in front of some of Shelby’s large paintings. Left to right: Shelby Posada, Hedy and me, Patty Sambrailo and King, Jeanette Frey and Adora, and Lindy Day.
These are shots I took of my February jewelry display, complete with hearts.