The Taste of Freedom

Hello once again dear readers.

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, having a guide dog by your side makes it possible to undertake all kinds of different journeys be they long or short distance.

Guide dog ownership puts the decision about where we go and when we choose to go firmly in our own hands. The trust we have in our dogs means that we are not dependent upon anyone else to get around. As long as we know the route we need to take then we alone can decide on when to take it.

As those of you who have been with the blog from the beginning, over 3 and a half years ago, (my, has it really been that long!) may recall Commando and I hit the ground running, with a new College course and new house to keep us busy.

But not long after we celebrated our first year together and the first year of my College course had come to an end, I was pottering around the house one Friday morning and suddenly found myself, quite unexpectedly, craving of all things, a jam doughnut. Not entirely sure where this craving had come from I thought nothing more of it and went on with what I was doing. But the craving was rather persistent. In the past, pre Commando, there wouldn’t really have been much I could have done about that, unless someone just happened to be going up to the local high-street. It certainly wouldn’t have entered my mind to ask someone to go there with me specially, and I certainly wouldn’t have considered it vital enough to break out the cane and go on my own.

But then it suddenly dawned on me that of course things were very different now. I had Commando and getting up to the high-street was certainly no challenge at all. So, then and there, I decided that I was going to get me that doughnut… I called Commando, always ready and willing to don his harness for any journey for any reason, and together we set off on the quest for a doughnut…

I recall that it was rather a nice day, and once again, I had a grin on my face as we made our way to the high-street and to the local bakery, home of the jam doughnuts. I purchased my doughnut, a pack of them in fact so that I could share them with others, and we then made our way home. At which point I promptly savoured the first doughnut I had purchased independently in many years, and actually thought to myself: “Ah, the taste of freedom”.

A few days later I found myself heading out once again to the high-street on another cake run. Deaven Splits this time, and over the years I have made many other runs to satisfy food cravings. I recall another occasion earlier this year. Intending to do some baking the following day, I realized late one Sunday afternoon that I was missing an ingredient I needed. I was in two minds whether or not to go to the local shop to get what was needed then and there, or wait until the following morning. After some consideration I decided to go and get it then and there. I started to make a move, and as if he had known what I was thinking, Commando bounded to his feet, tail wagging furiously, raring to go. We made the trip and again I was grinning to myself on the way home. Here we were, heading home after deciding completely on the spur of the moment to head out and get something that was needed, for no other reason other than that’s what I had decided we were going to do.

I can understand anyone reading this post who may be thinking to themselves that these kind of events are rather trivial things, and on some level they would be correct. The events I describe, the journeys we took and the reasons for them are indeed fairly mundane. But if these are not journeys that you have been able to make independently, spur of the moment decisions that you have not been able to take because you simply can’t get out and about on your own, then to have the ability, once again to undertake such journeys, for no other reason than because you want to is anything but mundane, anything but ordinary.

It occurred to me, as I realized that Commando and I have been a partnership for just over 3 and a half years that I still get a buzz out of every journey we make together, whether we’re going somewhere in particular, or just taking a walk for its own sake, whether the walk is long or short. Whatever we’re doing, why ever we’re doing it, the fact that I have the freedom to be able to do it at all is something that is truly precious, and why I never consider any journey that Commando and I take together as something dull, mundane or something to be taken for granted.

I will close, dear readers, by apologising to any of you who may now be craving doughnuts or other cakes after reading this post…


Ted, 4:30pm Mon 21 Dec 2015:

Love the blog. Merry Christmas and a Happy new year To you, Commando and your family.

Ted, 8:34pm Thu 10 Dec 2015:

I cannot believe its three and half years, you have achieved so much. Here`s to the next three and a half. All the best for the future to you both.

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