Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

International Guide Dog Day!

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs

Ann and yellow lab guide dog Bailey
A message from Guide Dog Users of the Empire State (GDUES)
April 29, 2020

It’s International Guide Dog Day, a day set aside to recognize the work that our loving and loyal canine companions do for us every day. Each year International Guide Dog Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday of April.

It takes a village to raise a puppy and help it gain the necessary skills to become a guide dog. Every year staff and volunteers from training organizations around the world breed, raise and train guide dogs and partner them with blind handlers. Our dogs are our heroes, and today is a way to let others know just how much we appreciate them.

Now that we have raised some paws and wagged a few tails to celebrate, we also want to share what it is like to be blind and out in public with a guide dog. During this year of worldwide crisis GDUES wants to share a few tips about how you can help people who are blind maintain social distancing.

When you see a guide dog team, please don’t pet, feed, call or distract the dog. Speak to the handler. It is important for the public to know that guide dogs don’t know about physical distancing. Our dogs are trained to move around obstacles, not to stop six feet away from a door, or in line at the supermarket or pharmacy. It’s important to understand a blind person using a white cane or a guide dog cannot always accurately measure distances or see lines on the floor.

Since we might not hear you come out of the store as we go in, a quick “Hello,” would help. Or, “Hi, you are at the end of the line.: or “Hi, you can Move up a few steps,”. When passing a guide dog handler outside, saying hello will help us keep required physical distancing by hearing where you are in relation to us.

We want to follow the same health and safety precautions as everyone else, however, we might require a little more information than normal. We are all in this together.

The mission of GDUES is to advocate for and support guide dog teams living and working in New York State. Learn more by going to www.gdues.org

Happy Birthday, Bailey

| Filed under writing

Bailey on the cover of my book, Follow Your Dog

Yello lab Bailey is next to blue water with blue skies above.


Who is Bailey? My guide dog, of course, a goofy and sometimes dignified seven-year-old male yellow lab bred and trained from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He’s the right dog even though his cream-colored fur infiltrates almost every fabric, even the bathroom towels.

Here are some of the things he is done since we met in March 2015: Helped me be a better handler, a faster walker, a more patient person.
Here are some things I believe I have helped him achieve: better manners, tolerance to cats, and doing better with food scavenging.

Today he is 7 years old and it is significant because I know he will be my working dog for another 2 years; his projected retirement age is 9. Until then, Bailey and I will travel a little more once the covid19 pandemic has subsided.

Finally, I want to convey to folks reading this why handlers like me go on about our dogs, why a working dog deserves respect and the best care possible. I personally believe every pet deserves the best care possible, no matter the species but working dogs, especially guide dogs even more so.

I hope I am not overstating the obvious. Every time we go out and walk a route, I feel blessed, free of some invisible restraint. Bailey knows his job and his desire to perform is infectious. He picks up a new route or task quickly once he knows a treat will mark it.

There was one time I thought he wouldn’t walk onto the lift platform beside the jet. The jetway was being used and I could not walk down the stairs. When the flight attendant said I would need to ride down from the plane to the tarmac, I panicked, not knowing if Bailey had ever been on an open-air lift. He took me on, sat and cocked his head as if to say, wow, this is different, waited for the lift to complete the ride, and guided me off like he’d done it just yesterday.

He only showed fear once. We were at an old-time farm and the chickens and rooster were in the street. He refused to walk past, in fact, tried to turn around and go back the way we came.

Happy birthday to Bailey, ever-curious, affectionate, and full of big-boy sweetness.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Audio Tracks

| Filed under Poem writing Writing Life

I’ve been experimenting with poems using the non-visual senses focused on specific items. The styles differ but the impact should resonate in some way emotionally as well as recalling sensory memory. I wrote this using one of my favorite food condiments.

The audio link is above the printed poem.

Dill and Brine
By Ann Chiappetta

Green and curved, bumps
diminutive gherkin cornichons
curved Kirby’s
Aromas bewitch salivatory glands
Jarred in glass
Brine Of herbs and salt vinegar.
Infused Tantalizing tartness
Wicked on the tongue
Olfactory humming with anticipation, the crunch
The layered satisfaction
Of Perfection.

2020

Pop Up Studio

| Filed under blindness writing Writing Life

Okay, folks, I am listening to your requests, 😊 Many of my friends wanted to know how I stepped into this home-grown recording studio thing in order to get my books on Audible. Ingenuity is born out of necessity, and my project objective was to create soundproofing without making it permanent.

The first step was to record and get feedback on the audio quality with my headset and office with the door closed. The feedback was received, suggesting softening the echo and also the background noise. I set in a chair near a window and the office door being closed did not shut out enough apartment noise, either. I tried a blanket over my head like a human tent pole but while it was better, it was hot and uncomfortable.

I was speaking to a writing friend and mentioned my dilemma and she said her husband uses moving blankets and hooks them to the wall. Amazon had two for less than $50. One draped over the curtain rod to cover the window and the other we rigged to close-off the desk area from the wall nearest the door to my desk. It works well and has made recordings better.

The photo is of my office desk, chair, pc and headset and the blanket strung across to act as a noise barrier using s hooks and metal posts. The blanket can be taken down, folded, and stored until it is needed.
This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Found Poem for NPM

| Filed under Poem writing

Horoscope

Found Poem
By Ann Chiappetta

Peacefulness wells up within the soul today,
coloring the entire day with an aura of calm.

You may fear your tranquil mood will be negatively affected by
the chaos of routine and the demands of others, you
will likely feel compelled to seek serenity
in which to nurture your mood.
A soothing personal space,
withdraw into it. Ohm.
achieve deep relaxation and slip into a reflective state.

Should distraction be the case, consider
taking a few moments between tasks today
to retreat into the depths of the mind. Through
meditation or introspection,
maintain a peaceful state even
when chaos erupts.

Cultivate serenity
ensure a quiet, private place to retreat
quiet the cacophony
when worldly concerns devastate and overpower us.
Build havens of tranquility Within the home.
havens of stillness provide quietude
leading back to inner peace.
commune with ourselves, Cultivate a serene atmosphere
sustain the serenity in the soul.

Zoom helps pass the time

| Filed under blindness writing Writing Life

Hello all, I just wanted to share some thoughts during the C19 crisis. By now the likelihood that each of us has lost someone or knows someone who has contracted C19 is a reality. My heart feels it and my mind is distracted with worry. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, if you are reading this take some comfort in knowing we as a community understand what it means to be experiencing these unprecedented times and that you are not alone.
Taking in our current situation and communication limitations, due to physical distancing, I became a Zoom account user and below is the link to my first recorded meeting. The host is Patty Fletcher of Tell-It-to-The-World Marketing and Business Assist. I hope it is a novel distraction from what is going on right now.
https://tinyurl.com/tjqjgrm

Guest post on Rough Drafts

| Filed under blindness Fiction writing Writing Life

Hi folks, author and blogger, Debbie De Louise is hosting me as a guest blogger. Please visit
Guest Post by Fellow Pet Lover and author/Poet Ann Chiappetta